Rival watch: Atlético Madrid stun Sevilla, Roma beat Juventus

Rival watch: Atlético Madrid stun Sevilla, Roma beat Juventus

Big wins for Atlético and Real Madrid in La Liga, and we also take a look at how FC Barcelona's Champions League opponents fared

[[DES_1]]Barça’s third Liga fixture of the season is away to Atlético Madrid on September 12, and the 2013/14 champions issued a major warning this weekend with a 3-0 win at Sevilla. Koke, Gabi and Jackson Martínez scored the goals that make Atlético one of just four teams to win both of their opening fixtures.

FC Barcelona are one of those. After back-to-back 1-0 wins, the Catalans find themselves fourth in the table, with Eibar and Celta currently tied at the top thanks to a superior goal difference. Eibar beat local rivals Athletic Club 2-0 this weekend, while former Barça man Nolito was on target twice for Celta as they overcame Rayo Vallecano 3-0.

FC Barcelona's eternal rivals Real Madrid broke into the win column in the late game on Saturday night, rolling over newly promoted Real Betis 5–0, with Bale and James both scoring twice. Madrid used their home opener to put last week's lacklustre scoreless draw with Sporting Gijón behind them. Another of the sides predicted to pose a strong challenge this season, Valencia, could only draw 1-1 with Deportivo and are still looking for their first win.

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Euro rivals

Turning to Barça's UEFA Champions League opponents, two had domestic league fixtures this weekend.

On Saturday in Bundesliga action, Bayer Leverkusen — which will visit Camp Nou on 29 September for both teams' second Group E fixture —  were shutout on the road at Bayern Munich by a score of 3–0. The Bavarians, now in their third year under ex-blaugrana manager Pep Guardiola, demonstrated just how tough they are to beat at home. The loss was Leverkusen's first of the season after having opened with a pair of victories. They currently sit sixth in the Bundesliga table.

And on Sunday, it was AS Roma successfully defending their home turf, the Stadio Olimpico, by toppling reigning Serie A champs and UCL runners-up Juventus, 2–1. FC Barcelona open group play on the very same pitch in the Italian capital on 16 September and have now been served a fair warning that the Romans are no pushovers when battling on the banks of the Tiber River. The Gialorossi are now in second place in Serie A with a win and a draw in their first two games.

The fourth and final team drawn into Group E, BATE Borisov from Belarus, have not played since eking past Partizan Belgrade on away goals (2–2 on aggregate) in the Champions League preliminary playoffs on 26 August. BATE's next action comes on Monday 31 August in match day 18 of the Belarusian Premier League at the Borisov Arena versus FC Belshina Bobruisk. BATE are the defending champs and are currently atop the table with nine games to play. Their domestic season ends in November.

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