Barca extend unbeaten start

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Barcelona kept their place at the top of the Primera Division and maintained their 100 per cent start to the season by beating Levante 4-1 at the Nou Camp.

The visitors managed to keep the Spanish champions at bay until half-time, but Marc Bartra soon broke the deadlock before a double from Lionel Messi, who also missed a penalty, and a goal from Neymar increased Barca’s advantage. Victor Casadesus netted a consolation for Levante.

Villarreal enjoyed a familiar story of success after notching up their third 3-1 victory in a row to keep themselves level on points with Real Madrid.

Athletic Bilbao were the victims this time, following on from Espanyol and Granada, and the Basque side were never in the match.

Bruno Soriano’s penalty, Mario’s 25-yard thunderbolt and a Leo Baptistao header put the Yellow Submarine three goals up, with Aritz Aduriz heading a stoppage-time consolation for Bilbao.

Sevilla’s miserable start rolled on as they were beaten 2-1 at home by high-flying Celta Vigo.

Goals from Nolito and Daniel Wass gave the visitors a two-goal cushion at half-time, while Fernando Llorente scored his first goal for Sevilla early in the second period to bring Unai Emery’s side back into the game.

Sporting Gijon picked up their first win by seeing off local rivals Deportivo La Coruna 3-2.

Roma loanee Antonio Sanabria scored twice in the opening eight minutes to get the visitors off to a fantastic start, but the Galicians fought their way back through goals by Juanfran and Luis Alberto, only for Alex Menendez to restore Sporting’s lead 11 minutes before the break.

Deportivo dominated the second half but were unable to find another equaliser, although Lucas Perez struck the woodwork and Alberto saw a curling shot go narrowly wide.

Javi Guerra’s first goal for Rayo Vallecano kick-started their campaign as they also registered a first win, beating Las Palmas 1-0.

Guerra, who joined Los Franjirrojos as a free agent on transfer deadline day, converted Roberto Trashorra’s pass four minutes before the break and that proved the decisive moment of the match.

Karim Benzema scored the only goal as Real Madrid were made to sweat to see off a bold Granada side 1-0 on Saturday at the Bernabeu.

The Frenchman headed in a cross from Isco nine minutes into the second half to break the deadlock against the dogged Andalusians, who had what looked to be a legitimate goal from Youssef El Arabi ruled out for offside and squandered a number of clear scoring chances.

Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to add to the eight goals he had scored in his last two matches and will have to wait at least until Madrid’s trip to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday to become the club’s all-time top scorer.

Diego Simeone’s second-half changes proved inspired as substitutes Fernando Torres and Angel Correa both scored in a hard-fought 2-0 win for Atletico Madrid at Eibar.

Argentinian youngster Correa opened the scoring two minutes after coming off the bench by taking advantage of a pass from Torres, and he later returned the favour for the Spaniard, who sealed the points for Atletico with 12 minutes to go.

Valencia’s underwhelming start to the Primera Division season continued as they were held to a goalless draw at their Mestalla home by Real Betis, who played most of the second half with 10 men.

Midfielder Dani Ceballos was dismissed after 48 minutes for the visitors, and although Valencia took the initiative for much of what remained of the game, they failed to create many clear chances.

A stoppage-time goal from Hernan Perez saw Espanyol sneak past 10-man Real Sociedad 3-2 for their second win of the season.

In an enthralling encounter, Sociedad led after 19 minutes through Imanol Agirretxe before Gerard Moreno levelled from the penalty spot moments after goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli had been sent off.

Espanyol then went ahead thanks to Enzo Roco’s 71st-minute strike but Jonathas looked to have secured a point for the home side with his equaliser four minutes from time.

However, there was late drama to come as Roco supplied the ball which was finished by Perez in the final minute, snatching a win for Espanyol which banished memories of last weekend’s 6-0 hammering to Real Madrid.

Defeat for Sociedad means David Moyes’ side have yet to win in the league this season.

On Friday, Stefan Scepovic’s early effort was enough to hand Getafe their first points of the new season with a 1-0 win over Malaga.

The Serbian striker rose in the visitors’ box to head home a right wing cross from Victor Rodriguez and get his side’s season up and running.

 

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