Barcelona and Real Madrid each began their 2013/14 La Liga campaigns with home victories on the opening weekend of the season.
Barca got their title defence off to a winning start by cruising to a 7-0 victory over Levante in new boss, Gerardo Martino, and recruit, Neymar’s first competitive match at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi and Pedro each scored a brace, with Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alvez and Xavi adding one each.
Real Madrid faced a difficult opponent in Real Betis who they eventually edged by a 2-1 margin at the Santiago Bernebeu.
Los Blancos needed a late winner from debutante Isco to seal victory against a determined Betis.
In lieu of the close encounter in Madrid, the Catalans set the early pace after their demolition of Levante.
The La Liga champions needed only three minutes for Alexis Sanchez to open scoring in the 3rd minute before Argentine superstar Messi added the second nine minutes later.
Alves and Pedro doubled the lead in a two minute spell midway through the first-half and Levante found themselves 6-0 down at the interval, thanks to a Messi penalty and Xavi’s slick finish.
The visitors managed to hold Barca in the second period but were soon ruing their defensive frailties which allowed Pedro to add the seventh.
Brazilian wonderkid, Neymar was a 64th minute substitute for Alexis but failed to net a debut goal.
In Madrid, the home team went behind to a Jorge Molina’s 15th-minute opener before French striker Karim Benzema equalized for Real.
Betis wasted a couple of opportunities that would have handed them the lead but went into the half-time tied at 1-1.
Madrid upped the tempo after the break and rattled the woodwork shortly after the restart through Cristiano Ronaldo’s rising shot.
Nigerian midfielder, Nosar Igiebor fluffed an aerial opportunity midway through the second-half before Spain international Isco scored a powerful 86th-minute header on his debut to hand last season’s runners-up victory in their first match of the season.