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Alex Baena nets brace as Villarreal thrash Valladolid to begin season with a bang

The Yellows are off the mark already

Real Valladolid CF v Villarreal CF - LaLiga Santander
Baena was the star of the show
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Villarreal are off to a winning start after seeing off Valladolid in their season opener.

The Yellow Submarine are on the road for their first three La Liga outings due to an arrangement with La Liga in the wake of construction works at Estadio de la Ceramica.

But being away on the opening day certainly did not phase Unai Emery’s men, who were clinical against newly promoted Valladolid.

The Yellows largely controlled the action, with Geronimo Rulli only really called into one high level save.

Villarreal had to wait until the second half to take the lead, with Yeremy Pino’s slightly deflected cross finding its way to Nicolas Jackson, who tapped home from close range.

Jackson looks as though he is going to play a big part this season, and this is the start he would have dreamed of.

Another player set for an increased role is Alex Baena, who won the race over Moi Gomez, who was let go as a result.

Real Valladolid CF v Villarreal CF - LaLiga Santander
Jackson was also on target
Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

And Baena also got off to a superb start, first finding the bottom corner with an inch-perfect effort.

He then went one better with an outrageous strike from distance, cannoning one off the inside of the crossbar to find the top corner.

That one will undoubtedly be the goal of the weekend in La Liga, and Villarreal may well end up with the biggest win of the opening weekend.

Of course, there was the odd rusty moment, as you would expect on opening day, but Villarreal looked much improved on the attacking side of the ball, having struggled against so-called lesser opposition last season.

Baena enjoyed an excellent performance, and the Yellows still have the creative Giovani Lo Celso to add to the mix, with the loan signing of the Tottenham star set to be finalised next week.

So far, so good.