La Liga had a midweek round of fixtures as well as the normal weekend fixture list. Yet again, it was captivating viewing in Spain’s top flight writes Jamie Currie.
In-form Celta visited the Vicente Calderon to take on Atletico and came away with a credible 2-2 draw. Celta caught the Atletico defence cold on the 19th minute, Pablo Hernandez produced an early contender for goal of the season. His outrageous backheel bamboozled Moya and had Celta in the lead. They weren’t ahead for long, Atletico hit back with 31 minutes gone – Miranda rose to head home Koke’s near-post corner. Atletico took the lead 10 minutes later, Godin it was this time who rose highest to convert Koke’s corner.
Not long into the second period, Nolito levelled from the penalty spot. The wide man coolly converted beyond Moya. In a frustrating second half for the home side, Raul Garcia and Raul Jimenez both saw efforts ruled out for offside. Atletico threw everything at the stubborn Celta defence with no reward in the end.
Real Madrid bounced back from their derby defeat by demolishing Deportivo 8-2 at the Riazor.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener on 29 minutes getting Los Blancos off to a wonderful start. James Rodriguez doubled the lead soon after, the Colombian’s vicious left-footed shot fizzed beyond Lux giving the Argentine no chance of saving it. Ronaldo added his second and Madrid’s third before the break as things looked ominous for Depor.
Medunjanin cut the lead as he converted a penalty on the 51st minute. That only spurred Madrid on as Bale grabbed a double eight minutes apart, Ronaldo then completed his hat-trick with 12 minutes to go. Toche pulled one back to make it 6-2 before two goals in the dying minutes from Javier Hernandez completed the rout.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Barcelona hit Levante for five as they kept their winning run intact. Goals from Neymar, Rakitic, Sandro, Pedro, and Messi sealed the easy win.
Valencia kept their good start going, beating Gefate 3-0 in Madrid. An early Paco Alcacer goal got Los Che on the road to victory, Andre Gomes added a second before half-time and Rodrigo added a penalty with 18 minutes left to seal the points.
Elche 0-2 Eibar
Deportivo 2-8 Real Madrid
Athletic 0-1 Granada
Atletico Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo
Espanyol 2-2 Malaga
Real Sociedad 1-2 Almeria
Villarreal 4-2 Rayo
Cordoba 1-3 Sevilla
Levante 0-5 Barcelona
In the midweek round, Real Madrid kicked it off with another comprehensive victory, this time at home against Elche with a 5-1 scoreline.
The Bernabeu was left in stunned silence 15 minutes in, as Elche took the lead through an Edu Albacar spot-kick. Gareth Bale equalised for the home side just five minutes later, as he and Ronaldo started in attack together. Ronaldo made it 2-1 with a penalty of his own, and then doubled his tally for the evening with a goal four minutes later.
The second half was a scrappy affair only lit up by Ronaldo’s hat-trick goal with ten minutes remaining and then he scored his second penalty of the night for good measure.
Elsewhere, Celta won the first Galician derby of the season defeating Depor at the Balaidos. Nolito gave the home side an early lead, but Isaac Cuenca cancelled it out. Joaquin Larrivey got what proved to be the winner with 18 minutes left. That’s because Medunjanin missed the chance to level, when he couldn’t convert his penalty.
Atletico managed a 1-0 win in a scrappy match away at Almeria. Miranda’s header on the hour mark made sure Simeone’s men took the points back to the capital.
Real Madrid 5-1 Elche
Celta 2-1 Deportivo
Eibar 1-1 Villarreal
Rayo 2-1 Athletic
Granada 0-1 Levante
Malaga 0-0 Barcelona
Sevilla 1-0 Real Sociedad
Espanyol 2-0 Getafe
Valencia 3-0 Cordoba
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