BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Newly promoted Villarreal thrashed Osasuna 3-0 on Saturday to establish its best start in the Spanish league with three victories from as many games.
Villarreal has returned to the topflight after one year in the second division in fine fashion and sat as overnight leader before Sunday's matches, which include both Barcelona and Real Madrid with two wins each.
"We played a great game, above all we were able to enjoy the creativity of these players on the pitch today, who with the win made us leaders," said Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia.
Elsewhere, Celta Vigo's lack of finishing touch condemned it to a 1-1 draw at home against Granada, while Valladolid beat Getafe 1-0 for its first points of the season.
After scoring in both of Villarreal's first two victories, Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos started the game on the bench and only came on after his team had secured the result to help it add another goal.
Even without its most creative player at the start, Villarreal picked Osasuna apart thanks to the speed of its forwards.
Jonathan Pereira and Javier Aquino led the way for the visitors in Pamplona.
Moments after driving the ball just across the goalmouth, Pereira beat the offside trap with a perfectly-placed pass to spring Jeremy Perbet behind Osasuna's high defensive line.
The French striker did the rest by resisting the challenge of goalkeeper Andres Fernandez before slotting the ball between his legs.
Pereira played a key part in doubling the lead on the half-hour mark. He collected Bruno Soriano's incisive long pass, dribbled deep into the box, and after momentarily losing control laid off for Aquino to scoop the ball over a defender and into the net.
Coach Marcelino Garcia sent on Dos Santos for Perbet in the 63rd and 12 minutes later he squared Aquino's pass for substitute Ickechuwku Uche to polish off a counterattack.
"When this team is dynamic, when it is well positioned, it's a team that creates a lot scoring chances based on combining well with quick passing," said Garcia. "Playing with speed and precision is what we want to do and what we saw today."
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