In the Premier League, it was not a good weekend for champions Manchester United or a Spurs team without Bale. Both lost 1-0 to Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.
Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a record 100 million euros while Lionel Messi showed the talent he will be up against in La Liga when the Argentine hit a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 3-2 win over Valencia.
Barcelona and Real are among four teams with a perfect record in the La liga.
Liverpool and Arsenal scored 1-0 wins over bitter rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively in the Premier League on Sunday.
Daniel Sturridge scored after four minutes at Anfield on the day the club celebrated the 100th birthday of renowned former manager Bill Shankly, a result that sent them to the top of the table with three wins from three matches.
Arsenal prevailed over big-spending north London rivals Spurs shortly before Bale’s move to Real Madrid for 100 million euros ($131.86 million) was confirmed.
Olivier Giroud netted for the Gunners, and like Sturridge has scored three goals in three appearances this season.
Chelsea, who lost the Super Cup to Bayern Munich on Friday, lie second, two points behind Liverpool, while Manchester City, 2-0 winners over Hull City on Saturday, Arsenal, Stoke and Spurs lie on six points.
Champions United have four.
Lionel Messi struck the third first-half hat-trick of his career as Barcelona extended their winning start to their title defence with an entertaining 3-2 win at Valencia.
Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid roll to a 3-1 win at the Bernabeu over Athletic Bilbao Sunday hours before the Spanish club announced it had signed Gareth Bale to pair him with the Portugal forward in one of the most formidable attacks in football.
Moreover, Atletico Madrid joined the two giants on nine points with a 2-1 success at Real Sociedad.
Promoted Villarreal’s impressive 3-0 victory at Osasuna means they also have a perfect record and suggested the team known as “yellow submarine” are unlikely to surrender their top flight status again this term.
At the age of only 26, World Player of the Year Messi is now the sixth highest scorer in La Liga history with 220 goals, surpassing Quini’s 219 and closing in on the record of 251 held by Telmo Zarra.