Madrid: Barcelona maintained their perfect start to La Liga with a 4-0 victory at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, a Pedro hat-trick and a penalty save by Victor Valdes helping them to win a game that was not a simple as it looked.
Spain striker Pedro took his tally for the season to five goals, while Cesc Fabregas netted the fourth, after Rayo had made life difficult for the visitors becoming the first team to edge them for possession in a match in five years.
The champions have 15 points from five games, and moved top ahead of Atletico Madrid on goal difference, after Diego Simeone’s side also maintained their 100 percent record with a 2-0 win at Real Valladolid.
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino rotated his squad again with Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez starting on the bench.
Valdes was called into action after only three minutes as he saved a point-blank header from Alberto Perea, the compact pitch at Vallecas and a turbo-charged start from Rayo unsettling Barca.
An Alex Song interception was the starting point for the opener in the 33rd minute, as Lionel Messi jinked past two defenders and laid the ball off for Pedro to fire low into the corner.