Lionel Messi was back to his best to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Elche in their La Liga opener - but his brace was eventually overshadowed by the emergence of teenager Munir El-Haddadi.

The 18-year-old star has enjoyed a meteoric rise from the under-19 team to the first team in just 10 months, with some pundits suggesting he is the next big thing to emerge from La Masia.

His performance was not a surprise to those who had monitored his pre-season (when he was Barcelona's top-scorer) and neither for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - who reportedly tried to lure him to north London last year – before Munir opted to sign a new three year deal with the Catalans.

Against Elche, Munir excelled and was close to an early debut goal after hitting the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

Messi finally scored the opener before half time but Munir´s second goal was eventually the one that helped Barcelona secure the victory as just seconds before his goal the team had been reduced to ten men following a Javier Mascherano red card.

But Barcelona kept the control of the contest and Messi scored his side's third after dribbling past three defenders.

Meanwhile in the rest of La Liga games Liverpool loanee Luis Alberto scored the opening goal of the Spanish league season on Saturday to lead Malaga to a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao from the penalty spot.

Elsewhere, Sevilla got a draw against Valencia featuring former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas and Tottenham target Fazio as an unused substitute.

Granada beat Deportivo 2-1 thanks to a goal and an impressive performance from former Blackburn striker Ruben Rochina.

Celta beat Getafe 2-1 while recently promoted Eibar secured an opening victory against Real Sociedad in the Basque Country derby.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid will open their season on Monday night against Cordoba while Atletico Madrid visit neighbours Rayo Vallecano.


Barcelona 3-0 Elche

Malaga 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

Sevilla 1-1 Valencia

Granada 2-1 Deportivo

Almeria 1-1 Espanyol

Eibar 1- Real Sociedad

Celta 3-1 Getafe 1

Levante 0-Villareal 2