Tito Vilanova, who replaces Pep Guardiola at the Barcelona helm, had a wonderful debut
Barcelona thrashed Real Sociedad 5-1 on Sunday with two goals from Lionel Messi and one each for Carles Puyol, Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa, in his first game back after eight months out.
The victory at Camp Nou came after champions Real Madrid started their title defence with a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia.
Barca’s La Liga opener under new coach Tito Vilanova saw them 4-1 ahead by half-time with Messi in sparkling form.
“I’m not sure what I will remember in the future about my debut. There were many things, the first 15 minutes we were strong and scored three goals and the appearance of David (Villa) and his goal were all very positive,” said Vilanova who has succeeded Pep Guardiola at the Barcelona helm.
Puyol powered home a header from a corner on two minutes before Chori Castro finished off a sweeping move to level for Sociedad.
Messi added a double in four minutes to kill off the opposition, his first coming when he squeezed past two defenders to power home.
For his second he latched on to a loose ball to hit home and he nearly had three within six minutes when a header went just high.
Barca were enjoying up to 80 percent of possession and their passing play paid off on the stroke of half-time when Cesc Fabregas and Jonathen Tello combined to provide for Pedro to finish well.
The introduction of Villa on 75 minutes brought the crowd to its feet and he only had to wait nine minutes to get his reward, finishing off an Andres Iniesta pass.
Real Madrid’s title defence got off to a stuttering start when they dropped two crucial home points in a 1-1 draw with Valencia on a hot Sunday night in the Spanish capital.
Gonzalo Higuain put Real ahead on nine minutes before Jonas Goncalves equalised just before the interval for a plucky Valencia side.
Di Maria took advantage of a very high Valencia defensive line to float a perfect pass through to Higuain who found himself alone in front of Diego Alves in the Valencia goal.
He had so much time that the Valencia bench were convinced he was in an offside position and he saw two shots blocked by the Brazilian before finally converting at the third attempt to grab Madrid’s first goal of the season.
Attacking sorties were so rare for Valencia that it was completely out of the blue when the equaliser came on 41 minutes. Tino Costa floated a free-kick towards the home team’s penalty spot and Jonas emerged out of a group of players to head home.AFP
I’m not sure what I will remember in the future about my debut. There were many things, the first 15 minutes we were strong and scored three goals and the appearance of David and his goal were all very positive