MADRID (AFP) - A terrific strike from Pedro Rodriguez helped Barcelona equal their best ever start to a league season with a nervy 1-0 home victory over Almeria on Saturday.
Barcelona's sixth successive win, matching a club record set in 1991 and 1998, also sees the defending champions replace Real Madrid at the summit of La Liga.
Pedro, the latest Barcelona youth player to make the breakthrough, turned sharply before rifling home an unstoppable 31st minute shot to follow up his goal against Dinamo Kiev in midweek.
"It is always nice to score and win, however, the coach won?t be happy because we misplaced a lot of passes in our build-up play and didn?t create as many chances as in other games," said Pedro.
It was a special day for Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, 31, who celebrated a decade at the club having made his league debut against Valladolid back on October 2, 1999.
Coach Pep Guardiola handed Andres Iniesta his first league start this season and the Spanish international found Lionel Messi with a fine pass after 10 minutes but the Argentine's shot did not have enough curl to creep into the net.
Almeria were breaking the game up with a string of fouls and referee Velasco Carballo was jeered by the home fans for failing to dish out yellow cards to the perpetrators.
With 31 minutes gone Pedro scored a goal from nowhere receiving a pass with his left foot before turning swiftly and unleashing a fierce curling shot into the corner with his right foot.
It was a superb strike from the 22-year-old and the home fans sung his name to show their appreciation.
Almeria coach Hugo Sanchez was an exciting striker for Real Madrid but his side packed men behind the ball in the second half as if they were the ones defending a 1-0 lead.
"It is a real shame that teams just come here to shut up shop and stop us playing but we will have to get used to it," said Barcelona midfielder Xavi.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, celebrating his 28th birthday, almost continued his record of scoring in every Barcelona league game but his 80th-minute drive was saved by Diego Alves to deny him a sixth goal of the season.
Atletico Madrid finally won their first league game of the campaign defeating Real Zaragoza 2-1 at home to lift the pressure on coach Abel Resino.
Midfielder Jose Jurado, back at the club after a season on loan at Real Mallorca, gave Atletico the lead after just two minutes.
But the capital side were indebted to 18-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea for saving a 20th minute penalty from Jorge Lopez.
Injuries forced Resino to hand a league debut to third choice de Gea and he came up trumps with his penalty save which proved crucial as Antonio Lopez (65 min) doubled Atletico's lead before Brazilian Ewerthon pulled one back with another Zaragoza penalty.
Atletico climb to 13th and will hope to build on this success as they target the top four.
Real Madrid are not in action until Sunday when they have a top-of-the-table clash at third-placed Sevilla.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, Real's top-scorer in the league with five goals, has been ruled out after failing to shrug off an ankle injury picked up against Marseille on Wednesday.
"We aren't denying the importance of Cristiano to our team with his goal threat well known but there are alternatives in this squad such as Raul or (Gonzalo) Higuain," insisted Real coach Manuel Pellegrini.
Sevilla have won their last four league matches while Real have won all seven of their matches so far this season - five in the league and two in Europe.
Deportivo La Coruna continued their impressive start to the new campaign by climbing up to fourth with a 1-0 win at Tenerife.
Tenerife had a 100 percent home record following wins over Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna but Deportivo ended that run thanks to a goal from defender Diego Colotto on the hour mark.
|Michel bemoans sloppy mistakes|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain lauds Welbeck|
|Hareide lauds Malmo support|
|Simeone delighted with Atletico|
|Hasi: Anderlecht not good enough|
|San Lorenzo 2 Olimpo 0: Hosts bounce back|
|Sousa: ´It was glorious´|
|Terry moved to tears after Chelsea failure|
|Prandelli defiant over tactics despite loss|
|Salvio - We´ll keep fighting|
|Bender thrilled with ´backs to the wall´ win|
|Dermendzhiev hails courageous Ludogorets|
|Championship Review: Fulham crush Bolton|
|Klopp hails Kagawa, expresses Kehl concern|
|Wenger pleased with wonderful Welbeck|
|Juanfran warns Atleti after Juve win|
|Ronaldo injury not serious, says Ancelotti|
|Rodgers left to rue another Liverpool set-piece slip-up|
|Chiellini holds regrets over Atletico defeat|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Juventus 0: Turan winner ends Juve streak|
|Malmo 2 Olympiacos 0: Rosenberg´s brace creates history for hosts|
|La Liga Preview: Bilbao face uphill task at Real, Valencia host Atletico|
|Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Welbeck treble ensures happy anniversary for Wenger|
|Bayer Leverkusen 3 Benfica 1: Son inspires dominant Leverkusen|
|Ludogorets 1 Real Madrid 2: Benzema spares blushes for visitors|
|Basel 1 Liverpool 0: Streller strike gives Swiss side victory|
