Messi leads Barca rout of Levante
Barcelona, Spain (Sports Network) - Gerardo Martino couldn't have asked for a better start to his time at Barcelona as the manager watched Lionel Messi and Pedro score two goals apiece in a 7-0 romp over Levante at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
Barca netted six of its seven goals in a dominant first-half display before taking its foot off the pedal a bit in the second 45 minutes.
Alexis Sanchez tallied the opening goal inside of three minutes to cap a brilliant build up after taking a pass from Cesc Fabregas, who had a hand in more than half of Barcelona's goals on Sunday.
Messi doubled the lead in the 12th minute after a one-two with Fabregas, and Dani Alves scored midway through the opening half on a rebound to make it 3-0.
Pedro latched on to a fine through ball from Messi to net Barca's fourth goal, while Adriano was brought down inside the penalty area, allowing Messi to fire home his second goal of the game from the spot.
Xavi capped the first-half scoring binge by taking down a lobbed ball from Fabregas before beating the goalkeeper, while Pedro was the lone scorer after the break with another pass from Fabregas.
Real Madrid 2, Real Betis 1
Madrid, Spain - Real Madrid survived a nervous start to the season as Isco scored the winning goal in the 86th minute of his debut to lift Madrid to a 2-1 victory over Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Betis grabbed a surprising lead in the 14th when Jorge Molina finished off a low cross from Cedric, while Madrid came close to leveling the game as Cristiano Ronaldo struck the post in the 23rd.
Isco set up the equalizer for Karim Benzema a few minutes later, but Madrid failed to build on goal and was fortunate to still be level at the break when Nosa's header smashed off the crossbar for Betis.
Ronaldo hit the crossbar in the opening minute of the second half for Madrid, but Isco came to the rescue four minutes from time by turning a header past goalkeeper Stephan Andersen from a nice delivery by Marcelo.
Atletico Madrid 3, Sevilla 1
Seville, Spain - Diego Costa scored a goal in each half to help Atletico Madrid to a 3-1 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday in a matchup of European hopefuls.
David Villa nearly scored 24 minutes into his Atletico debut, but his shot struck the post, while Costa scored in the 35th to put the visitors in front when Miranda flicked on a corner kick that allowed him to score from a few yards.
Sevilla answered back in less than two minutes with a rocket of a shot from Diego Perotti, who found the top corner of the net from well outside the penalty area.
But Atletico seized all three points with two goals in the final 11 minutes, the first coming from Costa after he was set up by Koke.
Cristian Rodriguez capped the scoring in stoppage time for Atletico on the break when he was played in on goal by Leo Baptistao.
Granada 2, Osasuna 1
Navarra, Spain - Granada secured three points to start its season on Sunday with a 2-1 triumph at Osasuna in a battle of teams that just barely survived the drop last season.
The visitors got off to a good start by scoring twice in the first half as Youssef El Arabi and Hassan Yebda were both on target.
El Arabi finished off a cross from Allan Nyom in the 38th minute to put his side into the lead, while Yebda struck in first-half stoppage time with a header.
Francisco Punal took advantage of a failed clearance to pull Osasuna to within a goal, while a missed penalty kick from Granada's Piti shortly after didn't prove costly as the visitors held on for the win.
08/18 19:03:10 ET