Promoted Villarreal are the surprise team in La Liga after three rounds of games, joining last season’s top three on maximum points after the weekend’s matches. Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as Barcelona overcame Valencia 3-2, while Real Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1 with an Isco double.
Goals from Jeremy Perbet, Javier Aquino and Ikechukwu Uche put a smile on the face of Villarreal coach Marcelino as the Yellow Submarine won 3-0 at Osasuna, who are bottom of the table having lost all three games so far.
Messi was on target in the 11th minute at Mestalla and again in the 39th minute, before firing home a pass from Neymar to complete his treble two minutes later. Valencia hit back with two goals from Helder Postiga before half-time. Barca hung on for the win after a goalless second half.
Meanwhile, Isco continues to build his reputation at the Bernabeu, striking twice against Athletic, either side of Ronaldo’s thumping header in first-half stoppage time. Ibai Gomez responded for Athletic, but it was too little too late for the Basque side.
David Villa sent Atletico Madrid on the way to a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad. Koke added a second and although Xabi Prieto pulled one back for La Real, Atleti took the points to maintain their perfect start to the campaign.
Sevilla and Malaga shared four goals in the Andalucian derby at the Sanchez Pizjuan. The visitors twice had the lead, through Pedro Morales and Roque Santa Cruz, with Kevin Gameiro equalising twice for Sevilla. Malaga’s Duda received a straight red at the end of the match as his side took their first point of the campaign.
There was a similar scoreline at the Juegos Mediterraneos, where newly promoted sides Almeria and Elche shared the points. The home team were twice ahead with goals from Fernando Soriano and Verza, but Elche hit back each time, Eduardo Albacar’s goal and a stoppage time strike from Yiadom Boakye robbing Almeria, who had Sebastian Dubarbier sent off, of a first win.
Levante earned their first victory with a 2-1 win at Rayo Vallecano. Ruben Garcia’s first-half strike for Levante was cancelled out by Joaquin Larravey 11 minutes from time, but Andreas Ivanschitz stole the points for the visitors deep into stoppage time after Rayo’s Lass Bangoura had seen red for violent conduct.
Rafinha was on target for Celta Vigo, who drew 1-1 with Granada, for whom Piti scored a second-half leveller, while Espanyol and Real Betis played out a goalless draw at Cornella-El Prat.