(CNN) -- Real Madrid made a stumbling start to their La Liga title defense, as they were held 1-1 by Valencia Sunday in the Santiago Bernabeu.
It was two costly points dropped as arch rivals Barcelona later thumped Real Sociedad 5-1 in the Camp Nou.
Barca's new coach Tito Vilanova saw them dominate the first half and take a 4-1 lead by the break.
Carles Puyol headed them in front from a second minute corner before Chori Castro leveled for the visitors.
But Lionel Messi was at his superb best to take the game away from Sociedad.
He scored a double in four minutes, both fine individual efforts, before Pedro Rodriguez added a fourth on the stroke of halftime.
David Villa added the gloss to the performance, as he made his return in the second half after a lengthy injury layoff.
He converted a pass from Andres Iniesta in the 75th minute.
Barcelona meet Real in the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday and will be hoping the reigning champions misfire as they did against Valencia.
Gonzalo Higuain put Jose Mourinho's men ahead Real ahead after nine minutes, but Brazilian midfielder Jonas Goncalves equalized just before the interval with a neat header.
Cristiano Ronaldo had an early chance for Real but was otherwise quiet on a disappointing night for Los Blancos.
"I don't think we played a great game, but we did enough to win," Mourinho told the official Real Madrid website.
In the other game Sunday, Athletic Bilbao slumped to a 5-3 home defeat to Real Betis.