Lionel Messi scored twice in the last 15 minutes as Barcelona survived a scare against 10-man Osasuna to continue their winning start to the new season.
Joseba Llorente volleyed the home side in front in the 17th minute last night and wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 when Nino hit the post when clean through with 20 minutes left.
Messi, as has often been the case, was the spark behind the comeback, and he drew the teams level in the 75th minute when he stabbed home Alexis Sanchez’s pass.
Osasuna were aggrieved that goal was allowed to stand after Alexis had appeared to be offside when he received the ball earlier in the move, and the home side’s veteran midfielder Patxi Punal was handed his marching orders for taking his protests too far.
Barca quickly made the most of their man advantage as, in the 80th minute, summer signing Jordi Alba picked out Messi and he rolled in the winner.
In comparison, Real Madrid’s disappointing start to the season continued as they suffered a shock defeat at local rivals Getafe.
Madrid had won their last seven league meetings against Getafe and appeared set for another triumph when Gonzalo Higuain put them ahead in the 27th minute.
However, Getafe hit back in the second half to stun their star-studded opponents with goals from Juan Valera and Abdelaziz Barrada.
In Italy, Juventus got their title defence off to a winning start on Saturday as goals from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Andrea Pirlo secured a 2-0 win at home to Parma.
Andrea Costa scored on 58 minutes as Sampdoria made a winning return to Serie A yesterday with a shock victory at AC Milan, whose new-look side failed to ease their fans’ pre-season concerns.
It was Milan’s first outing since the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris St-Germain while new signing Giampaolo Pazzini, who traded Milan clubs with Antonio Cassano, started on the bench.
The other Serie A new boys, Pescara, were given a less-than-friendly introduction to life in the top flight as they were beaten 3-0 by Inter Milan.
Wesley Sneijder got Inter up and running with 17 minutes gone while Diego Milito and Phillipe Coutinho wrapped up the points.
There were boos in the French capital as Paris St Germain’s winless start to the new Ligue 1 season continued with a goalless draw at home to Bordeaux.
As was the case last season, big things are expected of Carlo Ancelotti’s big-spending side, but for the third game running they were forced to settle for just a point.
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