AP\n Printed 12:41 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2018 | Up to date Three:49 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2018FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, proper, vies for the ball towards Alaves goalkeeper Pacheco all over a Spanish Los angeles Liga football fit at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (AP Photograph\/Manu Fernandez)(Photograph: The Related Press)Lionel Messi began the Spanish league proper the place he left off ultimate season, and that's the reason now not a just right signal for Actual Madrid's weakened squad.Madrid does not have Cristiano Ronaldo to take a look at to compare Messi's achievements for the primary time in just about a decade, and dethroning the protecting league champions might be that a lot tougher if the Argentine playmaker dominates once more.Messi, the league's best scorer ultimate season, opened this 12 months's marketing campaign through scoring two objectives within the staff's Three-Zero win over Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday. His first function used to be a suave free-kick shot beneath the wall, breaking the sport open after Barcelona had struggled to get previous the Alaves protection.Change Philippe Coutinho added to the lead overdue within the recreation and Messi closed the scoring in harm time.Madrid used to be most likely feeling Ronaldo's absence off the sector as neatly, as a moderately small crowd of 48,446 used to be on the Bernabeu for Sunday's 10:15 p.m. get started (native time), marking the staff's worst attendance since prior to Ronaldo arrived in 2009, consistent with Spanish media.PROMISING BALEWith Ronaldo long past to Juventus, Gareth Bale has been gaining a extra outstanding position with Actual Madrid. And he were given off to a just right get started through enjoying neatly within the staff's league opener towards Getafe.Bale scored and helped arrange Dani Carvajal's function within the 2-Zero win within the Madrid derby at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. He additionally struck the crossbar with a first-half header."Bale had an excellent fit," Madrid trainer Julen Lopetegui stated. "He provides us many answers."It's the 3rd immediately season Bale has scored in Madrid's opener within the Spanish league.He hadn't had many probabilities as a starter beneath trainer Zinedine Zidane, who hand over prior to Ronaldo departed within the offseason.Lopetegui has been retaining Keylor Navas in function in spite of the signing of big name goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Navas used to be the starter when Madrid gained its ultimate 3 Champions League titles.VAR DEBUTThe Spanish league has offered the video assistant referees, leaving the English Premier League as the one main home festival in Europe with out the evaluation era. On VAR's first weekend in Spain, it used to be used two times in Sevilla's Four-1 win at promoted Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.It awarded Sevilla a function that were to begin with disallowed on account of offside, and gave Rayo a penalty kick after a nasty that were firstly known as out of doors the world.To get fanatics familiarized to it, pamphlets explaining how the gadget is meant for use had been allotted prior to some fits. The VAR used to be additionally defined through an announcer prior to Actual Madrid's fit towards Getafe on the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium."We can get used to is," Atletico Madrid trainer Diego Simeone stated.PROMOTED CLUBSHuesca \u2014 which had by no means performed within the first department \u2014 had the most productive get started some of the promoted golf equipment, profitable 2-1 at Eibar.Valladolid earned a just right draw at Girona on Friday, whilst Rayo Vallecano misplaced Four-1 at house to Sevilla on Sunday.Valladolid and Rayo were regulars within the best flight up to now, however now not Huesca, the small membership based totally in northeastern Spain.Huesca had performed a complete of most effective 8 seasons in the second one department prior to incomes its promotion ultimate season.___Extra AP Spanish football protection: https:\/\/apnews.com\/tag\/LaLigaCopyright 2018 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This subject material will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.