Karim Benzema shines as he scored twice for Real Madrid in a 3-2 victory against Levante with Eden Hazard who made his La Liga debut while later Barcelona breezed to a 5-2 victory against Valencia on Saturday fix with lots of stunt from 16-year-old Ansu Fati.
Karim Benzema’s two goals took place just six minutes apart in the first half at a wet Santiago Bernabeu, before Casemiro put Real 3-0 up. But Levante put up a fight in the second half as they pulled two goals back through Borja Mayoral and Gonzalo Melero.
“The second half was more difficult for us, but the overall feeling was positive. We have got the three points and we were incredible in the first half, the way we played, the goals, the commitment. We just need to stay focused for the full 90 minutes.” said coach Zinedine Zidane.
Hazard got in at the final half-hour to make his very first La Liga appearance after a thigh injury interrupted the beginning of his Real Madrid career after his 100 million-euro ($110 million) transfer from Chelsea.
The Belgian star could now start when Real Madrid go to Paris Saint-Germain for their opening Champions League game on Wednesday.
“I am happy for him. He will do us good. He is not ready yet though — he has only trained four times with the team. But when everyone is fit, when we have our rhythm, we will hurt teams,” Zidane said.
Gareth Bale who wasn’t available for the Levante battle because of ban will play against PSG, but Sergio Ramos will not play because of a European ban on him. Former Porto defender Eder Militao who also got in at the second half could start against PSG in Paris.
Real Madrid narrowly lost the opportunity to win with a bigger margin when some inspired goalkeeping from Aitor Fernandez, actively created one-handed stop to prevent a Karim Benzema shot midway through the first half.
Atletico Madrid remains at their position at the top of the table, but only by one point from Real Madrid after their first defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad.
Real Madrid former assistant coach Albert Celades replaced sacked Marcelino Garcia Toral as boss of Valencia who were routed 5-2 at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi still out of game and just watching from the stands it was left to Fati, the teenager who came from Guinea-Bissau, to take the plaudits.
Fati, who became the third youngest La Liga scorer when he came off the bench to net in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna this month, scored again in the second minute, before providing the assist for Frenkie de Jong’s 7th minute goal.
The teenager earned his standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd when he came off after an hour.
“It’s not usual that on his first touch he scores, and on his second he sets up a goal,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.
“To get used to being a Barca player is work for anyone, even more so for a boy so young, but he’s a balanced kid, he strikes me as being at ease.”
Kevin Gameiro got Valencia off the mark but a brace from the fit again Luis Suarez after a contribution from Gerard Pique meant Max Gomez’s injury time second for the visitors was purely academic.