Messi Opens With Pair
London — Lionel Messi Helped 10-man Barcelona start the Spanish league with a 3-0 win over Elche in the debut of coach Luis Enrique, with the Argentina star looking eager to put last season’s disappointments behind him.
Messi used a burst of speed to dribble free of a pack of opponents before slotting in Barcelona’s first goal in the 41st. Barcelona then lost Javier Mascherano to a direct red card when he fouled Elche’s Garry Rodrigues with only goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to beat.
But 18-year-old Munir El Haddadi, starting for the injured Neymar, scored seconds after halftime before Messi got his second goal in the 63rd after again sidestepping a group of defenders.
Elsewhere, promoted Eibar beat Real Sociedad 1-0 for a winning debut in the first division, and Celta Vigo beat Getafe 3-1.
Manchester United Stays Winless
The World Cup memories are fading fast for Louis van Gaal as the size of the rebuilding job at Manchester United hits home.
A week after losing its season opener, United was held to a 1-1 draw at Sunderland, leaving the former Netherlands coach still searching for his first win in the Premier League. Juan Mata gave United the lead in northeast England, but former Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell had a tying header for Sunderland.
Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at Tottenham has begun with consecutive league wins after his team overwhelmed Queens Park Rangers with a stylish 4-0 rout.
In the day’s other game, Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross equalized in the 84th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw against 10-man Hull.
Sounders 4, Timbers 2
Portland, Ore. — Obafemi Martins scored two goals and got an assist for another from Clint Dempsey, and Seattle went on to defeat Portland in a Cascadia Cup rivalry match.
Chad Barrett also scored for the Sounders, who showed little fatigue after five matches in the past 15 days. Fanendo Adi scored twice for the Timbers.
The victory moved the Sounders ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps in the standings for the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia Cup, the supporter-created rivalry between the three teams. The Timbers were effectively eliminated from the Cup race with the loss.
With just nine games left, the loss also hurts Portland’s bid to return to the MLS playoffs after advancing to the Western Conference finals last year.
The Sounders (14-7-3) are currently in first place in conference, while the Timbers (7-8-10) sit in sixth behind the Whitecaps.
Thrown Object Kills Player in Algeria
Cairo — A star soccer player has died after he was hit in the head by an object thrown from the crowd during a game in Algeria’s top league.
The Confederation of African Football says 24-year-old striker Albert Ebosse of Cameroon died in the hospital Saturday night.
His team, JS Kabylie, was playing USM Alger in the northern city of Tizi Ouzou. Kabylie says the forward was hit at the end of the game in which Ebosse had scored in the 2-1 home loss. Ebosse was the leading scorer in the Algerian league last season.
Kabylie says a police investigation will be opened. African confederation President Issa Hayatou expects “exemplary sanctions to be taken against this grave act of violence.”