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La Liga Review: Atletico Madrid move level with Barca, Villarreal draw at Athletic

Atletico Madrid moved level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga after Fernando Torres’ 100th goal for the club sealed a 3-1 win over Eibar at the Vicente Calderon.

Substitute Torres had been one strike away from the milestone ever since netting against Eibar in the reverse fixture back in September, but his search for the elusive century goal finally came to an end with a strike in second-half stoppage-time.

That capped a solid comeback win for Diego Simeone’s title chasers, who ended their four-match winless run in all competitions.

Early in the second half, a slip from makeshift centre-back Saul had enabled Keko to open the scoring for the visitors, but Jose Maria Gimenez headed in at the near post in the 56th minute to restore parity.

Saul then made up for his earlier error by nodding Atletico ahead, before the scoring was completed by Torres steering home a cross from fellow sub Luciano Vietto.

Barcelona have two games in hand on Atletico and play at Levante on Sunday as they look to re-establish a three-point cushion.

Elsewhere on Saturday, fourth-placed Villarreal extended their unbeaten run to 10 La Liga matches, but missed the chance to join Real Madrid on 47 points after a 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao.

Both sides ended the match with 10 men after the hosts’ Inaki Williams was shown a second yellow card in the last minute for a foul on Manu Trigueros, before the away side’s Daniele Bonera received a second booking for handball in stoppage-time having only come on as a 72nd-minute substitute.

Athletic are sixth in the table and will keenly watch the clash between their closest rivals for a European place as fifth-placed Sevilla meet seventh-placed Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Deportivo La Coruna are now without a win in seven league games after being held to a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon, with Jony’s strike for the hosts being cancelled out by Luis Alberto in the first half.

Rayo Vallecano recorded a priceless 2-0 win over relegation rivals Las Palmas, with Miku and Bebe grabbing the goals. 

In-form Rayo have only lost once in their last six league games, while the defeat means Las Palmas drop into the bottom three as they still wait for a first away league win of the campaign.

Sat 6 Feb, 2016
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