Iceland striker Eidur Gudjohnsen came off the bench to hit a late winner as Barcelona beat Real Betis 3-2 at home in the Primera Liga for their second win of the season.
|Gudjohnsen has a habit of scoring important goals [AFP]
Newly-promoted Sporting Gijon suffered their second hammering in less than a week on Wednesday, going down 7-1 at Real Madrid after losing 6-1 to Barca on Sunday.
A brief first-half goal blitz gave Villareal a 2-0 win at home to Racing Santander as Atletico Madrid beat Getafe 2-1.
Osasuna played out a goalless draw with Deportivo la Coruna, while Sevilla beat Espanyol 2-0 to go fourth.
Barca cruised into a two-goal lead with first-half strikes from Samuel Eto'o, but Betis battled back to level after the break.
Luciano Monzon and Jose Mari grabbed Betis's first goals of the season, but Gudjohnsen secured the three points 10 minutes from time.
Barca tore into Betis, buoyed by their 6-1 hammering of Sporting on Sunday.
Eto'o received Lionel Messi's pass, cut around a defender and lashed a fierce drive in off the underside of the bar on 17 minutes for the opener and the same partnership worked again for the second goal six minutes later.
Monzon beats wall
The Argentina winger crossed for Eto'o to tap in from close range, but Barca were knocked back after the break when Monzon drove a free kick through the wall.
Jose Mari's clever lob levelled the match before the home side got back into gear.
Substitute Gudjohnsen went full stretch to hook the winner inside the far post and Barca could have had more as they peppered the visitor's goal at the end.
"We had a dip at the beginning of the second half and we paid dearly," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. "I must say that I am pleased how we played in the first half and also by our reaction when they made it 2-2."
Rafael van der Vaart scored a hat-trick - the second goal of which was an outrageous backflick - as Real tore apart hapless Sporting Gijon at the Bernabeu.
|Van der Vaart gets his hat-trick [AFP]
Club legend Raul got in on the act with two second-half goals, while Arjen Robben and Gonzalo Higuain also bagged goals.
A solitary reply from Kike Mateo leaves bottom club Sporting Gijon with a mammoth task to turn around their season after a humbling start.
Atletico Madrid won the city derby at Getafe 2-1 with an own goal from defender David Cortes eight minutes from time that leaves them third in the table.
Former Atletico hero Fernando Torres, now at Liverpool, said this week there was no reason why his old club couldn't challenge for the title this season and the capital club have started like title contenders.
In-form French striker Florent Sinama Pongolle opened the scoring for Atletico with his fourth goal of the season before Juan Albin levelled in the second half.
Getafe suffer their first defeat of the season, while Sinama-Pongolle goes to the top of the scoring charts with four goals alongside Van der Vaart.
Villareal race into lead
At the Madrigal, two goals in four first-half minutes from Joan Capdevila and Joseba Llorente were enough to give Villarreal a 2-0 win against Racing Santander.
Villarreal sit proudly at the top of the standings, one point ahead of Real and Atletico, after their win.
The damage was done in four minutes with Capdevila, who gets his fair share of goals for a full back, opening the scoring and Llorente adding another shortly after.
Manuel Pellegrini's Villarreal outfit are yet to lose in Europe or the league where they have accumulated 10 points from a possible 12.
"We controlled the game and beat a good team tonight," said Pellegrini. "We also showed that even when we are not in full flow we can call upon other aspects of our game to win matches."