FC Barcelona took another step closer to reclaiming the LaLiga title during a weekend’s action in which the top four sides all won, and Levante got a much needed victory under new coach Paco Lopez.
Barcelona’s 2-0 victory at bottom club Malaga on Saturday evening, achieved with top scorer Lionel Messi absent due to the birth of his third son, maintained their eight point lead in the LaLiga table. Luis Suarez headed the blaugrana outfit ahead from Jordi Alba’s perfect cross, before Philippe Coutinho finished skillfully after nice work from Ousmane Dembele.
Second placed Atlético Madrid kept up the chase with Antoine Griezmann starring in a 3-0 home victory over Celta Vigo on Sunday afternoon. Griezmann showed quick feet and a cool head to score the opener just before half-time, then provided a clever assist for Vitolo’s first LaLiga goal for Atlético, before substitute Angel Correa finished off the scoring.
Real Madrid had a scare at Eibar at Saturday lunchtime, before eventually prevailing 2-1. Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo converted expertly from Luka Modric’s assist, but veteran defender Ivan Ramis equalised at a corner just after half time. An exciting final 10 minutes saw Japan international Takashi Inui almost put Eibar in front, before Ronaldo continued his fine recent form with a late headed winner.
Valencia’s 2-0 victory at Sevilla on Saturday afternoon came thanks to two goals from Rodrigo Moreno, both assisted by Geoffrey Kondogbia, who was playing against his former team. Los Che remain fourth, now with an eleven point advantage over fifth placed Sevilla.
Closer to the bottom, the Spanish phrase ‘new coach, win for sure’ came true for Levante on Saturday evening at Getafe. A late header from right-back Coke brought a 1-0 victory in Paco Lopez’s debut game in charge, lifting his 17th placed team to four points above the drop zone.
18th placed Las Palmas lost 0-2 at home to Villarreal – for whom Colombia international Carlos Bacca scored a second half long-ranger, with Nicola Sansone’s late penalty confirming the result. 19th placed Deportivo La Coruna are still hoping for a change of fortune after set-piece goals from Cristhian Stuani and Juanpe brought Girona a sixth straight LaLiga win at their Montilivi stadium.
Elsewhere Espanyol jumped over Real Sociedad with a 2-1 victory at Sunday lunchtime. Willian Jose put La Real in front at Cornella El-Prat, but Leo Baptistao equalized and Gerard Moreno converted the rebound after his penalty was saved by visiting goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.
On Sunday evening, Athletic Club eased to a 2-0 victory over Leganes at San Mames, with Raul Garcia scoring twice in the first 17 minutes.