Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both won again to remain level at the top of La Liga as Atleti’s three-goal margin brought them exactly level with the Catalans on points, wins and goal difference. Ten-man Real Madrid salvaged a draw at lowly Osasuna to trail the top two by five points.
Atletico Madrid survived an even first half at the Vicente Calderon to overcome fading Valencia 3-0. Diego Costa struck the opener on 59 minutes and Raul Garcia doubled Atleti’s lead moments after coming onto the pitch. Costa missed a penalty but scored another to take his total for the season in La Liga to 17 and seal victory for Diego Simeone’s side. The defeat was too much for the Valencia hierarchy, who sacked coached Miroslav Djukic as Los Che slipped to ninth.
A Neymar double saw Barcelona to a 2-1 victory over Villarreal at Camp Nou. The Brazilian converted a penalty on half an hour after Mario Gaspar had handled, but the Yellow Submarine hit back three minutes after the break through Mateo Musacchio’s fierce header. The second-half introduction of Xavi Hernandez saw Barca up their game against a resolute Villarreal defence and they eventually found a way through when Neymar fired home the winner.
Real Madrid fought back from two goals and a man down to rescue a point against Osasuna in Pamplona. Oriol Riera struck twice for the hosts in the first half and the home side appeared to have cemented their advantage when Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookable offences. Isco gave Los Blancos some hope, scoring moments before half-time and a Pepe header completed their comeback on 80 minutes, by which time Osasuna had also been reduced to 10 men as Francisco Silva was ordered off after picking up two yellow cards.
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A lively encounter at the Sanchez Pizjuan saw two form teams meet as Sevilla entertained Athletic Bilbao. The game sparked quickly as Alberto Moreno put the hosts ahead on four minutes, but Markel Susaeta took advantage of shaky Sevilla defending to equalise two minutes later. Susaeta had a chance to put Athletic ahead from the penalty spot moments before the break, but Beto saved well.