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Luis Suarez: 'It is a privilege to play with Lionel Messi'

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Ernesto Valverde banks on debutant Ousmane Dembele to make instant impact against Espanyol

Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick to inspire FC Barcelona to a 5-0 win over local rivals Espanyol in the Catalan derby.

Suarez's trials continued as he looped an attempt on to the roof of the net having been set up by Messi - both forwards jogged back into position wearing rueful smiles.

Real Madrid dropped points at the Santiago Bernabeau for the second straight game after being held to a 1-1 draw by Levante.

A third win in as many rounds left Barcelona atop of the standings, with two more points than second-place Sevilla and four more points than defending champion Real Madrid in sixth.

The visitors missed another great chance to reduce the deficit early in the second half when full-back Alba inadvertently laid the ball off to Piatti as Marc-Andre ter Stegen had come out to collect a long ball up field.

The Argentine superstar completed his hat-trick with a clinical finish in the 67th minute.

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The 20-year-old joined the Spanish giants last week in a five-year deal worth €105million as Barca sought to replace Neymar following the Brazilian's €222m switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

Espanyol were being outplayed but retained a sporadic threat, with a combination of Pique and Samuel Umtiti diverting Baptistao's 61st-minute shot behind.

Easy as can be, and Barca looks to be just fine.

Suarez's fifth goal was met with chants for president Josep Maria Bartomeu to reign.

"We can't be happy with our performance", said Real manager Zinedine Zidane.

"We are at the start of the season and the differences are not significant, but it sure is better to be ahead than behind", Valverde said. "We need to have patience and think about the next game, which is just around the corner".

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