LA LIGA REVIEW

New Year’s resolutions

Nine teams make winning starts to 2013, crowned by Rayo Vallecano's rousing 3-1 victory over Getafe

All teams resolve to make a winning start to the New Year, but not everyone can get their well-fed frames out of the traps at a suitable speed. Apart from Mallorca and Atlético Madrid, who tied at the former's Iberostar stadium, the other nine first-division fixtures to open 2013 saw one team rack up all three points, with Rayo Vallecano ending the round on Monday night with a rousing 3-1 win over lethargic guest Getafe.

The game was possibly the best we have played until now"

"The game was possibly the best we have played until now. The first half was better than we are used to," said Rayo coach Paco Jémez. "We created chances and if we had been more accurate, we could have scored even more." Getafe's Luis García Plaza found himself in agreement with his southern Madrid rival, suggesting the home team should have "won by a greater margin" after "the worst match" in his 18 months in charge of the Blues.

Rayo now rises to a giddy seventh place, two points behind fellow overachieving underfunded club Levante, which, against Athletic Bilbao last weekend, maintained the admirable resolve and no-nonsense approach that saw it earn a European berth last year. Marcelo Bielsa's Basque experiment shows no sign of clicking any time soon, and unsettled star Fernando Llorente was again a mere substitute in the 3-1 defeat at Levante. Real Sociedad will take heart from its 4-3 loss at Real Madrid, Espanyol will simply turn the page after another one-sided Barcelona derby, but Málaga will be disappointed to have given Deportivo a breather, which leaves Osasuna bottom after a 1-0 loss at Sevilla.

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