Lionel Messi took up where he left off last season as the Argentinian scored twice to help Barcelona and new coach Tito Vilanova to a 5-1 home win over Real Sociedad in their La Liga opener at the Nou Camp last night.
Carles Puyol, Pedro and David Villa, who came on for his first competitive action since breaking his leg last December, also scored to give Barça an immediate advantage over arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Earlier in the evening, the defending champions were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Valencia at the Bernabeu, despite dominating the match. In stifling temperatures, Gonzalo Higuain gave Madrid a 10th-minute lead from Angel Di Maria's cross. Jose Mourinho's side comfortably held the visitors at bay until just before the break when the Brazilian Jonas headed in from a free-kick to level the scores.