Hat-trick for Soldado in opener
Roberto Soldado made a blistering start to the new season with his hat-trick helping Getafe claim a comfortable 4-1 victory at Racing Santander. Rafa Lopez was also on target for the visitors, with Medhi Lacen's goal the only bright spot for a Racing side who were dismantled in the first 35 minutes.
New Racing coach Juan Carlos Mandia had already warned his players of the threat posed by Getafe's strike-force before a ball had been kicked at Estadio El Sardinero. And alarm bells should have been ringing in the home defence when Daniel Parejo's 12th-minute effort fell just wide of the left post.
Yet Racing still found themselves trailing moments later. Mandia's men failed to deal with Adrian Gonzalez's in-swinging corner from the right allowing Rafa to find some space and head home from a few yards out.
Racing's back-line was looking ragged and a corner from Parejo after 19 minutes caused further panic before midfielder Manuel Arana cleared the danger. But Getafe were proving more than a handful and they doubled their lead after 28 minutes from the boot of Soldado, who nipped into the area before nestling a shot into the bottom left corner.
Soldado was unfortunate not to add another four minutes later, when the former Real Madrid striker had his curling right-footed strike blocked on the line by goalkeeper Antonio Tono. But he got the better of Racing's defence again after 34 minutes and this time it paid dividends, with a low right-footed effort finding the left corner from ten yards.
It took the home side 38 minutes to register their first shot on goal, but Oscar Ustari was alert to Arana's drive and managed to get his body behind the ball. However, Racing reduced the arrears two minutes before the interval when Lacen smashed a 25-yard strike into the bottom left corner. Getafe coach Michel, who helped the club avoid relegation last season, would have been delighted with his team's first-half performance up front.
The visitors continued to get forward in numbers after the restart, and although Tono did well to keep out Parejo's shot from distance, the Racing keeper conceded a fourth goal after 55 minutes. Again it was Soldado, Getafe's top scorer last season, who found the target with another low drive that flew into the bottom right corner.
That put the result beyond doubt and the match quickly descended into a scrappy affair, with Ustari, Soldado and Jose Manuel Mane all going in the referee's book for the visitors within a ten-minute spell.
The fight had completely gone out of Racing and only Arana seemed interested in trying to salvage something from the match. But the midfielder had one shot from distance saved by Ustari, while another 20-yard strike five minutes from time landed wide of the mark.