Gareth Bale started to live up to that daunting £86 million price tag with a goal on his debut, but Real Madrid only managed a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Villarreal.
Gareht Bale celebrates with teammates after scoring on his Real Madrid debut against Villarreal in their La Liga match, September 14
The newly-minted dream team of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale both scored for the Los Blancos; however, it wasn't enough to maintain their perfect record in La Liga so far.
"Proud to score on my debut and pleased to get 60 minutes tonight, just disappointed not to get the result," Bale said on his official Twitter feed.
"Looking forward to Tuesday now," he added referring to Real's Champions League opener against Galatasaray.
Real are now two points behind archrivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, both of whom won in contrasting fashion on Saturday.
Barca needed a last-gasp goal from Alexis Sanchez, created brilliantly by, who else but Lionel Messi, to overcome Sevilla, while Atletico eased past Almeria 4-2.
All eyes on Saturday, however, was on Real Madrid and the new world's most expensive player, with Carlo Ancelotti handing Bale a start.
It was Villarreal, though, that went into the lead with Cani putting the home side in the lead in the 21st minute.
Bale, playing alongside Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, took just 38 minutes to get his first Real goal getting on the end of a cross from Dani Carvajal, with the Welshman immediately mobbed by his new teammates.
Ronaldo, the man previously known as the world's most expensive player, put Real ahead in the 64th minute after his initial shot rebounded off a defender and onto his leg before creeping into the back of the net.
Villarreal, though, were very good value for at least a draw, and were only trailing thanks to a bunch of brilliant saves from Diego Lopez in goal.
However, the home side did get their deserved equalizer, with Giovanni Dos Santos, Bale's former teammate at Tottenham, grabbing the equalizer.
"I think he's happy to score his first goal for Real Madrid," Ancelotti said of Bale. "He played in a difficult match and he played well, showing his good attitude. It was a hard match for everyone."
At the Camp Nou, Barcelona picked up all three points in dramatic style with Sanchez scoring in pretty much the last kick of the game.
Barca were seemingly in complete control after Lionel Messi made it 2-0 in the second half to add to Daniel Alves' first half goal - Neymar assisting Messi to help double the lead.
Sevilla, though, always looked good on the counter attack and they took advantage of the fragile looking Barca defence with two goals in the final ten minutes of normal time.
Ivan Rakitic first made it 2-1 with a sweet low strike, before Coke took full advantage of the acres of space awarded to him off a corner, hooking home from close range.
Sevilla then had a couple of chances to make it 3-2 as the game got stretched in stoppage time, before that man Messi again went on an unstoppable rampaging run, forcing a save from the Sevilla goalkeeper, with the rebound falling kindly to Sanchez, who accepted the gift gleefully.
"We were lucky to win but it won't always be this way," Barca's Javier Mascherano said. "Everything will get more difficult in the future."
At the Vicente Calderon, Atletico were impressive again in a 4-2 victory. David Villa opened the scoring for the home side, before Diego Lopez made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 37th minute.
Almeria pulled one back through Rodri in the 40th minute, before Tiago restored the two-goal lead in the 64th minute. The game was put to bed by Koke three minutes later with Alex Vidal grabbing a late consolation for Almeria.
Results: Atletico Madrid 4-2 Almeria; Barcelona 3-2 Sevilla; Levante 0-0 Real Sociedad; Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid.
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