Real Madrid are three points clear at the top of La Liga after beating Levante on Sunday. Atletico Madrid won at Celta Vigo to trail the leaders by three points and Barcelona’s shock defeat at Valladolid leaves them a further point behind in third.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit his 24th goal of the Primera season as Real Madrid overcame Levante 3-0. The Portuguese put Los Blancos ahead before half-time, rising above his markers to head home Angel Di Maria’s corner. Carlo Ancelotti’s men dominated possession and made it 2-0 after the break as Marcelo cut in from the left to finish on 49 minutes. Levante’s David Navarro was sent off in the 64th minute for a crude lunge on Ronaldo from behind before Marcelo’s 81st-minute cross was diverted into his own goal by Nikos, unchallenged at the back post.
A two-goal second-half salvo from David Villa gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 victory at Celta Vigo. The first half was a virtual non-event, but when a rejuvenated Atletico emerged, two goals in two minutes just after the hour mark from former Barca striker Villa gave Los Rojiblancos the win, which leaves them three points behind their capital city rivals.
Relegation-threatened Real Valladolid caused one of the upsets of the season after inflicting a 1-0 defeat on Barcelona. There were 40 points and 16 places between the two sides at kick-off, but struggling Valladolid emerged victorious thanks to Fausto Rossi’s first-half strike. The champions had several chances to get back into the game but could find no way past Valladolid keeper Diego Marino and, with just two weeks to go until El Clasico, Tata Martino’s men find themselves four points adrift of Real Madrid and in third place for the first time since 2011.
First-half goals from Fran Rico and Youssef El Arabi gave a Granada a well-deserved and morale-boosting 2-0 win over high-flying Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine had goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo to thank for keeping them in the game with early saves from Riki and Brahimi, but it was Riki who won a penalty on 22 minutes after colliding with visiting captain Bruno Soriano in the area. Rico scored from the spot midway through the first period and 10 minutes later provided El Arabi with a pass to double Granada’s lead and ensure the win.
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Valencia and Athletic Bilbao shared the points in an exciting 1-1 draw at Mestalla. Paco Alcacer converted a cross from Sofiane Feghouli to put Valencia ahead with his 10th goal of the season, despite appearing to be offside, but Aritz Aduriz levelled for Athletic from the spot after Ander Herrera had collided with Feghouli in the area. The result suited neither side with Valencia slipping five points behind seventh-placed Sevilla and Athletic unable to take full advantage of Villarreal’s defeat at Granada. Ernesto Valverde’s men are nevertheless now seven points ahead of the Yellow Submarine.