|Anderlecht 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Immobile, Ramos help Germans cruise|
|Berbatov could miss PSG clash|
|Hamsik looking forward to ´special´ Slovan homecoming|
|League Two Preview:Debt-free Portsmouth in party mood|
|Villas-Boas critical of Zenit performance|
|Eredivisie Preview: Amsterdam giants out to avenge humiliation|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Stuttering title favourites face off in Paris|
|Martinez does homework on Krasnodar|
|Zenit 0 Monaco 0: Hosts held to dour draw|
|Pochettino backs Adebayor to find form|
|Pazzini relaxed over Milan progress|
|Ramsey and Allen to miss Wales qualifiers|
|Icardi open to new Inter contract|
|Mazzarri wants Inter perspective|
|Ideye close to Albion return|
|Ogunode doubles up in Incheon|
|K. League Review: Jeonbuk extend lead as Pohang lose|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 Seoul (agg 2-0): Poljak and Cole fire Australians to final|
|Zamora impressed by Vargas|
|Benteke return has boosted Villa – Weimann|
|Muniesa determined to keep starting spot|
|Diaby prepared to adapt|
|Players to blame, not Pardew - Williamson|
|Dyche looking for squad to step up|
|Havenaar and Kagawa earn Japan recalls|
|Relieved Terry glad to bounce back|
|Martinez backs Besic to shine|
|We paid dearly - Iniesta|
|Blanc hails PSG spirit|
|Tempo not good enough for Milner|
|Rodgers: Sturridge not fit for England|
|Prandelli urges daring approach|
|Jesus bullish ahead of Leverkusen match|
|Bundesliga Preview: Hamburg´s task gets no easier, Bayern battle Hannover|
|Hummels committed to Dortmund|
|Sao Paulo 1 Huachipato 0: Brazilians claim first-leg honours|
|Premier League superior to Serie A - Isla|
|Ferdinand taunts stay-away City fans|
|Simundza hails Maribor effort|
|Yermakovich overjoyed with BATE win|
|We targeted Ajax in the air - Donis|
|Gago among three Argentina inclusions|
|Pellegrini rues poor City showing|
|Aduriz admits Bilbao not good enough|
|Lucescu can´t hide Shakhtar despair|
|De Boer frustrated at ´nothing´ penalty|
|Winning margin not important - Mourinho|
|Maicon disappointed at dropping points|
|Luis Enrique upbeat despite defeat|
|Draw would have been fair - Silva|
|Record-breaker Totti rues Manchester misses|
|Keller: My Schalke players are shattered|
|Championship Review: Norwich beaten, McKinlay off to winning start|
|Champions League centurion Terry proud of achievement|
|Luiz hopes Barca win can kickstart PSG season|
|Crewe Alexandra 0 Notts County 3: Cassidy brace sinks basement boys|
|Aberdeen 2 St Mirren 2: Struggling visitors fight back|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Porto 2: Martinez´s late double salvages dramatic draw|
|Slutsky shrugs off possession statistic|
|Manchester City 1 Roma 1: Evergreen Totti pegs back City|
|APOEL 1 Ajax 1: Manduca rescues point for hosts|
|Schalke 1 Maribor 1: Slovenian underdogs hold firm in Germany|
|BATE 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Hosts secure first victory over Spanish side|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Barcelona 2: Luis Enrique tastes defeat as Xavi makes history|
|Sporting Lisbon 0 Chelsea 1: Matic returns to haunt old rivals|
|K. League Preview: Jeonbuk´s leadership under threat|
|Inter v Qarabag: Mazzarri looking for response|
|Guardiola unimpressed by empty Arena Khimki|
|Krasnodar v Everton: Martinez´s men may be handed triple boost|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Wahda held, Al Shabab win again|
|Schmidt: Leverkusen must match Benfica aggression|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Bayern Munich 1: Century up for German giants|
|Al Ain 2 Al Hilal 1 (agg 2-4): Saudis make final as Gyan sees red|
|Romulo sidelined following hernia surgery|
|Sturridge to miss Basle clash|
|Everton pessimistic over Mirallas injury|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Mazzarri demands Inter fight, Hecking eyes improvement|
|Ancelotti: Ronaldo an example for everyone|
|Evans returns to Northern Ireland squad|
|Simeone earmarks ´extraordinary´ Tevez as Juve´s dangerman|
|Kitchee 1 Erbil 2 (agg 2-3): Early goals see visitors through|
|Herrera sustains fractured rib|
|Tottenham v Besiktas: Kaboul calling for more of the same|
|Scotland call up debutants Gauld and May|
|Ramsey out for up to four weeks|
|Giroud deal done - Wenger|
|Hull City challenge FA over name change ruling|
|Rooney impressed with McNair|
|Luiz: I nearly joined Barca|
|Persipura 0 Al Qadsia 6 (agg 2-10): Visitors coast into final|
|Blanc wary of ´exceptional´ Messi|
|Dawson extends Albion deal|
|Mourinho open to move within Premier League|
|Top four the priority - Van Persie|
|Liga MX Preview: Queretaro braced for Atlas challenge|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Sao Paulo out to arrest slump|
|MLS Preview: DC United ready to grind, Revolution host Crew|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Newell´s unbeaten run ends|
|Mignolet shrugs Valdes, Liverpool link|
|Neville blames transfers for Newcastle form|
|Mathieu applauds Messi, Neymar partnership|
|Mignolet must improve - Carragher|
|Cole hails Lampard|
|Villa may miss opener in Australia|
|Hughes thrilled with ´deserved´ home win|
|Pardew fears for future|