Barcelona Opens Spanish Title Defense by Routing Villarreal 5-0

Barcelona opened the defense of its Spanish soccer title by beating Champions League qualifier Villarreal 5-0.

Lionel Messi got two goals last night at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium, while off-season signings Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez each scored on their league debuts after Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring in the 25th minute.

European champion Barcelona, seeking its fourth straight La Liga title, already started its season by winning the Spanish and European Super Cup trophies, the latter victory coming against Europa League winner Porto in Monaco four days ago.

“Coming from where we came, from the effort of two Super Cups, the team has responded very well,” Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola told his team’s website. “This gives us extra confidence.”

Real Madrid routed Real Zaragoza 6-0 in its league opener two days ago as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick.