Madrid: Barcelona extended their winning start to their title defence to six games, when Neymar scored his debut La Liga goal and Lionel Messi netted his seventh of the season in an entertaining 4-1 victory at home to Real Sociedad on Tuesday.
While Barca fans were treated to some breathtaking skill at the Nou Camp on the 56th anniversary of the inauguration of Europe’s biggest stadium, Atletico Madrid gave another indication they may be challenging for the title come the end of the campaign with their sixth win in six matches.
Diego Costa struck twice in a 2-1 win at home to Osasuna to match Messi on seven for the season as Atletico joined Barca on a maximum 18 points, five ahead of Real Madrid, who play at promoted Elche on Wednesday.
Sociedad, who like Barca, Real and Atletico are competing in this term’s Champions League, made the livelier start as they set about chasing their first league win at the Nou Camp in more than 20 years.
Their last victory there in May 1991, a 3-1 success which came when Barca had already been crowned champions.
Haris Seferovic cracked a shot against the crossbar in the second minute of Tuesday’s game but the home side were ahead three minutes later when Neymar, recruited from Santos in the close season, bundled over the line after some indecision in the Sociedad defence.
World Player of the Year Messi made it 2-0 with a diving header from the Brazilian’s cross three minutes later and Sergio Busquets scored a rare goal to make it 3-0 in the 23rd minute.