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La Liga Review: Big wins for Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid stay top

Atletico Madrid maintained their two-point lead at the top of La Liga courtesy of a 3-0 victory at Las Palmas on Sunday, while Barcelona and Real Madrid both recorded big wins.

A first goal of the season for Filipe Luis and a brace from top scorer Antoine Griezmann ultimately secured a ninth win in the last ten league games for Diego Simeone’s men, but they were made to work hard by a Las Palmas side that has edged away from the relegation zone in recent weeks.

Barcelona remain second after a crushing 6-0 home victory over Athletic Bilbao.

The Basque side have not won at the Camp Nou since 2001 and never looked likely to end that barren run once Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot after just seven minutes, Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz seeing red for bringing down Luis Suarez inside the area.

Neymar doubled the hosts’ lead before the break, while in the second half, Suarez completed a hat-trick and Ivan Rakitic also found the net as Luis Enrique’s men ran riot.

Madrid cruised to a similarly resounding 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon, with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both netting twice and Gareth Bale also finding the net, all in the first half.

Zinedine Zidane’s men eased up after the break, failing to add to their tally and allowing Isma Lopez to fire home a consolation goal for the visitors.

Gary Neville is still seeking his first win as Valencia coach after his seventh game in charge ended in a disappointing 2-2 home draw with struggling Rayo Vallecano.

Jozabed gave the visitors a deserved early lead at the Mestalla, before Alvaro Negredo’s stunning long-range effort made it 1-1 just after the break.

Diego Llorente then restored the visitors’ lead and they looked set to register just their second away win of the campaign until Paco Alcacer snatched a point for Neville’s side with an 88th-minute leveller.

Getafe, meanwhile, enjoyed a 3-1 home win against Espanyol, with goals from Pedro Leon, Pablo Sarabia and Moises Gomez cancelling out Hernan Perez’s opener for the visitors.

Sun 17 Jan, 2016
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