Five-star Barca sink Sociedad
David Villa scored in his first competitive appearance since 2011 and Lionel Messi netted a brace as Barcelona claimed a convincing 5-1 victory over Real Sociedad in new coach Tito Vilanova's Primera Division debut in the Nou Camp hotseat .
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Villa, who missed the second half of last season and Euro 2012 after breaking his leg in December, netted after appearing as a late substitute to complete the win as Barca showed it was business as usual despite this summer's departure of record-breaking coach Pep Guardiola.
Earlier, during a frenetic start which saw four goals scored in the opening 16 minutes, Barca charged into a 3-1 lead with Carles Puyol - who also missed Spain's triumphant Euro 2012 campaign through injury - notching the first.
Sociedad briefly drew level when Gonzalo Castro netted but Messi then struck twice in five minutes to put the home side two goals clear.
Pedro Rodriguez then added a fourth before the break before Villa climbed off the bench to also get his name on the scoresheet as Vilanova's men made an impressive start to their Primera Division campaign.
Holders Real Madrid began the new campaign with a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu after Jonas cancelled out Gonzalo Higuain's early strike for Valencia.
Los Che, who finished third last season, were well worthy of a point and should have had three but Roberto Soldado's second half strike was wrongfully ruled out for offside.
Real Betis recovered from squandering a 3-0 half-time lead to seal all three points at Athletic Bilbao thanks to two goals from Jorge Molina and others from Ruben Castro, Benat Extebarria and Alex Pozuelo in a 5-3 win.
The visitors had flown into a 3-0 lead after just half an hour thanks to calm finishes from Castro and Molina were followed up by a wonderful strike by Benat.
But it was Athletic who stormed out of the traps after half-time when Oscar de Marcos reduced the arrears within 60 seconds of the restart.
Mikel San Jose then twice headed home from corners to bring the Basque side level but Betis were back in front four minutes later as substitutes Jose Canas and Pozuelo combined to allow the latter to slot home.
And with the Athletic defence all at sea, another fine counter-attack from the visitors saw Jonathan Pereira release Molina to seal the points with a delicate chip over Gorka Iraizoz.
In Sunday's other game, first-half goals from Nabil El Zhar and Arda Turan ensured the points were shared as Levante and Atletico Madrid kicked off their campaigns with a 1-1 draw at the Ciutat de Valencia.
The hosts struck first when El Zhar stroked home from the edge of the area after just five minutes but brought Atleti level 15 minutes later with a stunning strike from distance that gave Gustavo Munua no chance.
The visitors then went on to dominate possession but lacked a cutting edge and it was Levante who came closest to a winner when Vicente Iborra's long-range effort came back off the top of the bar.
Sixteen-year-old Fabrice Olinga came off the bench to score the winner on his debut for Malaga as they spoiled Celta Vigo's return to the Primera Division with a 1-0 win at Balaidos.
Enrique de Lucas had wasted a number of chances to take the lead for the hosts, back in the top flight after five years, early in the second half as the former Chelsea midfielder was twice denied by fine saves from Will Caballero and also chipped wastefully wide when clean through on goal.
Manuel Pellegrini's changes gave Malaga an extra gear and two of the subs combined for the goal seven minutes from time as Diego Buonanotte got to the byline and cut the ball back for Olinga to bundle into the empty net off his thigh.
Celta should still have snatched a point in stoppage time but Gustavo Cabral somehow smashed the ball against the bar when presented with an open goal to leave the Galicians empty-handed.
Sevilla opened their Primera Division season with a deserved 2-1 win over Getafe in an occasionally scrappy game at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Goals by Federico Fazio and Alvaro Negredo, the latter from a disputed penalty, within five first-half minutes ultimately proved enough for the hosts.
Alexis, playing against the team from whom he is on loan, headed Getafe back into the game early in the second half but they could not find an equaliser and it was Sevilla who looked more likely to score again, with Ivan Rakitic hitting the crossbar.
Tomer Hemed scored at either end of the match to earn Mallorca a season-opening 2-1 win over Espanyol.
The Israel international was on the spot after two minutes and then pounced on a stray ball with five remaining to render Mubarak Wakaso's equaliser worthless.
His winner came after Michael Pereira's drive had come back off the bar, with the 25-year-old rewarded for showing better reactions than the visiting defence.