La Liga review: Barcelona continue 100% start as Lionel Messi turns into supersub


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The Independent Football

Lionel Messi climbed off the bench to score twice while his fellow substitute David Villa was again on the mark as Barcelona continued their 100% start to the new Primera Division season with a 4-1 victory over Getafe.

Adriano capitalised on good work by Cesc Fabregas to notch a 32nd-minute opener before the visitors added three more goals in the final 16 minutes to seal their fourth win in four league outings.

Messi doubled the lead from the penalty spot before the Argentina ace made it 3-0 four minutes later. Getafe pulled a goal back through Pablo Sarabia's deflected strike but Villa had the final word with a brilliant piece of finishing in stoppage time to complete the scoring.

Getafe came into the game on the back of victory over defending champions Real Madrid who sank to a successive defeat, losing 1-0 at Sevilla to fall eight points behind Barca.

Piotr Trochowski lashed home after 69 seconds and Madrid could not find a response, instead counting themselves lucky that not one but two of their players avoided red cards that could easily have been shown to Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria in separate incidents.

Madrid had scored 12 goals combined in their last two visits to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but only fleetingly threatened the goal here as they looked lost in their own uncertainties for long periods.

Valencia earned their first league victory at the fourth time of asking after easing past newly-promoted Celta Vigo 2-1 at the Mestalla.

Sofiane Feghouli gave Valencia an early lead and although Celta equalised soon after through Michael Krohn-Delhi, the hosts claimed the points thanks to Aly Cissokho's 50th-minute winner.

Valencia, who have finished third in each of the last three seasons, had only managed to pick up two points from a tough start to the campaign which included trips to big two Real and Barca.

Malaga maintained their unbeaten start to the league campaign with a comfortable 3-1 win over Levante thanks to goals from Javier Saviola, Joaquin and Francisco Portillo.

Saviola deservedly put the hosts in front after 26 minutes with a simple finish from Isco's fine through ball, but Levante were level a minute after half-time when Michel thundered in from outside the area.

However, Malaga's lead was restored 12 minutes later when Saviola's cute pass found Joaquin free inside the area and his calm finish gave Gustavo Munua no chance.

And, despite losing Sergio Sanchez to a second yellow card three minutes from time, Portillo sealed all three points with a controlled volley in the last action of the match.

Atletico Madrid almost threw away a four-goal lead against Rayo Vallecano but held on to edge a thrilling encounter 4-3.

Mario Suarez gave the home side the lead after 29 minutes before Koke, Arda Turan and Falcao, from the penalty spot, all scored between the 49th and 56th minute.

An apparent lost cause was nearly salvaged when Andrija Delibasic (82, 85) scored a brace off the bench and Leo took advantage of slack defending in the closing moments, but Atletico held on.

Real Mallorca kept their unbeaten start to the season going with a 1-1 draw away at Osasuna.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men as Jose Nunes and Joseba Llorente were sent off following a 35th-minute clash before Kike Sola headed Osasuna ahead with 20 minutes to go.

Tomer Hemed responded with his fourth goal of the campaign eight minutes later.

Second-half efforts from Inigo Martinez and Carlos Vela handed Real Sociedad a 2-0 victory against a disappointing Real Zaragoza side at Anoeta.

After a goalless first half Martinez headed home in the 55th minute to break the deadlock and within six minutes the hosts had a second via Vela's penalty.

Fernando Llorente scored on his return to action as Athletic Bilbao twice came from behind to claim a 3-3 draw point against Espanyol.

Javi Lopez and Joan Verdu put Espanyol two up before Llorente and Aritz Aduriz levelled matters. Samuele Longo, sent off moments later, scored 10 minutes from time to put the hosts back ahead only for Aduriz to grab his second in reply.

Granada's winless start to the season continued as Floro Flores' goal 10 minutes from time could only salvage a point against Deportivo La Coruna.

Nelson Oliveira struck just before half-time to break the deadlock.