Karim Benzema put Real Madrid 1-0 up after 82 minutes, and Los Blancos appeared to have avoided a disappointing start to their home campaign. However, Sergi Guardiola (no relation to Pep) had other ideas when he bagged an unlikely equalizer in the 88th minute.
Eden Hazard remained out with a thigh injury and the $113-million Belgian isn’t expected to make his Madrid debut until after the season’s international break which takes place the first full weekend of September. James Rodriguez made his return to Real Madrid after two seasons on loan to Bayern Munich, but the Colombian was subbed off after 57 minutes to be replaced by Vinicius Junior.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Celta Vigo 1-0 Valencia
Getafe 1-1 Athletic Bilbao
Osasuna 0-0 Eibar
Sunday’s La Liga schedule
Mallorca v. Real Sociedad — 11 a.m. ET
Alaves v. Espanyol — 11 a.m. ET
Leganes v. Atletico Madrid — 1 p.m. ET
Barcelona v. Real Betis — 3 p.m. ET
Juventus’ quest to win a ninth straight Serie A title began with a win away to Parma on Saturday, but only just barely. Giorgio Chiellini scored the game’s only goal in the 21st minute, redirecting Alex Sandro’s half-volley past the goalkeeper after a corner kick wasn’t fully cleared. The victory sets Maurizio Sarri‘s side (Sarri wasn’t in charge of the team on Saturday as he continues to recover from pneumonia) on its way in a season that figures to feature multiple challengers to the throne, with Napoli and Inter Milan each strengthening their squads considerably in the summer. Sarri will also miss out on next weekend’s heavyweight clash between Juve and last season’s runners-up Napoli at Allianz Stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal taken off the board after the video-assistant referee picked up on the narrowest of offside calls.
$85-million center back Matthijs de Ligt was named to the bench, where he remained for the entirety of 90 minutes, with veterans Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci preferred to the 20-year-old. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon joined De Ligt on the bench in his return to Juve after spending last season at Paris Saint-Germain.
Fiorentina 3-4 Napoli
Napoli’s 4-3 victory over Fiorentina was a truly wild ride. There is no other way to describe it.
Napoli went from a goal down inside the first 10 minutes, to 2-1 up just before halftime, level at 2-2 in the 52nd minute, 3-2 ahead just four minutes later, level at 3-3 in the 65th, and finally 4-3 ahead just two minutes later.
Dries Mertens (38th), Lorenzo Insigne (43rd and 67th) and Jose Callejon (56th) got the goals for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Hirving Lozano, who joined Napoli for $44 million on Friday, wasn’t yet available to make his debut but will only add another level of quality to what has proven to be an already impressive attacking unit.
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Udinese v. AC Milan — 12 p.m. ET
Roma v. Genoa — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sampdoria v. Lazio — 2:45 p.m. ET
Cagliari v. Brescia — 2:45 p.m. ET
Verona v. Bologna — 2:45 p.m. ET
SPAL v. Atalanta — 2:45 p.m. ET
Torino v. Sassuolo — 2:45 p.m. ET
Messi returned to training this week after recovering from a right calf injury picked up in preseason, but the Argentina star was not included in the list of players available for the team’s home opener at Camp Nou Stadium.
He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener last weekend.
Coach Ernesto Valverde is also without forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele because of injuries.
Klopp preens after Liverpool win: ‘Our identity is intensity’
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
They were tough, fiery, and deserved every bit of the win. And Klopp knows it, and knows that you know it. From the BBC:
“Our identity is intensity, and we showed that today. … We were a bit surprised by their system. We couldn’t know that they would play a diamond, but we switched things around and coped very well.
“The last 10 minutes I saw the possession – 53 to 47 or something like that – but over 80 minutes it must have been completely different. For 80 minutes we were completely in charge of the game. We are not Disneyland, we do not need to excite everyone in every second.”
This guy is an absolute beauty. Even those who despise him have to admit that we are lucky to have him.
Klopp’s men lapsed late and allowed a Lucas Torreira goal. The defense has been wobbly over the first three weeks of the season, and preseason was just as rough. Klopp would’ve loved a clean sheet for the first time since the first week of preseason, but he’s happy with the performance.
“I would have loved to have it, but things can happen. They’re a quality side, Arsenal. I didn’t see that many chances, but we were really in charge today and completely deserved the win.”
Liverpool is off to Burnley next, and then will enjoy the international break.