Madrid: Title-hopefuls Deportivo La Coruna needed a late Walter Pandiani header to claim a 1-1 draw with 10-man Espanyol on the opening day of the Spanish league season on Saturday.
Deportivo, who finished third last term and also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, fell behind in the 23rd minute when Raul Tamudo tucked in a penalty after being brought down by goalkeeper Jose Molina.
Espanyol had midfielder Ivan de la Pena sent off with over half an hour to go but stuttering Deportivo hardly threatened a comeback until Pandiani swooped to convert a Pedro Munitis cross from the left with 12 minutes to go.
Atletico Madrid were quickly into their stride in the league with a smart 2-0 win at home to Malaga on Saturday.
In Germany, two goals each from Brazilian forward Franca and Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov sent Bayer Leverkusen to the top of Bundesliga with a 4-1 win over Bayern Munich on Saturday.
Franca set up Berbatov with a ball from deep in midfield that allowed the Bulgarian to slip his shot past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.