Real Madrid Maintain Lead Over Barcelona As La Liga Battle Intensifies
Real Madrid made hard work of defeating Alaves, who had chances to equalize Karim Benzema’s opening goal for Madrid, which should have been ruled out for offside, before late strikes from Isco and Nacho Fernandez gave the home side a very flattering 3-0 final score.
Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco made just two saves all game, but Alaves were guilty of failing to even hit the target with the three good chances they had when the score was still 1-0.
Barcelona also had some nervy moments before running out 4-1 winners away to Granada.
Granada stunned Barca when Jerome Boga leveled five minutes after the break, but parity lasted just 15 minutes before Paco Alcacer put Barca back in front after an assist from Suarez.
Uche Agbo’s second yellow card saw Granada down to 10 men with eight minutes left and an own goal put Barca 3-1 up a minute later before Neymar sealed the win in injury time.
Sevilla’s run of games without a win continued as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sporting Gijon, who have now gone three games without defeat.
A difficult week for Sevilla because of off-field issues ended with them creating enough chances to have won the game, only to be frustrated by some poor finishing and the good work of Sporting keeper, Pichu Cuellar.
Sevilla’s slip up allowed Atletico Madrid to move up to third place after a typically solid performance that saw them happy to soak up the pressure and then take their chances, Koke put Atletico ahead in the 26th minute and a rare Felipe Luis goal confirmed the win 15 minutes from time.
Real Sociedad climbed up to fifth but dropped two points as they were held to a 1-1 draw by fourth from bottom Leganes following another disappointing performance.
Alexander Szymanowski put Leganes ahead on the half hour, but an improved second half display from Real Sociedad saw Juanmi equalize in the 52nd minute.
Eibar maintained their options of qualifying for Europe alive as they fought back from a goal down to win 3-2 away to Villarreal in a game dominated by refereeing mistakes.
Roberto Soriano opened the scoring in the 18th minute only for Pedro Leon to equalize following a controversial penalty two minutes after halftime.
Kiko then puts ahead in the 54th minute and Takashi Inui made it 3-1 with 13 minutes remaining before Soriano’s second of the game gave Villarreal hope in the last minute.
Athletic Club Bilbao remain seventh but moved to within two points of fifth following a 2-1 win away to Osasuna, who have yet to win in front of their fans this season.
Aritz Aduiz’s 100th goal for the club paved the way for the win in the 11th minute before Inaki Williams doubled the visitors’ lead on the stroke of half-time and although Sergio Leon pulled a late goal back for Osasuna, Athletic held on for a vital win.
Meanwhile, Valencia banished any lingering relegation worries with a 3-0 win at home to Deportivo la Coruna.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)