Athletic Bilbao 0 – 0 Getafe
Barcelona 2 – 0 Real Betis
Deportivo La Coruna 0 – 3 Real Madrid
- Deportivo La Coruna 0 – 3 Real Madrid
Gareth Bale scored one and assisted another as Real Madrid began their La Liga title defence with an easy victory at Deportivo La Coruna, although Sergio Ramos was sent off in injury time.
With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended, Bale tapped in from Karim Benzema’s scuffed shot to put Madrid ahead.
Casemiro ended a move with 44 passes by converting Marcelo’s cross, before Toni Kroos smashed in from Bale’s pass.
Keylor Navas then saved Florin Andone’s penalty, before Ramos was dismissed.
The Madrid defender picked up his second yellow card for a high elbow in an aerial challenge, having received his first for shoving Fabian Schar’s face.
Ramos, 31, has now been sent off 23 times for Madrid, and 18 times in La Liga, a joint record he shares with ex-Sevilla defender Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado, formerly of Real Zaragoza.
- Barcelona 2 – 0 Real Betis
Lionel Messi hit the post three times as Barcelona opened their La Liga campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Real Betis.
The 30-year-old, who was looking for his 350th goal in the competition, was denied by the woodwork before the break and twice after it as Betis goalkeeper Antonio Adan enjoyed good fortune at the Nou Camp.
However, an evening on which the club paid tribute to the victims of last week’s terror attack in the city before kickoff ended in satisfactory fashion for the Catalan giants with Alin Tosca’s own goal and a second from Sergio Roberto handing new manager Ernesto Valverde victory in his first league game at the helm.
Stung by their 5-1 aggregate Spanish Super Cup defeat by arch-rivals Real Madrid, Barca, whose players wore the word “Barcelona” on the backs of their shirts rather than their own names, might have taken the lead with less than three minutes gone when Gerard Deulofeu stabbed a shot wide from close range after being picked out by Sergio Roberto.
Messi whipped a left-footed effort wide seconds later with the visitors firmly on the back foot, and then curled a 14th-minute free kick on to the roof of the net.
The Argentinian went even closer with a swerving 25th-minute shot, and was then denied by the post 10 minutes later with his shot having comprehensively beaten Adan.
However, Barca took the lead within seconds when defender Tosca turned Deulofeu’s cross into his own net, and it was 2-0 six minutes before the break.
Javier Mascherano’s superbly-timed challenge on Leon Limones sparked a lighting break which ended in emphatic style when Roberto steered Deulofeu’s cross into the net.
Messi went close once again on the hour when he ended a scintillating run with a curling left-foot shot which once again clipped the foot of the post with Adan helpless.
Barca were rampant, but their Argentinian superstar’s luck had for once deserted him with the woodwork coming to Betis’ rescue for a third time with nine minutes remaining, this time repelling his blistering rising drive.
- Athletic Bilbao 0 – 0 Getafe
Getafe keeper Vicente Guaita was the hero as 10-man Getafe left Athletic Bilbao with a hard-earned point.
The Primera Liga new boys played the final 24 minutes with a numerical disadvantage after midfielder Alvaro Jimenez had been sent off for a second bookable offence, and they might even have emerged with all three points had it not been for Kepa Arrizabalaga’s save from Markel Bergara’s early header.