Real Madrid begun their first LaLiga campaign under Julen Lopetegui with a 2-0 win over Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In the first league game since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus, Gareth Bale seized his chance to impress, setting up Dani Carvajal for the opening goal before scoring the second himself after the break.
Lopetegui suffered a 4-2 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in his first competitive game in charge, but a 10th league win in a row over Getafe looked likely once Carvajal broke the deadlock.
Madrid, who started Keylor Navas over Thibaut Courtois in goal, were not quite firing on all cylinders but never looked likely to throw away a result given Getafe did not manage a shot until the 69th minute.
Bale, starting wide on the right, hit the bar with a diving header early on before Carvajal made it 1-0 20 minutes in, nodding the ball over David Soria after the keeper had punched Bale's cross half-clear.
Getafe handed them a second goal six minutes after the restart, when Bale's shot was parried into the net by Soria after Marco Asensio had stolen the ball from centre-back Djene Dakonam, giving Lopetegui a satisfactory start to life in the top flight.
What it means: Positive signs but plenty of work for Lopetegui
There was always going to be a period of adjustment for Madrid in the post-Zinedine Zidane era, and this victory inside a half-full Santiago Bernabeu underlined as much.
Madrid looked slick at times but Lopetegui's fluid system is not yet in full flow. The central midfielders seemed reluctant to move forward and support Karim Benzema and, with Bale and Asensio sticking to their wings, it left the striker very isolated against the Getafe back four at times.
That said, they restricted the visitors to almost no chances whatsoever and certainly deserved to take all three points. Lopetegui will be judged primarily on these early results, especially since Barcelona were allowed to build a lead in the title race from the very start of last season, so any victory will be considered a positive.
Pat on the back: Bale ready to pick up Ronaldo mantle
This season will be a pivotal one in Bale's Real Madrid career, as he finally no longer needs to play in the shadow of Ronaldo, and he has got off to an ideal start.
Soria did not cover himself in glory with the way he dealt with the Wales star's cross for Carvajal or his second-half finish, but a goal and an assist in the opening league match is not to be sniffed at.
11 - Gareth Bale’s last 11 shots on target for Real Madrid in all comps:— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 19, 2018
Boot up the backside: Dismal outing for Dakonam
Dakonam was linked with a big-money move to Leicester City during the English transfer window, but Foxes fans will not be too disappointed to have missed out on the defender based on this performance.
The centre-back was booked in the first half for a poor challenge on Karim Benzema as the striker left him for dead with a stepover, and it was his dawdling at the back that allowed Asensio to set up Bale for the crucial second goal.
Key Opta facts
98% - Toni Kroos completed 98% of his passes against Getafe (116/118), the highest percentage of any Real Madrid player in a La Liga game with 100+ passes attempted (since 2005/06). Control. pic.twitter.com/wTzXtGj3bN— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 19, 2018
- Gareth Bale has scored eight goals in his last eight games for Real Madrid in all competitions, with only 11 shots on target.
- Real Madrid have scored with both of their first shots on target in LaLiga this season.
- Dani Carvajal has scored his first goal for Real Madrid in all competitions since August 2016 (against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup) and his first in LaLiga since April 2014 (against Osasuna). Both were headers.
- Real Madrid have not lost at home on the opening matchday of a LaLiga season since 1984 (0-3 against Barcelona), remaining unbeaten in their 15 home games since that defeat (W11 D4).
Madrid head to Catalonia next Sunday to take on Girona, who started their season with a 0-0 draw against Real Valladolid.
Getafe host Eibar next, a side they beat 1-0 in April in their last meeting.
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|
|Nadal and Federer march on as rising stars prosper|
|Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay|
|Inter forward Keita suffers thigh injury|
|Nadal races into third round with easy Ebden win|
|Kimmich ´perfect´ for Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades´ rout of Sixers|
|This Liverpool isn´t a team of chokers – Mane|
|Central Coast Mariners 2 Melbourne City 1: Late Simon winner ends 10-match losing streak|
|Bryan backs Murray to return after hip resurfacing surgery|
|Scotland coach Townsend turns to trio of uncapped hookers|
|Spurs´ Aurier arrested on suspicion of assault, released without charge|
|That was a fireworks show - Warriors revel in record-breaking first quarter|
|We are in talks with Chelsea – Salihamidzic reiterates interest in Hudson-Odoi|
|´Proud´ Messi recognises impact of team-mates after reaching 400 LaLiga goals|
|Henry v Vieira: The Arsene Wenger proteges to move into coaching|
|Federer enjoys ´cat and mouse´ win over Evans|
|Wozniacki cruises through in Melbourne|
|Federer maintains perfect Australian Open second-round record|
|Warriors set NBA record, Butler´s 76ers rout Timberwolves|
|´I like the fact we beat them´ - 76ers´ Butler revels in win over Timberwolves|
|Murray says he´ll ´probably´ have operation|
|Australian Open tribute for Andy Murray surprises brother Jamie|
|Warriors score NBA record 51 points in first quarter against Nuggets|
|Panthers owner Tepper doesn´t rule out Newton missing 2019 because of shoulder injury|
|De Ligt will be world´s best centre-back – Koeman|
|Ronaldo a ´perfect machine´, says Gattuso|
|Barcelona? I can´t say anything - Stuani|
|Silva upbeat about Man City title chances|
|Celtics youngsters say Irving´s callout ´came from a good place´|
|NFL playoffs: Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady|
|NFL playoffs: Jared Goff v Drew Brees|
|Sixers sign Brewer to 10-day contract|
|Lozano and Morgan scoop CONCACAF awards|
|Lakers ´optimistic´ about LeBron injury|
|Giants produce mammoth fourth quarter against Nymburk|
|Austin FC to join MLS in 2021|
|Henry, Vieira look forward to reunion when Monaco host Nice|
|Barcelona reject Neymar phone call reports|
|Wentz is the quarterback ´going forward´, says Eagles coach Pederson|
|Gattuso: Higuain has not asked to leave|
|Drew Brees by the Opta numbers: 10 facts for QB´s milestone birthday|
|Harry Kane injury: England captain´s history of ankle woe|
|Harry Kane injury: Opta numbers suggest Spurs struggles|
|Harry Kane injury: Tottenham´s options in striker´s absence|
|Allegri: Supercoppa clash practice for Champions League knockouts|
|First in clean sheets, second to Schmeichel in titles – Cech´s Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Warrington sign England star Widdop|
|Gatland confident Wales can win Six Nations|
|Fulham sign Netherlands international Babel|
|Harry Kane injury: Games the Tottenham striker will miss|
|Simeone focused on matches, not transfer dealings|
|Iran v Iraq: Pressure off for Queiroz & Katanec|
|Vietnam v Yemen: Kocian keeps the faith|
|Darren Bravo back in West Indies Test side for first time since 2016|
|Kane out until March with ankle injury|
|South Korea v China: Son arrives for Group C dead rubber|
|Kyrgyzstan v Philippines: Eriksson remains hopeful|
|McGrath to miss Six Nations, Sexton nearing fitness|
|Kohli savours Dhoni ´classic´|
|Ford: People obsess over Farrell fly-half battle|
|EFL asks Leeds to explain ´spygate´ scandal|
|No alarms for Djokovic and Zverev, Raonic masters Kyrgios|