The big three all won their opening games of the season in La Liga as Barcelona began the post-Lionel Messi era with three points.
Barcelona began the post-Lionel Messi era in the best possible way as they defeated Real Sociedad 4-2 at home on Sunday evening.
Gerard Pique headed home from a free-kick by Memphis Depay on 19 minutes, the Dutchman only playing because the veteran defender agreed to take a pay-cut that allowed Barca’s new signings to be registered.
Martin Braithwaite doubled the advantage just before half time, heading past the goalkeeper at the back post from a right-wing cross by Frenkie de Jong. And Braithwaite fired in his second and Barca’s third just shy of the hour after Jordi Alba’s shot had been parried into his path.
Real Sociedad gave Barca a late scare with two goals in the last 10 minutes through Julen Lobote and a brilliant Mikel Oyarzabal free kick.
But Braithwaite completed a fantastic personal display by assisting Sergi Roberto in injury time to calm the nerves.
Champions Atletico Madrid also began with a victory in an ill-tempered clash at Celta Vigo that saw two red cards and nine yellows.
Angel Correa scored twice for Atletico, while Iago Aspas found the net from the penalty spot for the hosts.
On Saturday, the big news was Real Madrid opening with an impressive 4-1 victory over Alaves.
Karim Benzema scored twice, while Nacho Hernandez and Vinicius Junior also found the scoresheet.
A Carlos Soler penalty was enough for Valencia as they defeated Getafe 1-0, despite being down to 10 men from the third minute as Hugo Guillamon was given his marching orders. Getafe also finished the game with 10 when Erick Cabaco was sent off with 14 minutes left.
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