Lionel Messi scored a second half brace to help Barcelona beat Alaves 2-0 on Saturday evening.
The last meeting between the two sides was back in May when Barca beat the Basque side to win the Copa del Rey and Ernesto Valverde’s side would come away with success after two goals from Messi on 55 and 66 minutes.
Gerard Pique was back for Barcelona, whilst Andres Iniesta also returned to the starting eleven and they both played a pinnacle part in Barca’s early dominance.
Alaves seemed very happy to sit back and watch the Catalan side keep the ball, but they did manage to gain a sole counter attacking chance in the first half as Ruben Sobrino beat Pique for pace but fired his shot straight at Marc Andre ter-Stegen.
Gerard Deulofeu was proving Barca’s best chance of scoring and the former Everton man tested Alaves keeper Fernando Pacheco three times before the break.
Valverde’s side had their best chance of the half just before the interval as Messi was handed a penalty after Rodrigo Ely fouled Pique from a corner kick.
However, the usually reliable Messi had his spot kick saved by Pacheco, much to the delight of the home fans.
Alaves seemed buoyed by the incident but their hope turned sour ten minutes after the break as Messi pounced in the area to fire past Pacheco and make it 1-0.
The Argentine forward would then dominate proceedings and scored 11 minutes after his opener, finding space in the area, before volleying home.
Messi would come close to scoring a hat-trick late on but his two goals proved enough to see Barca’s 100% start to the season continue.