Week seven in the Spanish top flight was a goal-filled weekend. It saw the Champions falter, Real Madrid hit five at home and Barca keep their seventh clean sheet in seven league matches writes Jamie Currie.
Valencia maintained their undefeated start to the campaign as they beat Atletico comfortably 3-1 at the Mestalla on Saturday afternoon. Pre-kick-off the stadium was rocking, as was Valencia’s start to the match. They took the lead with just six minutes played. Miranda headed Mustafi’s long, lofted ball forward beyond his own keeper, with no pressure on him at all. Atleti almost hit back through Griezmann, but the Frenchman’s effort only led to Valencia doubling their lead through Andre Gomes. Diego Alves’ free-kick was knocked on by Gomes he got the ball back from a neat Alcacer pass before showing neat footwork to beat Miranda and fire beyond Moya at his near post. Valencia’s third came straight out of the Atletico playbook. The near-post corner was swung in and attacked powerfully by Otamendi, who made it 3-0. Atleti were stung, but managed to get themselves back into the game before the half-hour mark. Tiago forced Diego Alves into a superb diving save, only for the ball to end up at Mario Mandzukic, who was on hand to head the ball into the empty net. The capital club spurned their chance to get back within one goal of Valencia. They were awarded a penalty just on half-time for Gaya’s handball, but Diego Alves comfortably stopped Siqueira’s poor effort.
In the second half, Mandzukic forced a good save from Diego Alves, Alcacer came close to getting his name on the scoresheet and Atletico substitute Alessio Cerci saw his goal being disallowed and sent off for a handball in the lead up to the said goal.
Table-toppers Barcelona continued their good form by winning 2-0 in Madrid against Rayo Vallecano. Two goals in one first-half minute sealed the points. Lionel Messi got the first; he raced beyond the Rayo defence before calmly lifting the ball over the advancing Tono. Neymar added the second after being played in by Munir, the Brazilian fired into the bottom corner to seal the points. Rayo had Murcillo and Aquino sent off.
Real Madrid hit an out-of-form Athletic side for five without reply at the Bernabeu. The Basques were easily put to the sword as Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick and Frenchman Karim Benzema bagged himself a brace in a routine win for the European champions.
Elsewhere, Sevilla continued their good start and move up to third place, after a good 4-1 victory of Deportivo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. M’Bia gave the hosts the lead on 24 minutes, only for the goal to be cancelled out six minutes later by Haris Medjuanin. Depor were only level for eight minutes before Carlos Bacca restored the home side’s advantage. M’Bia made it 3-1 before the hour mark and Vitolo added a fourth on 63 minutes, when Bacca missed his penalty with 21 minutes left, it didn’t matter as the points were already in the bag.
Getafe 1-1 Cordoba
Malaga 2-1 Granada
Almeria 2-2 Elche
Eibar 3-3 Levante
Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Barcelona
Valencia 3-1 Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid 5-0 Athletic
Espanyol 2-0 Real Sociedad
Celta Vigo 1-3 Villarreal
Sevilla 4-1 Deportivo La Coruna
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