New arrivals Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo struck their first goals for Barcelona in an impressive 5-0 rout of Real Betis on Saturday in La Liga.
Earlier Atletico Madrid were hammered 3-0 by Valencia at Mestalla with coach Diego Simeone labelling it the “weakest” performance during his time at the club.
Barcelona’s five-star display was inspired by Felix, who netted the opener, with further goals from Robert Lewandowski, Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Cancelo.
The emphatic victory places the Catalans provisionally on top of the table, a point clear of rivals Real Madrid who host Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Barcelona played with a vibrancy they lacked at times last season, even as they lifted La Liga, warming up for their Champions League opener on Tuesday against Royal Antwerp.
Xavi handed Felix and compatriot Cancelo their first starts for the club and they quickly impressed home fans and their coach.
“We’re talking about two players there are absolutely no doubts about in terms of individual quality,” Xavi told reporters.
“The two bring something different that improves the team. Individual quality is what makes the difference.”
Betis, lining up with a back four composed only of former Barcelona players, played with attacking intent, unlike many other teams who will visit the temporary Olympic Stadium home of the Spanish champions.
However, Barcelona moved ahead after 25 minutes when Oriol Romeu fed Felix.
The on-loan Atletico forward controlled the ball, knocked it past goalkeeper Rui Silva and then squeezed home clinically from a tight angle.
“I’m very happy to be starting again, the feelings are very good — it’s easy to play in this team,” Felix told Movistar.
Felix, signed by Atletico Madrid for a club-record fee of 126 million euros ($134 million) in 2019, failed to find consistent form in the capital and was loaned to Chelsea last season.
“I am happy, the change has done me good, me and my family, I am very happy here,” he added.