Barcelona easily beats Celta Vigo
Lionel Messi could not get a goal to mark the birth of his first son, but Barcelona took the points in a straightforward 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo.
Jordi Alba wrapped up the win just after the hour mark.
There was doubt as to whether Messi would play after the birth of Thiago yesterday, but he was there to inspire his side during early one-way traffic.
Messi then went close twice in quick succession, his first effort from close range held by Javi Varas before the goalkeeper pushed another one away from danger moments later.
Aspas brought a save out of Valdes in the 19th minute but Barca soon took the lead.
The breakthrough came when Pedro crossed from the right for Adriano to slot home.
Celta Vigo's reply was immediate, with Valdes unable to hold Fernandez Augusto's shot and Bermejo sweeping home the rebound.
But just as quickly as Celta equalized, Barca retook the lead, with Iniesta's pass finding Villa for the finish.
Goalscorer Adriano then limped off injured to be replaced by Dani Alves, and after the flurry of activity, both teams held station until the break.
Fabregas was replaced by Marc Bartra at the break as Barca made its second change, but it was slow to get back into rhythm.
Aspas sent a free kick straight at Valdes in the 56th minute, but it was not until the hour mark that Barca launched a meaningful attack.
Crucially, however, Barcelona scored. Villa turned provider to play the ball through for Jordi Alba to score from close range.
Barca seemed content at that, and other than a Pedro shot that flashed wide from the edge of the area, rarely threatened to score again.
Roberto Lago fired over for Celta with 10 minutes left, but Barca saw the game out in comfort.
Barcelona moved three points clear at the top after Atletico Madrid's unbeaten start to the season ended with a 2-0 defeat at Valencia.
Atletico had won eight matches in a row in the league but succumbed to Roberto Soldado's 21st-minute goal and a stoppage-time strike from Nelson Valdez at the Mestalla.
Rayo Vallecano inflicted a first home defeat of the season on Malaga, which dropped to fourth, thanks to two goals from Piti.
The midfielder opened the scoring after 11 minutes but the visitors were pegged back four minutes into the second period by a Martin Demichelis header.
However, Rayo got the winner it deserved on the hour mark when Piti fired into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the season.
Information from Press Association was used in this report.