Real hit five; Atletico keep on winning
A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.
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Atletico Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Osasuna at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.
Two goals in four minutes just after the half-hour mark from Miranda and Raul Garcia had Diego Simeone's men in a commanding position, but Roland Lamah reduced the arrears just before half-time with a lovely curling effort from outside the area.
However, it seemed only a matter of time before Radamel Falcao would get his customary goal and he made it 17 in his past 11 games for club and country 17 minutes from time with a controlled volley from Juanfran's cross.
Atletico have now won 12 games in a row in all competitions and moved level with Barca on 25 from a possible 27 points at the top.
In the day's late game, Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the eighth successive match as Real Madrid moved into fourth place after coasting to a 5-0 victory at Real Mallorca.
The champions' star man may have felt sad in the capital at the start of the season but he continues to show his importance to Madrid as he struck twice and set up the second of Gonzalo Higuain's brace.
Some poor home defending ensured they were quickly on course for victory as Higuain opened the scoring after eight minutes before Ronaldo continued his hot streak with 22 minutes gone.
The Portuguese then set up Higuain on 70 minutes to make the game safe before stabbing home his side's fourth moments later.
Substitute Jose Maria Callejon added further gloss to the scoreline when he tapped home in stoppage time.
Levante secured their fourth consecutive win in all competitions as a brace from Obafemi Martins and a goal from Pedro Rios downed Granada 3-1.
The Nigerian striker took advantage of some hesitant defending by Granada's Inigo Lopez to turn and fire low into the bottom corner on 12 minutes.
After a bright start to the second period, the ex-Newcastle forward doubled his tally thanks to more poor defending by the visitors, burrowing his way into the box to slip a shot underneath Tono.
Rios continued his own goalscoring run by notching his third goal in four days with a neat finish 17 minutes from time, before Youssef El-Arabi grabbed a consolation for the visitors with his third goal in as many games.
Los Granotes have now won seven straight home games and were well worthy of a victory over a Granada side lacking in invention at one end and resilience at the other.
Antonio Juan Rodriguez and Alvaro Vazquez were both on target to help Getafe to a 2-1 victory that extended Athletic Bilbao's wretched start to the season.
Juan Rodriguez broke the deadlock with an 11th-minute header and Vazquez put the visitors firmly en route to three points with a close-range finish just before the hour mark.
Mikel San Jose halved the deficit in added-on time but his strike came too late for Bilbao to push for an equaliser.
Marcelo Bielsa's men have now won just two of their opening nine domestic fixtures and are hovering just above the drop zone following their third defeat in a week.
Elsewhere, Real Zaragoza claimed only their second home win of the season, beating Sevilla 2-1 thanks to two goals in 10 first-half minutes from Helder Postiga and Cristian Sapunaru.
On Saturday, Lionel Messi was once again Barcelona's inspiration as they underlined their title credentials by thumping a game Rayo Vallecano outfit 5-0.
Messi scored twice to take his tally for the calendar year to a hardly believable 73 as Barca, who struggled to see off Celtic in the Champions League in midweek, ran riot at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas.
It was not as comfortable for the visitors as the comprehensive scoreline suggested, however, and it was Rayo who looked more likely to score before David Villa broke the deadlock in the 20th minute.
Messi grabbed the second just after the interval and three goals in the final 12 minutes - from Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Messi again - flattered Tito Vilanova's men.
Malaga failed to build on their midweek Champions League success over AC Milan as they were held to a goalless draw by struggling Espanyol at the Cornella El-Prat.
Manuel Pellegrini's side had the better chances but two headers from Martin Demichelis failed to find the target in the first half, while home goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez was called upon in stoppage time to turn Roque Santa Cruz's header wide.
The draw does neither side much good as Espanyol remain in the Primera Division's relegation zone, while Malaga finished the weekend seven points off the title pace.
Real Betis ended the weekend fifth after Salva Sevilla's first goal of the season helped them see off Valencia 1-0.
Los Verdiblancos dominated the early stages and went ahead after just nine minutes as Juan Carlos' cross was not properly cleared by Adil Rami and Sevilla slammed home from the edge of the area despite the best efforts of Diego Alves.
Valencia were much improved after the break with Roberto Soldado in particular having his chances but Adrian made a fine save with his legs to repel the Spanish international's best effort three minutes from time to claim his third consecutive clean sheet since taking over as number one.
Deportivo La Coruna fought back to claim a draw at Celta Vigo in the Galician derby - but they could not take advantage of their hosts having to play for almost 40 minutes with 10 men.
Mario Bermejo gave Celta an eighth-minute lead only for Juan Dominguez to equalise 21 minutes later in their clash.
Celta were then reduced to 10 men in the 52nd minute when Gustavo Cabral was dismissed following his second yellow card but the visitors failed to make the extra man count as they claimed their third away point of the season.