Messi's brace sets the ball rolling

Luis Enrique starts his league campaign with a 3-0 win for Barcelona while Eibar make their La Liga debut with win too.

    Messi was playing his first competitive game after the Brazil 2014 loss to Germany [REUTERS]
    Messi was playing his first competitive game after the Brazil 2014 loss to Germany [REUTERS]

    Lionel Messi wasted little time in finding his stride as he struck twice to lead 10-man Barcelona to a 3-0 home win over Elche and hand new coach Luis Enrique a happy start to the La Liga season.

    Youngster Munir El Haddadi hit the woodwork as did Andres Iniesta before Messi made the breakthrough, turning well in the box and slotting in after 42 minutes.

    Barca's job was complicated with Javier Mascherano sent off for bringing down Garry Rodrigues a minute later but Munir, drafted into the side as a replacement for the injured Neymar, clipped home to make it 2-0 shortly after the restart.

    Messi made space for himself on the edge of the area and found the back of the net again after 63 minutes.

    The result handed Luis Enrique a promising start with Barcelona after the club failed to win any major trophy last season under Gerardo Martino.

    In other matches, Eibar made their debut in the top flight with a 1-0 victory over neighbours Real Sociedad with Javi Lara scoring the only goal before halftime.

    Joaquin Larrivey, Fabian Orellana and Nolito gave Celta Vigo a 3-1 victory over Getafe whose only reply came from Jorge Sammir.

    Villarreal beat derby rivals Levante 2-0 with second half goals from Ikechukwu Uche and Denis Cheryshev.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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