The Spanish La Liga season kicked off with a flurry of goals as reigning league champions FC Barcelona were quick to make it clear they will not surrender the title they have won for the past two seasons without a fight.
Both Leo Messi and Luis Suarez hit the ground running with Messi scoring twice, while Suarez netted the first hat-trick of the campaign in Barca’s 6-2 thrashing of Betis. Arda Turn opened the scoring for Barca, while Ruben Castro scored two consolation goals in what was almost certainly Barca keeper, Claudio Bravo’s last game for the club.
If Barca’s game produced 8 goals, the match between Sevilla and Espanyol went 2 better and treated fans to 10 as Sevilla ran out 6-4 winners in an end to end game. A brace from Luciano Vietto helped Jorge Sampaoli’s side to their first win under the new coach, while Espanyol also contributed to what is certain to be one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Gareth Bale needed just 80 seconds to show an impressive Real Madrid will present a fierce challenge for this year’s title as he scored his side’s first goal in their 3-0 win away to Real Sociedad.
Youngster Marcos Asenso added a second before halftime and Bale made it 3-0 with the very last kick of the game to round off an impressive league debut from his side.
Atletico Madrid dropped two points, however in their league opener following a dramatic end to their game at home to newly promoted Deportivo Alaves.
Kevin Gameiro must have thought his 92nd minute penalty had given Diego Simeone’s side the points after Fernando Torres had been fouled in the area, but Alaves stunned the home crowd as Manu Torres snatched an equalizer in the fifth minute of injury time to assure an unlikely share of the points.
Sporting Gijon kicked off with a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in a game where the main talking point was the decision by referee Clos Gomez to momentarily halt the play as the result of a section of Sporting fans committing racist insults at Athletic forward, Inaki Williams.
Villarreal prepared for next week’s Champions League qualification round game away to Monaco with a 1-1 draw in Granada. Samu Castillejo opened the scoring for the visitors after 61 minutes, but his goal was quickly cancelled out by a strike from Ponce.
The league opened on Friday as newly promoted Osasuna overcame the heat in Malaga to claim a 1-1 draw, while Lucas Perez’s 87th minute penalty saw him carry on his goalscoring form from last season and give Deportivo la Coruna win at home to Eibar in their first game under former Eibar coach Gaizka Garitano.