MADRID, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — FC Barcelona enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Villarreal to give Ronald Koeman a winning start to his reign as coach in a game where 18-year-old Ansu Fati once again showed he is the natural successor to Leo Messi.
Messi was the center of attention at the start of the game after his attempt to leave the club over the summer and Friday’s criticism of the decision to sell Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid, but Fati was the hero of the game, scoring in the 15th and 19th minute and then winning a penalty to allow Messi to add a third in a thrilling first half performance.
The game was over as a contest in the 45th minute after Pau Torres put the ball into his own net to make it 4-0 and the second half was an anti-climax, although it allowed Ousmane Dembele to return after injury and new signings Pedri, Miralem Pjanic and Francisco Trincao to make their Barca debuts.
Earlier in the day Suarez scored twice and provided an assist on his Atletico Madrid debut, just four days after arriving from Barcelona as Atletico began their campaign with an impressive 6-1 victory at home to Granada.
The Uruguayan came into the game as a 65th minute substitute with the score already 3-0 thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Angel Correa and the impressive Joao Felix. Suarez began his cameo with a pass to set up Marcos Llorente to make it 4-0 before heading home Atletico’s fifth and then hitting their sixth after Jorge Molina had scored a consolation goal for Granada who had won all of their games before travelling to Madrid.
Sevilla came back from a goal down to get their season underway with a 3-1 win away to Cadiz.
Julen Lopetegui’s side who were slightly unlucky to lose to Bayern Munich in the European Supercup in midweek, fell behind to Salvi Sanchez’s opener for the recently promoted side, but hit back strongly in the last 25 minutes to take all three points thanks to goals from Luuk de Jong, Munir and Ivan Rakitic (another player to leave Barca this summer).
Midfielder Unai Lopez scored twice as Athletic Club Bilbao won 2-1 away to Eibar.
Unai opened the scoring with a carefully placed shot following a swift break in the 40th minute and, although Kike Garcia equalized for Eibar three minutes into the second half, the midfielder popped up again to finish the best move of the game three minutes from time to deservedly send the points back to Bilbao.
Levante won the first game in Osasuna’s remodeled El Sadar Stadium thanks to goals from Gonzalo Melero, Roger Marti and Jose Luis Morales to overturn Roberto Torres’ opener for Osasuna.
Valladolid and Celta drew 1-1 with Sergi Guardiola’s 66th minute penalty cancelling out Iago Aspas’ 44th minute strike for Celta.
Real Madrid won 3-2 away to Betis on Saturday after a disastrous few minutes from Betis defender Emerson.
Emerson scored an own goal in the 48th minute of the game to make it 2-2 after goals from Aissa Mandi and William Carvalho overturned Fede Valverde’s 14th minute opener for Real Madrid.
The defender was then shown a direct red card in the 67th minute for bringing down Luka Jovic, when the striker looked to be through on goal to leave Betis with 10 men.
Sergio Ramos won the game for Madrid with an 82nd minute penalty awarded through VAR after Marc Bartra was judged to have handled a ball from Borja Mayoral, although nobody had appealed for the foul.
Real Sociedad ruined Elche’s return to the top flight as they won 3-0 in Elche’s Martin Valero stadium with second half goals from Portu, Adnan Januzaj and Roberto Lopez.
Valencia were held 1-1 at home to recently promoted Huesca in a game the visiting side probably deserved to win, but had to settle for Dimitrio Siovas’ header cancelling out Daniel Wass’ fortunate opener for the home side. The first game of the day saw Alaves draw 0-0 at home to Getafe in a game where the first half was more open than the second.