Football

La Liga giants ensure normal service is resumed with weekend victories

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Much has been made of the bigger teams' struggles in La Liga this season, but for the first time, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid occupy the top three spots in the league after wins at the weekend.

Real got the ball rolling on Saturday with an excellent 3-1 win away to Celta Vigo. Los Blancos stole a two-goal lead early on thanks to strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Danilo.

Gustavo Cabral was sent off for Celta in the second half before Nolito pulled a goal back to set up an interesting finish, but left-back Marcelo sealed the win for Real deep into stoppage time.

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Barcelona then joined Real at the summit on 21 points with a hard fought 3-1 win over Eibar. Jose Luis Mendilibar's side took a surprise lead on ten minutes when Borja Baston pounced on a mistake by Claudio Bravo to slot home.

Luis Suarez levelled the scores 11 minutes later with a header before putting the hosts ahead just after half time.

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The game looked to be heading towards a tense finish when Javier Mascherano was sent off for something he said to the referee in the 83rd minute, but Suarez killed any hopes of an Eibar comeback two minutes later to complete his hat-trick and ensure the Catalonians stayed within touching distance of their rivals.

Atletico completed what was a great weekend for La Liga's top three with a 2-1 win over Valencia on Sunday evening at the Vicente Calderon.

Jackson Martinez opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark with Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco doubling the host's advantage five minutes before the break.

Atletico looked to be on their way to a comfortable win, but were forced to go through a nervy last twenty minutes when Paco Alcacer converted from the penalty spot after a Diego Godin foul.

However, Diego Simeone’s men were able to hang on to go third on 19 points.

Many observers would have predicted these three would be in contention for the title at the start of the season, but it hasn’t quite been so straight forward for any of them.

Barcelona and Real have struggled with injuries throughout the opening two months of the campaign, most notably Lionel Messi for the former, but have still mustered enough firepower to brush aside their opponents.

The days of top clubs reaching 100 points could be in the past, though, which will be music to Simeone’s ears amidst his bid to reclaim the La Liga title.

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Topics:
Barcelona
Real Madrid
Football

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