Round-Up: Van Nistelrooy hat-trick inspires Madrid to first win

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The Independent Online

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored his first three Spanish league goals yesterday and also missed a penalty in Real Madrid's 4-1 win over newly promoted Levante.

Van Nistelrooy, who made a €16m (£10.8m) move from Manchester United in July, put Madrid on the way to their first victory of the new season with a 16th-minute shot from the edge of the area at Levante's Ciutat de Valencia stadium.

Antonio Cassano added a second goal 11 minutes later before the Levante midfielder Felix Ettien reduced the deficit in the 36th. Van Nistelrooy restored Madrid's two-goal cushion in the 57th minute before missing a penalty after he was fouled by Diego Camacho. Van Nistelrooy's spot-kick was parried by goalkeeper Pablo Cavallero, but the Dutchman completed his hat-trick in injury time. Levante finished the game with nine men after both Camacho and Frederic Dehu were sent off.

The Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o scored two goals and set up another to steer the Spanish champions to a 3-0 victory over Osasuna at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Barcelona got off to a dream start in front of their home fans with a beautifully fashioned goal. Brazil's Ronaldinho skipped down the right flank towards the area and exchanged an intricate one-two with Deco before cutting a pass back towards the near post, where Eto'o was on hand to stab the ball past the Osasuna goalkeeper Ricardo.

Barça settled into their usual slick passing game for the next 25 minutes before Eto'o added a second goal to take his tally for the season to three. The striker hooked the ball over the advancing Ricardo after he had latched on to a deep pass from Deco that had skimmed off the head of an Osasuna defender.

Eto'o set up his side's third eight minutes before the break when he snapped up the ball after pressing Ricardo into a mistake as he tried to clear his area.

He cut the ball back to Lionel Messi, who threaded a shot between Ricardo's legs to make it 3-0. Barça eased up a little in the second half, but Messi and the substitute Ludovic Giuly both went close to adding a fourth goal late in the game.

The new signing from Juventus, Lilian Thuram, the French World Cup player who was in the starting line-up in preference to the club captain Carles Puyol, gave an assured performance in the centre of the back four, restricting the visitors to just one clear shot on goal two minutes from time.

The victory made it two wins out of two for the Catalans, who begin the defence of their Champions' League crown at home to the Bulgarian side Levski Sofia tomorrow.

Valencia also made it two from two as an early goal from the Spain striker David Villa earned them a 1-0 win away to Atletico Madrid.

* In Germany, the Bundesliga side Mainz crashed out in the first round of the German Cup yesterday, losing 1-0 to the third division side Saarbrücken.

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