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.
|South Korea v New Zealand: All Whites looking to future|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Hosts eye another win under Halilhodzic|
|MLS Review: Kaka nets in Orlando draw|
|Mexico 1 Ecuador 0: Hernandez, Corona help Herrera´s men to victory|
|Deschamps calls for France response|
|Dunga unfazed by pressure|
|Montenegro fan turns himself in after flare incident|
|Injured Messi not ready - Martino|
|Hodgson: Rooney not close to Charlton|
|Terim proud of Turkey|
|Hiddink happy with point|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Netherlands and Italy stage late escapes|
|Debutant Eder delighted with Azzurri bow|
|Argentina 2 El Salvador 0: Mancuello nets debut goal in straightforward win|
|Kovac not satisfied despite Croatia victory|
|Netherlands 1 Turkey 1: Huntelaar spares Hiddink from historic home loss|
|Ghana 1 Senegal 2: Konate brace downs Black Stars|
|Bulgaria 2 Italy 2: Controversial debutant Eder rescues Conte´s men|
|Morocco 0 Uruguay 1: Cavani spot-kick seals win|
|Al Sadd say talks with Xavi ongoing|
|McClean slams Sunderland´s handling of poppy controversy|
|Ghana 1-2 Senegal: Black Stars continue Afcon hangover|
|Cheltenham player diagnosed with cancer|
|Palace takeover talk premature - Parish|
|Odegaard becomes Euro qualifiers´ youngest starter|
|Job not done yet, Bale warns Wales|
|Israel 0 Wales 3: Brilliant Bale bags brace as Wales go top|
|Dunga backs Neymar to overhaul Pele´s Brazil goal record|
|League Two Review: Hartlepool climb out of drop zone, Cheltenham go bottom|
|El Salvador 0-2 Argentina: Martino's men triumph without Messi|
|League One Review: Canavan leaves it late to deny County|
|Freddy Adu signs with 11th team in as many years|
|Besiktas deny Cech, Danny rumours|
|Puerto Rico v Canada: Haber targets more momentum|
|Miranda not contemplating Atletico exit|
|Austin relaxed over England prospects|
|Manchester United should sign Ibrahimovic - Schmeichel|
|Ibe eyes Liverpool run-in|
|Bertrand called up by England as withdrawal of four players confirmed|
|A-League Review: Risdon nets stunner, Germano tames Roar|
|Panama v Costa Rica: Unbeaten run a secondary concern for Wanchope|
|Italy coach Conte shaken after death threats - FIGC chief|
|Barca fears over Alba eased|
|Schweinsteiger to start Germany qualifier|
|Akinfeev thanks fans after flare incident|
|Injuries offer Kane chance of first England start|
|Russian Football Union to protest following Montenegro abandonment|
|October comeback the target for injured Foster|
|Van der Vaart looks set to leave Hamburg|
|Bale focused on Wales - Coleman|
|Kluivert helps Curacao to victory|
|Hamstrung Alba returns to Barcelona|
|Macedonia v Australia: Confident visitors eye victory|
|Akinfeev to return to Moscow with Russia squad|
|Brnovic: Montenegro have no chance of qualifying|
|Russia had to resume after Akinfeev incident - Capello|
|Terim: Robben absence important|
|Brazil - Chile Preview: Winning is 'our only option' - Dunga|
|France - Denmark Preview: Olsen hits out at 'disrespectful' hosts|
|Morata keen to keep working|
|Canada 1 Guatemala 0: Haber heads Floro´s men to win|
|Difficult to find a place for Kane in starting XI - Hodgson|
|Difficult to find a place for Kane in starting XI - Hodgson|
|Montenegro-Russia abandoned after scuffle|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Montenegro-Russia abandoned, Spain and England win|
|Accrington Stanley 0 Newport County 2: Visitors up to sixth|
|Kane delighted with ´dream´ start|
|England 4 Lithuania 0: Kane enjoys dream debut|
|Spain 1 Ukraine 0: Morata settles tight contest|
|Akinfeev struck by flare as Montenegro-Russia game suspended after 30 seconds|
|Brazil v Chile: Winning is ´our only option´ - Dunga|
|Northern Ireland v Finland: Controversial fixture met with religious protests|
|Scotland v Gibraltar: Wilson out to dent countrymen´s hopes|
|Republic of Ireland v Poland: Pressure is on, says O´Neill|
|Georgia v Germany: Schneider warns world champions|
|PSV agree permament Guardado deal|
|France v Denmark: Olsen hits out at training facilities|
|Pienaar to return to Everton training|
|Hughes eyes silverware at Stoke after signing new deal|
|Portugal v Serbia: Carvalho vows to attack|
|Dynamo Kiev stadium partially closed after racism probe|
|Hull City fined £30,000 for misconduct|
|Balotelli must work hard for Italy return – Bonucci|
|Marchisio suffers knee ligament injury|
|Hughes agrees new Stoke City deal until 2018|
|Martinez hopeful over injured Everton trio|
|South Korea 1-1 Uzbekistan: Kuziboyev's debut strike denies hosts|
|South Korea 1 Uzbekistan 1: Kuziboyev´s debut strike denies hosts|
|Japan 2 Tunisia 0: Kagawa and Honda shine as Halilhodzic starts with a win|
|South Africa v Nigeria: Mashaba wary of bitter opponents|
|Japan 2-0 Tunisia: Kagawa & Honda shine in Halilhodzic's first game|
|Parma captain Lucarelli welcomes FIGC reforms|
|South Africa - Nigeria Preview: Mashaba wary of bitter opponents|
|Di Francesco ignoring Milan rumours|
|Melbourne Victory 2 Central Coast Mariners 1: Finkler leads fightback|
|Bale would be ´perfect´ for United - Scholes|
|Badstuber and Bellarabi out of Georgia clash|
|Rooney KOs boxing celebration|
|Allen thrilled with Welsh ´hunger´|
|Kovacic to miss Euro 2016 qualifier|
|Costa Rica 0 Paraguay 0: Dour draw marks Diaz debut|
|Reid ruled out of South Korea friendly|
|Deschamps talks up France despite defeat|
|Rooney chasing England goalscoring record|
|Brazil ´superior´ admit French veterans|
|Reeves sidelined for Finland clash|
|Confidence critical for rampaging Brazil - Dunga|