MADRID, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona got their title defense off to a magnificent start as they thrashed Levante 7-0 in their opening game of the BBVA Primera Liga season.
Barca showed pace, skill and hunger to lead the game by an incredible 6-0 by halftime, thanks to two goals from Leo Messi and further strikes from Alexis Sanchez, Pedro Rodriguez, Dani Alves and Xavi Hernandez.
Alexis opened the scoring after less than three minutes and it was one-way traffic from that moment as Barca pressed high up the field and produced a string of flowing passing moves to leave their rivals chasing the lengthening shadows on the Camp Nou pitch.
The second half was an anti-climax, but the fact that Neymar, Andres Iniesta and newly capped Spain international, Cristian Tello all came on as substitutes highlighted Barca's attacking threat.
Pedro scored Barca's seventh of the night as the game petered out in the closing minutes to give Barca the biggest ever opening day win in Spain's top flight.
Barca's win threw down the gauntlet in no uncertain manner to Real Madrid, who kicked off their game against Betis directly after the final whistle in the Camp Nou and there was a surprise in store as new coach, Carlo Ancelotti favored Diego Lopez in goal ahead of Iker Casillas, who had been so controversially left out by Jose Mourinho at the end of last season.
Lopez showed why he had got the nod with to good saves in the opening 10 minutes, but was helpless to stop Jorge Molina putting a typically brave Betis ahead after 13 minutes.
That sparked life into Madrid and ne signing Isco showed why he is on the way to becoming the new hero of the Bernabeu with a fine display. The former Malaga midfielder set up Karim Benzema to equalize on 25 minutes and finally decided a game in which both sides hit the post four minutes from time with a neat headed goal.
Real Madrid took the points, but the home fans, some of whom booed their side from the pitch at the end of the first half, may be slightly disappointed with the display after a very promising pre-season.
Granada look to have signed well over the summer and despite the imminent departure of Mikel Rico to Athletic Club Bilbao, they had too much for Osasuna. El Arabi and Hassan Yebda gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the El Sadar Stadium and although Patxi Punal pulled a goal back for Osasuna, a lack of firepower hindered the home side's attempts to pull themselves level.
Meanwhile Sevilla-Atletico Madrid was a very late (11pm) kick off in Spain on an opening weekend where kickoff times hardly favored fans wishing to attend matches.
Real Sociedad had the honor of kicking off the new season with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Getafe, which will set the Basque club up nicely for their difficult Champions League eliminator away to Olympique Lyon on Wednesday.
Carlos Vela continued his good form from last season when he opened the scoring after 42 minutes, with the first goal of the new season.
New signing Serefovic added the second in a promising debut for his side.
Athletic Club Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde got off to a winning start to his second term in Bilbao as goals from Markel Susaeta and Iker Muniain put his side on the way to a deserved 2-1 win in Valladolid. Valladolid have now lost the opening game of the season for the past five years.
Finally the duel of new coaches saw Valencia's Miroslav Djukic come out on top of his duel against Bendt Schuster after Ricardo Costa's second half goal, with the aid of a bad error from Malaga keeper, Willy Caballero, saw Valencia start the season with a 1-0 win.
Three more games are played on Monday with Rayo Vallecano entertaining newly promoted Elche, while Almeria and Villarreal go head to head and Luis Enrique makes his debut as Celta coach at home to Espanyol.