Park Chu-Young scores on La Liga debut

South Korean striker earns Celta Vigo 2-1 win over Getafe as Real Zaragoza, Real Betis and Barcelona all record wins.

    On loan from Arsenal, Park Chu-Young gets off to a cracking start with Celta Vigo scoring on his debut [EPA]
    On loan from Arsenal, Park Chu-Young gets off to a cracking start with Celta Vigo scoring on his debut [EPA]

    South Korea international Park Chu-Young scored in his home debut for Celta Vigo to earn a 2-1 win over Getafe in the Spanish Primera League on Saturday.

    Park, who arrived on a season-long loan from English club Arsenal this offseason, went on at Balaidos Stadium in the 66th and two minutes later scored with his first touch, volleying in Michael Krohn-Dehli's cross at the far post.

    Krohn-Dehli had already teed up Celta's opener in the 57th when he started a counterattack before threading a pass behind the defence for Augusto Fernandez to finish off.

    Getafe levelled two minutes later through Abdelaziz Barrada's third goal this season, but Park went on and scored the decider for the promoted Celta's second win.

    Celta coach Paco Herrera was sent off for protesting in injury time, as was Getafe defender Alexis Ruano for hitting an opponent.

    "If Zaragoza, a team that has difficulty (creating chances), scores three times against us, we have a lot to improve,"

    Osasuna coach Jose Mendilibar

    Also, Osasuna and Espanyol remained winless through five rounds and stuck at the bottom of the standings after their respective losses at Zaragoza and Real Betis.

    Zaragoza beat Osasuna 3-1 thanks to Helder Postiga's opener, an own goal by Osasuna midfielder David Timor, and Antonio 'Apono' Galdeano's penalty, ending a two-game losing run.

    "If Zaragoza, a team that has difficulty (creating chances), scores three times against us, we have a lot to improve,'' said Osasuna coach Jose Mendilibar.

    In Seville, Betis went ahead through Paulao's first-half header and then held on as Espanyol hit the woodwork twice before being reduced to 10 men in the 66th when Wakaso Mubarak received his second booking for a second vicious tackle.

    Meanwhile, in Barcelona, Xavi crashed a shot into the top corner three minutes from the end and Lionel Messi forced a stoppage-time own goal as the hosts overcame a stubborn Granada 2-0 to maintain their perfect La Liga start on Saturday.

    Visiting goalkeeper Tono pulled off a string of magnificent saves to keep Barca at bay while his opposite number Victor
    Valdes saved a clear one-on-one before Xavi thundered a shot in off the underside of the bar.

    Messi's persistence then saw him squirm into the area and strike a low cross that was turned into his own net by Borja Gomez in time added on to destroy Granada's valiant resistance.

    Barca moved on to 15 points from five games, opening an 11-point gap over champions Real Madrid who visit city rivals Rayo Vallecano on Sunday looking for their first away win this term.

    Also on Sunday, it's: Mallorca vs. Valencia, Levante vs. Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid vs. Valladolid, and Athletic Bilbao vs. Malaga. 

    Deportivo La Coruna host Sevilla to close out round five on Monday.

    SOURCE: AP


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