Promoted Villarreal sent another signal they are unlikely to drop straight back into the second tier when a 3-0 success at CA Osasuna that made it three straight La Liga wins this season for el Submarino Amarillo.
In a match that started last month and finished this month due to the kickoff at 11pm, Villarreal were far more threatening than their Pamplona-based hosts and took the lead through Jeremy Perbet in the 23rd minute.
Javier Aquino added a second in his canary-colored shirt seven minutes later and substitute Ikechukwu Uche made it 3-0 in the 75th minute with a clinical finish to a sweeping move.
It was the first time Villarreal had won their opening three games of a top-flight season and it lifted them to the top of the standings on nine points.
Earlier on Saturday, RC Celta de Vigo failed to make their superiority count in a 1-1 draw at home to Granada, while Real Valladolid earned their first points of the campaign with a 1-0 victory against visiting Getafe.
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino planned to rest Xavi and Alexis Sanchez for the Spanish champions’ game at Valencia yesterday, but Lionel Messi was back in the squad after missing the previous weekend’s win at Malaga with a bruised thigh.
Real Madrid were to host Athletic Bilbao in yesterday’s early kickoff, before Atletico Madrid visited fellow UEFA Champions League participants Real Sociedad in San Sebastian.