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Soccer-Neymar opens La Liga account as Barca thump Sociedad

Reuters

MADRID, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Barcelona maintained their perfect start to their title defence when Neymar scored his first La Liga goal and Lionel Messi netted his seventh of the season in a 4-1 victory at home to Real Sociedad on Tuesday.

The champions made it six wins from six largely thanks to a scintillating first-half display at the Nou Camp, when Neymar bundled the ball over the line after five minutes and World Player of the Year Messi made it 2-0 with a diving header from the Brazilian's cross three minutes later.

Sergio Busquets scored a rare goal to make it 3-0 in the 23rd minute before Barca lost some of their intensity in the second half and Alberto de la Bella pulled one back for the visitors just after the hour.

Messi, whose goal was his seventh in five league appearances this term, then set up substitute Marc Bartra to score from close range 13 minutes from time and snuff out any hopes of a Sociedad fightback.

Barca top the table on 18 points, three ahead of Atletico Madrid who host Osasuna later on Tuesday (2000 GMT). Real Madrid, two points behind in third, play at Elche on Wednesday (2000). (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)

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