Gareth Bale continued his swift change in fortunes at Real Madrid by starting his side's first game of the season at Celta Vigo - and inspiring Zinedine Zidane's men to a 3-1 win.
The Welshman looked set to leave the Bernabeu after being effectively told he had no future in pre-season and coming close to landing a lucrative move to China.
But Bale was surprisingly preferred over Lucas Vazquez for Real's trip to the Balaidos in LaLiga, and responded by setting up the opening goal for team-mate Karim Benzema.
Real rode their luck in the early stages and had Luka Modric sent off in the 54th minute, but goals from Toni Kroos and substitute Vazquez wrapped up victory before Iker Losada Aragunde's late consolation.
Mikel Oyarzabal's penalty deep into added time salvaged a 1-1 draw for Real Sociedad against Valencia at the Mestalla.
The hosts took a 58th-minute lead through Kevin Gameiro but, in the 100th minute of the game, Francis Coquelin was sent off for a handball and Oyarzabal scored from the spot.
Villarreal and Granada kicked off the season in fine style after playing out a thrilling 4-4 draw at Estadio De La Ceramica.
Santi Cazorla's penalty gave the Yellow Submarine the lead before Fede Vico levelled the scores with a spot-kick of his own just before half-time.
Moi Gomez restored Villarreal's lead only for Ruben Pena's own goal to restore parity once more.
Gerard Moreno gave Javier Calleja's side the lead for the third time in the match and Samuel Chukwueze looked to have won it when he made it 4-2 with 17 minutes remaining.
Roberto Soldado grabbed a goal back for Granada in the 75th minute and Antonio Puertas secured a dramatic point with a third equaliser after 81 minutes.
Paulo Oliveira's own goal after 75 minutes handed Mallorca a 2-1 victory at home to Eibar.
Eibar centre-back Oliveira had earlier equalised Dani Rodriguez's fourth-minute opener before putting into his own net.
Elsewhere, Ezequiel Avila scored the only goal for Osasuna in their 1-0 victory over Leganes, who had Oscar Arnaiz sent off in added time.