(CNN)Lionel Messi missed a first-half penalty but ended the day smiling as Barcelona narrowly overcame Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at the San Mames in its first fixture of the La Liga season.
La Liga: Messi misses penalty but Barcelona win, Real Madrid held
The result is sweet revenge for the Spanish Supercopa humbling -- which included a 4-0 first leg drubbing -- handed to the Catalan's by Bilbao last week..
And with arch rivals Real Madrid stuttering to a scoreless draw at Sporting Gijon later on Sunday, Barcelona has an early advantage in the race for the title.
Yet Messi will doubtless be concerned that he has now missed 14 out of the 63 penalties he has taken for Barcelona, and five in the last year for club and country.
The Argentina international's spot kick was saved by Gorka Iraizoz in the Bilbao goal after Luis Suarez was adjudged to have been felled in the area by Gorka Elustondo.
Suarez would go on to save any potential Messi blushes by scoring the only goal of the game on 54 minutes. The Uruguayan smashed home from eight yards out after a pinpoint assist from the speedy Jordi Alba.
There was late concern for Barcelona, however, as midfielder Sergio Busquets was stretchered from the field having appeared to take a nasty knock on the ankle.
Dani Alves had already been forced off through injury earlier in the game while Neymar wasn't selected as he recovers from illness.
The club later confirmed later that both Alves and Busquets will have to be assessed on Monday to discover the extent of their injuries.
When asked about the condition of his teammates after the game, Suarez said, "we know we're walking a fine line," in comments carried by the club's official website.
Barcelona is under a transfer embargo until January and any players injured long term cannot be replaced until then.
"They (Alves and Busquets) are players who add a lot to the team," he added.
When speaking on the topic of his winning goal and the tight nature of Sunday's win, Suarez was more effusive.
"These games inspire us to win the league," he said.
"We won the game and that's what's important (but) we had to wait for the (right) moment to create some scoring chances."
As Suarez was speaking, Real Madrid was suffering its own frustrations in front of goal, 150 miles along Spain's rugged northern coast.
Last year's La Liga runner up was unable to make the most of the few chances that came its way against newly promoted Sporting Gijon.
Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez all started for 'Los Galacticos' in new manager Rafa Benitez's first competitive game in charge.
But the front line, with a combined worth of $328 million, couldn't break down the determined Sporting rear guard.
Ronaldo twice came close as Real ratcheted up the pressure in the last half hour.
But it was Sporting, playing its first game back in Spain's top flight for three years, that came closest to claiming the win when Antonio Sanabria's first-half header rattled the crossbar.
Benitez will now look to rally his troops for a first home league fixture of the season against Real Betis next weekend.
Pedro Rodriguez got off to a goal-scoring start in a Chelsea shirt as the West London club picked up its first victory of the season thanks to a 3-2 win away to West Bromwich Albion.
James Morrison missed an early penalty for the hosts before Pedro and Diego Costa Struck for the visitors.
Morrison pulled a goal back but Cesar Azpilicueta restored Chelsea's two goal advantage before half time.
John Terry then saw red for bringing down West Brom striker Solomon Rondon after 55 minutes and Morrison scored a second for the hosts shortly after.
Despite some late West Brom pressure, the Blues managed to hold out for the win.
Chelsea's big spending rivals Manchester City also secured a valuable away win Sunday against Roberto Martinez's Everton.
A closely-fought game swung in City's favor when Aleksander Kolarov broke the deadlock midway through the second half.
Yaya Toure then set up substitute Samir Nasri to round off the 2-0 victory and stretch City's 100% start to three games.
In the only other top flight game in England, Sunday, Watford and Southampton played out a scoreless draw at Vicarage Road.
Borussia Dortmund maintained its impressive start to the season by winning 4-0 at Bundesliga newcomers Ingolstadt.
Matthias Ginter, Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all got on the score sheet for Thomas Tuchel's side.
In Sunday's late fixture, Borussia Monchengladbach suffered is now rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table after succumbing to a 2-1 home defeat against Mainz.
Jairo opened the scoring for Mainz before Patrick Herrmann levelled things up. However, a late Christian Clemens strike ensured the three points would be leaving the Stadion Im Borussia Park.
Reigning Serie A champion Juventus stumbled to a home defeat in it's opening fixture as a solitary goal from French striker Cyril Thereau gave Udinese a surprise victory.
Last season's defeated Champions League finalist was beginning life without the majestic talents of Andrea Pirlo, who has signed for New York City and Arturo Vidal, now at Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere in Italy, Inter Milan triumphed 1-0 at home over Atalanta thanks to a last minute goal from summer signing Stevan Jovetic.
There was to be no such luck for city rivals AC Milan, however, which went down 2-0 to Fiorentina. Marcos Alonso and Josip Ilicic scored the goals for La Viola.
In perhaps the day's most entertaining game, Sampdoria triumphed 5-2 at home to Catania. Samp scored all five of its goals in the first period with Eder and Luis Murillo both grabbing braces before Fernando added to the tally.