LaLiga 2021/22 Matchday 1 Review, Stats & Team of the Week

LaLiga 2021/22 Matchday 1

LaLiga is back after the summer break with the first round of fixtures of the 2021/22 season now complete. The first set of games largely went as expected with wins for all of last season’s top four. Valencia were the only other victors on matchday one as José Bordalás somehow got the better of his former employers despite seeing his new team go down to ten men inside three minutes. Otherwise there were lots of tight games with little to choose between the teams. Read on for our LaLiga matchday 1 review featuring all the results, xG data, stats and team of the week.


LaLiga Matchday 1 Results & Expected Goals

Friday 13th August 2021

Valencia 1-0 Getafe (xG: 1.58-1.19)

Saturday 14th August 2021

Mallorca 1-1 Real Betis (xG: 0.57-0.81)

Cadiz 1-1 Levante (xG: 0.99-0.92)

Alaves 1-4 Real Madrid (xG: 1.41-2.16)

Osasuna 0-0 Espanyol (xG: 0.58-0.58)

Sunday 15th August 2021

Celta Vigo 1-2 Atlético Madrid (xG: 1.59-1.81)

Barcelona 4-2 Real Sociedad (xG: 3.46-0.9)

Sevilla 3-0 Rayo Vallecano (xG: 3.67-0.48)

Monday 16th August 2021

Villarreal 0-0 Granada (xG: 1.22-0.25)

Elche 0-0 Athletic Club (xG: 0.93-0.63)

xG data in this post comes via Understat. Other stats are via Whoscored.


Matchday 1 – Stats & Star Performers

Team Stats

Most PossessionSEVILLA – 75% 
Highest Pass Success RateSEVILLA – 93%
Lowest Pass Success RateVALENCIA – 64%
Most ShotsGETAFE – 22
Fewest ShotsVALENCIA & RAYO – 4
Worst DisciplineVALENCIA – 6 Yellows, 1 Red
Highest xGSEVILLA – 3.67
Lowest xGGRANADA – 0.25
xG Over-PerformerREAL MADRID – 4 Goals from 2.16 xG
xG Under-PerformerVILLARREAL – 0 Goals from 1.22 xG
Highest AttendanceBARCELONA vs REAL SOCIEDAD – 20,384
Lowest AttendanceALAVES vs REAL MADRID – 3,968

While he was not aided by an early moment of madness from Hugo Guillamón which left Valencia playing with 10 men for virtually the whole game, José Bordalás announced his arrival at Mestalla in true Bordalás fashion. Valencia had the lowest pass success rate, joint fewest shots and worst disciplinary record on matchday one in LaLiga, yet still managed to win their game against Bordalás’ former employers Getafe.

We also got the first indicators of how the likes of Getafe, Granada (both also under new management) and the newly promoted teams will approach this season. There was also a passing masterclass from Sevilla against Rayo Vallecano with Julen Lopetegui’s team totally dominating possession against their 10-man opponents in a 3-0 win.

Matchday one also marked the return of fans, for the first time in almost 18 months in many cases, to LaLiga stadiums. Social distancing restrictions remain in place with the exact rules varying between the different Spanish regions. Most grounds were at around 20% capacity on Saturday with over 20,000 at Camp Nou to witness Barcelona’s first competitive game without Leo Messi, the largest Spanish football attendance since before the pandemic.

Individual Stats

Most ShotsMAURO ARAMBARRI (Getafe) & IAGO ASPAS (Celta) – 7
Most Completed PassesDIEGO CARLOS (Sevilla) – 98
Most Key PassesMARCOS ACUÑA (Sevilla) – 5
Most Completed DribblesADRIA PEDROSA (Espanyol) – 7
Most Aerials WonLUCAS TORRO (Osasuna) – 11
Most Successful TacklesIDDRISU BABA (Mallorca) – 7
Most InterceptionsNACHO (Real Madrid) – 6
Most FoulsROBIN LE NORMAND (Real Sociedad) – 5

No surprises to see Sevilla’s patient passing style result in high pass numbers for defenders Diego Carlos and Marcos Acuña with the latter a big threat in their game against Rayo Vallecano. Slightly more unexpected, is that Getafe’s Mauro Arambarri attempted 7 shots against Valencia. The midfielder averaged just 1.4 shots per game last season and has only scored 6 goals in total across his 4 seasons in LaLiga.

The game between Osasuna and Espanyol witnessed the most direct football this weekend in LaLiga with both sides going long at times and getting crosses into the box. Adria Pedrosa shone down the left for the visitors, completing a weekend high 7 dribbles but Osasuna were strong in the air, with Lucas Torró winning no fewer than 11 aerial challenges.


Sorare LaLiga Fantasy Team of the Week

LaLiga team of the week - MD1

It was a weekend when the big teams were pretty dominant so it’s no surprise to see 10 of the 11 coming from teams in last season’s top four. The only exception was José Campaña who looked back to his best for Levante after a difficult 2020/21 season where he was plagued by injuries.

The LaLiga team of the week also features three debutants. Marko Dmitrović put the disappointment of relegation with Eibar behind him to impress in goal for Sevilla when called upon. However it was Érik Lamela who really stole the show in that game, coming off the bench to bag a brace having moved to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan as the lesser part of an exchange deal with Tottenham for Bryan Gil.

Memphis Depay will also have reason to be pleased with his debut display for Barcelona having only got clearance from LaLiga to play in the build up to the game. That came in part thanks to Gerard Pique’s decision to take a wage cut and it was fitting that the two players would combine for the opening goal.

Sorare Player of the Week: Martin Braithwaite (100)

The only player on LaLiga MD1 to score a perfect 100 though was actually Martin Braithwaite, with the Danish forward scoring two goals and assisting one as the Catalans won 4-2 against Real Sociedad.

Sorare is a Fantasy Football platform with one of the most advanced scoring matrices. All players are scored from 0-100 based on performance. You can read our latest Sorare content here to find out more about it.


Read More: 5 of the best LaLiga Summer Signings

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk

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