Victories for Barca and Real

Gerardo Martino got his reign at Barcelona off to a flying start with a 7-0 win over Levante, Carlo Ancelotti began life in charge at the Bernabeu beating Real Betis 2-1, while there were wins for Granada and Atletico Madrid on the second day of the 2013/14 La Liga season.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 23:57 Post Comment

Barcelona: Celebrate getting Gerardo Martino's reign off to a winning start

Barcelona: Celebrate getting Gerardo Martino's reign off to a winning start

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The current holders wasted no time in kick-starting the new campaign with Alexis Sanchez slotting home on the third minute after some unselfish play by Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish midfielder, who put in a Man of the Match display, was then involved as Lionel Messi doubled the lead with a neat finish.

Brazilian full-back Dani Alves then made it three after Fabregas' effort fell into his path for a simple tap-in before Messi played in Pedro to fire into the bottom corner. With the interval approaching, Messi made it five from the penalty spot after Adriano was brought down inside of the area and Xavi added a sixth moments later with Fabregas involved yet again.

The second-half only saw Barcelona add one more goal - Pedro applying a simple finish after a mix-up in the Levante defence - but it did see summer signing Neymar make his long-awaited league debut, much to the delight of the home crowd. But he was unable to add to the score line as Barcelona started their season exactly where they finished last time around.

Another manager taking charge of his first La Liga game was Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid. The Italian endured a majorly frustrating evening but he watched his side leave it late to secure a 2-1 win at home to Real Betis, thanks to a header from summer signing Isco.

Against the odds it was the visitors who took the lead. 31-year old striker Jorge Molina converted from close-range following an industrious run into the area by Cedric, who left Sergio Ramos chasing shadows. Having already had a goal disallowed in the opening minutes, Real were denied by the offside flag once again as Damien Perquis put the ball through his own net.

Betis threatened to double their lead with Cedric causing all sorts of problems in attack, but Karim Benzema's cool finish levelled the tie midway through the first-half as the hosts began to dominate proceedings at the Bernabeu. Cristiano Ronaldo had a number of opportunities to fire his side in front, but it was the debutant, Isco, who headed home a Marcelo cross minutes from time to seal the three points.

Elsewhere, in a clash between two sides who narrowly avoided relegation last season, Granada got their season off to a flying start with a win away to Osasuna.

After an evenly-matched opening, the visitors eventually found themselves in front late in the first-half through a Youssef El-Arabi strike. Former Portsmouth midfielder Hassan Yebda then doubled their advantage in stoppage time to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

Osasuna pressed to change the course of the game and it was their influential captain, Francisco Punal, who was able to claw a goal back just before the hour mark. His effort ensured a nervy finish for Granada, but Lucas Alcaraz' men held on to get their campaign off to a winning start.

In the late kick-off, there was disappointment for Sevilla as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Atletico Madrid with Diego Costa grabbing a brace.

Costa, who had played a supporting role to Radamel Falcao last season, took centre-stage with the opening goal of the game 10 minutes before half-time only for Diego Perotti to hit back with an instant equaliser.

But Costa found the winner with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the second-half and Cristian Rodriguez capped it off with a third in injury-time.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e'll be fine, no problem. If they do get relegated, he's definitely going to ask how anyone could ever have thought that Villa were going to be fine given their problems before he came.

treeman1
Premier League Winners And Losers

S

toke though. Hmn. I don't think it was defending that made people dislike Stoke so much as the out and out cheating/nastiness they regularly displayed. That, and they kept buying the odd flair player and then ruining them (Oh! Tuncay, what were you thinking?).

megabrow (cufc)
Being Defensive About Being Defensive...

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

Footer 365

Chelsea captain John Terry says he is fighting to earn a new contract at Stamford Bridge

John Terry says he is fighting to earn a new contract at Chelsea and does not see himself ever playing for another club.

FA planning to send men's and women's GB teams to 2016 Olympics

FA are planning to send men's and women's Great Britain teams to compete in the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio.

Tottenham announce that legend and former captain Dave Mackay has died

Tottenham have announced that their former captain Dave Mackay has died. He was 80.

Mail Box

Henderson The Best Midfielder In PL?

Jordan Henderson is named by two afternoon Mailboxers as the PL's best midfielder, while another suggests Man United are trying to emulate Barca...

Jose Settles Most Boring Team Debate...

There's lots of reaction to Chelsea and Liverpool's wins on Sunday, plus one Mailboxer asking: Who is the Premier League's best midfielder?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company