Atletico, Barcelona and Real all win

  • Last Updated: March 30 2014, 23:10 BST

A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish La Liga.

Atletico Madrid celebrate against Bilbao
Atletico Madrid celebrate against Bilbao

Getafe came from behind to beat Valencia 3-1 at the Mestalla and record their first league win since November - a victory which sees them climb out of the relegation zone.

Eduardo Vargas gave the hosts a dream start when he headed in the opener after seven minutes, but Getafe responded by scoring twice in three minutes through Angel Lafita and Ciprian Marica, before Pedro Leon made sure of the points with a late finish.

Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu took issue with the way the midfielder celebrated the goal - which the Frenchman thought should have been ruled out for offside - and responded by appearing to hit Leon in the face.

That earned Mathieu a red card and forced Valencia to play the final few minutes of the match with 10 men, although Getafe had all but secured the victory by that late stage.

Elche remain dangerously close to the Primera Division relegation zone despite picking up a creditable point at European hopefuls Villarreal on Sunday.

Damian Suarez gave Fran Escriba's side the lead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark but Jonathan Pereira levelled on the stroke of half-time as the spoils were shared at El Madrigal.

Although the hosts were the better side, they were unable to make their superiority count, and, like their opponents, failed to take advantage of slip ups by the teams nearest to them in the table.

The result means Elche are just two points above the drop zone, while Villarreal remain in seventh, passing up an opportunity to climb up to fifth.

Osasuna ended a run of five straight defeats but a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad was not what either side was after.

Sociedad saw their chances of Champions League football recede a little further as they failed to build on a seventh-minute strike from Gonzalo Castro, conceding the equaliser just before the hour mark as Oriol Riera headed in for the hosts.

The result leaves Osasuna in the drop zone while Sociedad are six points off fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao with seven left to play.

Real Valladolid boosted their hopes of retaining their Primera Division status on Sunday with a 1-0 home victory over fellow strugglers Almeria.

Angola striker Manucho netted the game's only goal within five minutes of kick-off.

The hosts would have added to their tally had it not been for a number of decent saves from Almeria goalkeeper Esteban, but the visitors offered little as an attacking threat and had their hopes of getting back into the game hit by the second-half dismissal of Marco Torsiglieri.

The result lifted Juan Ignacio Martinez's side, who had started the day second-bottom of the standings, out of the relegation zone and level on points with their opponents.

Saturday's action saw Atletico Madrid remain top after coming from a goal behind to pull off a hard-fought 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao, who finished the game with 10 men when Aymeric Laporte was sent off late on.

Iker Muniain put the Basques ahead with just five minutes played but Diego Costa pulled Diego Simeone's side level midway through the first half, and Koke dived in to head in the winner in the second half, allowing Atletico to preserve their one-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table.

The result means that Atletico become just the second team to do the double on Athletic, as well as being responsible for two of the three times the Basques have lost at their new stadium San Mames Barria, adding to their 2-1 win in the Copa del Rey quarter finals in January.

But although it ended well for Los Rojiblancos, they were made to sweat for the three points, surviving two penalty scares in the second half, and once again were grateful to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for coming to their rescue.

Lionel Messi scored his third penalty in six days to give Barcelona a 1-0 win at local rivals Espanyol and boost their chances of retaining the Primera Division title.

With 14 minutes remaining of a difficult afternoon for Gerardo Martino's side, the prolific Argentina forward calmly sent his spot-kick the other side of Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, who was then sent off for handling another shot from Messi outside his area.

Defender Javi Lopez, who had given away the penalty, went in goal for the remaining eight minutes, but Barca were unable to take further advantage and remain one point off the pace.

Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid ended a dismal week with a comprehensive 5-0 derby victory over Rayo Vallecano at a rain-swept Bernabeu.

Losses to Barcelona and Sevilla - the first time Madrid have suffered successive defeats in La Liga since the 2008/09 season - over the past seven days had badly hit their title hopes, but Carlo Ancelotti's men got their campaign back on track in style with this win.

Cristiano Ronaldo's early strike was all that separated the sides at the break, but Madrid cut loose in the second half with Bale netting his first goals in seven games while Daniel Carvajal and substitute Alvaro Morata were also on the mark.

The victory, which should have been even larger, keeps Madrid within three points of leaders Atletico Madrid and two behind Barca, both of whom won testing away matches on Saturday.

A late penalty from Nolito earned Celta Vigo a 1-0 victory over Sevilla which ended the visitors' six-match winning run in the league.

Unai Emery's side were on a high following a midweek success over Real Madrid, but Celta ended that euphoria with the successful spot-kick three minutes from time.


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