La Liga & Serie A: Newly promoted Alaves shock Barca; Ronaldo returns, scores

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

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Real Madrid 5-2 Osasuna

Cristiano Ronaldo hadn’t played a minute of first-team football since injuring his knee in the final of EURO 2016. He needed just six of them — minutes, that is — to mark his return to the field with his first goal of the season (assisted by Gareth Bale) on Saturday. The Portuguese superstar wouldn’t find the net again, and he would only last 66 minutes on the day, but it was a successful return to action in every possible way.

Most notably, the 5-2 victory for Real Madrid. Danilo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Luka Modric each chipped in with a goal of their own, as Zinedine Zidane’s side became the only Spanish side still perfect three games into the 2016-17 season.

Barcelona 1-2 Alaves

Luis Enrique’s side dropped their first points of the season, at home against newly promoted Alaves. Lionel Messi was left out of the starting lineup (hamstring injury), but came off the bench on the hour mark, with the game tied at 1-1, and failed to make the kind of impact Barca needed.

Barca went behind through Deyverson’s opening goal in the 39th minute, but Jeremy Mathieu put them back on level terms less than 60 seconds after the halftime restart. Messi entered in the 60th minute, and Ibai Gomez scored Alaves’s winner, thanks to a fatal mistake by Mathieu, four minutes later.

Celta Vigo 0-4 Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann scored twice, and Koke and Angel Correa chipped in a goal apiece, as Atleti routed last year’s sixth-place finishers away from home. Saturday’s brace gives the 25-year-old Frenchman 46 league goals three seasons into his time at the Vicente Calderon Stadium (22 goals in each of the last two seasons).

Elsewhere in La Liga

Sevilla 2-1 Las Palmas
Malaga 0-2 Villarreal

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Sporting Gijon vs. Leganes (6 a.m. ET)
Valencia vs. Real Betis (10 a.m. ET)
Granada vs. Eibar (12:15 a.m. ET)
Deportivo La Coruña vs. Athletic Bilbao (2:30 p.m. ET)


Juventus 3-1 Sassuolo

Gonzalo Higuain scored twice to take his league goals tally to three on the season (through three games — after scoring 36 in 35 last season) before Miralem Pjanic made it 3-0 with only 27 minutes on the clock. Luca Antei pulled a goal back for Sassuolo, but that’s as close as they would get. Juve are a perfect 3-for-3 to start the season, already two points clear of Napoli. They will probably never relinquish that lead.

Palermo 0-3 Napoli

Napoli, and perhaps Roma, will do everything they can to prevent Juve extending their half-decade of dominance any further. In the end, it won’t be enough, but it’ll be enjoyable to watch them try for a while. Jose Callejon bagged a brace and Marek Hamsik scored the third as Maurizio Sarri’s side blew past Palermo on Saturday.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Bologna vs. Cagliari (6:30 a.m. ET)
Chievo vs. Lazio (9 a.m. ET)
Genoa vs. Fiorentina (9 a.m. ET)
AC Milan vs. Udinese (9 a.m. ET)
Atalanta vs. Torino (9 a.m. ET)
Roma vs. Sampdoria (9 a.m. ET)
Pescara vs. Inter Milan (2:45 p.m. ET)