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Barcelona Opens League Title Defense With 7-0 Rout; Real Rallies

Barcelona Opens League Title Defense With 7-0 Rout; Real Rallies
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with David Navarro Pedros of Levante UD during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Aug. 18, 2013. Photographer: David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona opened the defense of its Spanish soccer title under new coach Gerardo Martino by routing Levante 7-0, while Real Madrid rallied to give Carlo Ancelotti a winning start with a 2-1 victory against Real Betis.

Barca got six goals in the first half at its Camp Nou stadium yesterday as Lionel Messi scored twice and Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alves, Pedro Rodriguez and Xavi Hernandez added the others. Pedro closed the scoring in the second half, while new signing Neymar made his league debut as a substitute.

Isco scored with four minutes left in his Real Madrid debut to secure the home win in Ancelotti’s first league game as coach. Jorge Molina had put Betis ahead before Karim Benzema tied it. Atletico Madrid, which hosts Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup opener in two days, won 3-1 at Sevilla last night.

In Germany, Borussia Dortmund had a 2-1 win over promoted Eintracht Braunschweig yesterday with goals from Jonas Hofmann and Marco Reus. Dortmund tops the Bundesliga with six points through two games alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Mainz and Werder Bremen.

Bayern won 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt two days ago and Leverkusen won by the same score at Stuttgart.

In France, champion Paris Saint-Germain’s 64 million euro- ($85.2 million) signing Edinson Cavani scored with four minutes remaining to secure a 1-1 home draw against Ajaccio.

Emmanuel Riviere grabbed a hat trick and Radamel Falcao added a penalty kick as promoted Monaco beat Montpellier 4-1 at home. Monaco joined Lyon, Marseille and Saint-Etienne in winning its opening two games in Ligue 1.

Ajax, seeking its fourth straight Dutch league title, had a 2-1 win over Feyenoord with two goals by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

Carlos Tevez marked his competitive debut for Juventus with a goal as the Serie A champion routed Lazio 4-0 in the Italian Super Cup in Rome. The league season starts next weekend.

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