Barcelona dug deep for a narrow 2-1 win over Getafe in the Spanish top flight on Sunday with Dutch striker Memphis Depay providing the winner.
Getting used to life without superstar Lionel Messi, Barcelona has seven points from three games along with Real Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Mallorca.
Champions Atletico Madrid, however, can go top on nine points later Sunday if they beat Villarreal at home.
Barcelona got off to a quick start as Roberto prodded home a Jordi Alba cross in just the second minute at Camp Nou.
But Getafe did not buckle and Sandro Ramirez fired home a neat snapshot after a quick one-two on 18 minutes.
– Winning mentality –
Dressed all in black, Barca boss Ronald Koeman cut a nervous figure on the sidelines as he pointed and shouted instructions with Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets bossing the midfield.
De Jong then provided the killer pass for the winner.
Timing his run perfectly, Depay fired home a low drive from the left of the six-yard box to put Barca back ahead on the half-hour.
Depay came closest to scoring another with an acrobatic volley late on, but the former Manchester United and Lyon striker now has two goals and an assist from three Liga games.
“Psychologically it’s a big step forward for us, we were under pressure but held on even though we were suffering,” Koeman said. “We held the line further forward.”
“So we are very happy with the three points and very happy with our pressing off the ball.”
Before Atletico’s late match, Cadiz take on Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano host Granada.
– Real ride luck–
On Saturday, Dani Carvajal’s second-half goal gave Real Madrid a 1-0 win at Real Betis as Carlo Ancelotti’s men rode their luck.
Madrid now has seven points from their opening three games after a bright start to the season, while the reported potential signing of Kylian Mbappe could give them another boost before the end of the transfer window on Tuesday.
Ancelotti, who returned to the club after the resignation of Zinedine Zidane, has seen some of his tougher decisions pay off so far, with Gareth Bale and Isco impressing after being brought back into the fold.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s header secured Sevilla a 1-1 draw at Elche which kept Julen Lopetegui’s men unbeaten after three games.
Sevilla is hoping to launch another title challenge this term after falling away late last season to finish fourth.
Elsewhere, 19-year-old Ander Barrenetxea gave Real Sociedad a 1-0 victory over Levante, while Athletic Bilbao won by the same scoreline at Celta Vigo.