Limp start for Real Madrid

Limp start for Real Madrid

Barcelona cruise to a thumping win over Santander

Snapped up after last season's treble-winning exploits with Inter Milan, Mourinho's arrival as coach at the Bernabeu has raised expectations he can end Barcelona's two-year reign as champions.

While his new team were struggling to click in Mallorca, Pep Guardiola's well-drilled outfit banged in three goals thanks to Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and David Villa.

Real Madrid's Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain was denied three times by home goalkeeper Dudu Aouate and Cristiano Ronaldo spurned a great chance as the visitors upped the pressure.

Mourinho's new signings Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Canales and Ricardo Carvalho all featured but despite a frantic finish Michael Laudrup's Mallorca were worth their point.

Barca had earlier thrown down the gauntlet, appearing unruffled by the contentious exit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to AC Milan.

Messi, who grabbed a hat-trick in the Spanish Super Cup last weekend, only needed four minutes to rip open the defence and score with a delightful lob.

Iniesta followed up with a volley from outside the area and new signing Villa headed his first league goal in a Barca shirt, after Victor Valdes had saved a penalty before the break.

Second division champions Real Sociedad celebrated their return to La Liga after a three-year absence with a 1-0 win at home to Villarreal.

Xavier Prieto raced on to Joseba Llorente's backheel to score after 57 minutes, making them the only promoted club to win in the opening round of matches.  Levante and Hercules were beaten on Saturday.

A double strike from Pablo Osvaldo helped Espanyol overcome Getafe 3-1 while the games between Deportivo Coruna and Real Zaragoza and Osasuna and Almeria ended goalless.

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