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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Atletico's Winning Defense

MADRID -- Juan Eduardo Esnaider and Kiko Narvaez led defending champion Atletico de Madrid to a 2-0 win over Celta while Tenerife thrashed Compostela 6-0 to take the lead Sunday in the Spanish first division's opening round.

Perennial title contender FC Barcelona also looked powerful in its 4-2 victory at Oviedo, in a first round highlighted by the performances of new stars brought to Spain after teams spent an unprecedented 30 billion peseta ($250 million) on hiring.

At Madrid, Celta's new goalkeeper Richard Dutruel, brought from Paris Saint Germain, made a diving block of Milinko Pantic's penalty shot for Atletico early in the first period.

Esnaider, an Argentine striker bought from Real Madrid, scored on his fifth shot of the night for Atletico with a 46th-minute header on a pass into the small area from Jose Luis Perez Caminero. Kiko added the insurance goal two minutes later.

At Tenerife, a barrage of goals came from Slavisa Jokanovic in the 12th minute, Antonio Pinilla in the 19th and from Chilean striker Franciso Rojas. Chano Cruzado, Tenerife's new Swiss forward Oliver Neuville, and Juanele Castano added three more in the second half.

Oviedo 2, Barcelona 4. Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov charged down the right wing and fired the side's first goal in the 47th minute, then added another four minutes later.

Oli Alvarez scored for Oviedo in the 67th and former Barcelona player Toni Velamazan got one against his old teammates in the 86th with a long shot from the right that hit the crossbar.

Luis Enrique Martinez added one more for Barcelona with a 90th-minute header to put Barcelona in third place.

Racing de Santander 3, Valencia 2. Croat forward Goran Vlaovic, new to Valencia from Padova, took advantage of a defensive error to beat Racing's goalkeeper in the 33rd minute, and Brazilian striker Romario, returning to Spain after one year at Flamingo, made it 2-0 in the 41st on a pass from Valeri Karpin.

Valencia's Pachi Ferreira got an own goal in the 45th before Racing's Alvaro Cervera drew his side even in the 48th on a direct kick and then set up Jose Luis Zalazar winning goal in the 80th.

Betis 3, Athletic de Bilbao 0. Betis' new Nigerian striker George Finidi, bought from Ajax, scored from the left corner early in the first half Roberto Rios made it 2-0 in the 43rd and Juan Sabas got Betis's 3rd in the 85th to put Betis into second place.


Bundesliga pace-setters Cologne on Sunday suffered their second major shock in two days when Zwickau of the second division dumped them out of the German Cup 3-1 after extra time.

A day earlier, Cologne learned that Bodo Illgner had signed for Real Madrid just before the transfer deadline.

(For other results, see Scorecard.)