Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both opened their accounts for the season as Real Madrid and Barcelona both enjoyed wins in La Liga on Saturday.
Ronaldo became Madrid's all-time leading scorer in the league as he hit a stunning five goals in a 6-0 win over Espanyol.
Messi had to settle for just one as he came off the bench for Barca in their 2-1 away victory against Atletico Madrid.
Elsewhere, Valencia enjoyed a narrow 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon, and Real Betis saw off Real Sociedad by the same scoreline.
Here are all the result's from Saturday's Spanish action and the latest standings:
|La Liga Week 3 Results:|
|Friday, September 11||7:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.||Levante vs. Sevilla||1-1|
|Saturday, September 12||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Espanyol vs. Real Madrid||0-6|
|Saturday, September 12||5:15 p.m./12:15 p.m.||Sporting de Gijon vs. Valencia||0-1|
|Saturday, September 12||7:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.||Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona||1-2|
|Saturday, September 12||9 p.m./4 p.m.||Real Betis vs. Real Sociedad||1-0|
|Sunday, September 13||11 a.m./6 a.m.||Granada vs. Villarreal||TBD|
|Sunday, September 13||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Athletic Bilbao vs. Getafe||TBD|
|Sunday, September 13||5:15 p.m./12:15 p.m.||Celta de Vigo vs. Las Palmas||TBD|
|Sunday, September 13||7:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.||Malaga vs. Eibar||TBD|
|Monday, September 14||7:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.||Rayo Vallecano vs. Deportivo La Coruna||TBD|
|13||Deportivo La Coruna||2||0||2||0||1||1||0||2|
With neither Ronaldo nor Messi having scored in his opening two matches, all eyes were on the Portuguese superstar in Saturday's early kick-off, and he well and truly laid down the gauntlet for his rival.
The 30-year-old had a hat-trick after just 20 minutes as he and his team flew out of the traps.
Seven minutes had passed when Ronaldo got his first, pouncing on Luka Modric's exquisite ball over Espanyol's defence to calmly register the opener, and he doubled his tally with a penalty 10 minutes later.
Just three minutes after the spot-kick, the forward notched his 32nd hat-trick for Real as Gareth Bale drifted over to the left flank from his starting position as No. 10, and Ronaldo made no mistake in converting the Welshman's pinpoint cross.
Karim Benzema got in the action before the half-hour mark with all three of Real's forwards linking up well, per football journalist Dermot Corrigan:
Ronaldo passed Raul's record of 228 La Liga goals with his fourth in the 61st minute with Bale the provider again after a lightning-fast counter-attack from an Espanyol corner.
The star completed the rout with his fifth goal nine minutes from time, as Lucas Vazquez jinked past two defenders and delivered the ball to Ronaldo to tap home from close range.
Squawka Football highlighted the forward's immense performance:
Los Blancos have now scored 11 goals in their last two matches and are yet to concede this season, so new boss Rafael Benitez appears well on his way to finding a balance between attacking fluency and much-needed defensive solidity, albeit Real haven't yet faced a true test.
I really like to talk about the team when you win a game like this, and you must highlight all the goals—including Cristiano Ronaldo's five. There will always be things to improve, which is what we have to do.
We played a good game, we had power up front, and there are things to still polish. Espanyol did many things well, but we had that attacking power. It is a spectacular result, away from home, but there are still things we can improve, I can say that without vanity.
Barcelona weren't nearly as rampant in their win over Atletico, but they claimed a vital win all the same.
A drab first half was perhaps only notable for Neymar being denied a penalty after Jose Gimenez blocked the forward's shot with his arm, and Javier Mascherano was similarly guilty for stopping a Fernando Torres cross with his arm immediately after the restart to no avail.
Torres opened the scoring soon after, though, outstripping the Argentinian to fire home his first of the season.
The Rojiblancos' lead didn't last long, however, and Neymar levelled the match with a stunning free-kick that flew into the top corner from 25 yards.
Barca were again controversially refused a penalty after the Brazilian's curling effort was stopped short of the line by the backtracking Diego Godin.
Nevertheless, the Blaugrana grabbed a deserved winner through substitute Messi. Corrigan and the Guardian's Sid Lowe acknowledged the importance of their early success over their title rivals:
A late strike from Paco Alcacer was enough for Valencia to secure an away win against Sporting Gijon. The win is Los Che's first of the season.
Valencia face Real Betis in their next match, who beat Real Sociedad on Saturday night.
Los Che are unbeaten so far in this campaign and should have enough to overcome Betis at the Mestalla on September 19.