La Liga Roundup, Gameweek 5: Pedro Treble Keeps Barca On Top

A Pedro Rodriguez hat-trick kept Barcelona at the summit of La Liga as the Catalans won 4-0 away at Rayo Vallecano while Atletico Madrid remained level with them on maximum points with a 2-0 victory at Real Valladolid.

Pedro struck after half an hour and twice more after the break as Barcelona made quick work of the Madrid minnows. Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Neymar were his providers and Fabregas added a fourth eleven minutes from time. Struggling Rayo, for whom Roberto Trashorras had a first-half penalty saved by Victor Valdes, have the worst defensive record in La Liga, conceding 16 times in their opening five games.

Atletico kept up the pace with Barca as second half goals from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa were enough to see off Valladolid.

City counterparts Real Madrid went behind against Getafe after only five minutes when Angel Lafita struck. Pepe equalised for Los Blancos fifteen minutes later, however, and Cristiano Ronaldo gave Carlo Ancelotti’s men a half-time lead. Getafe offered little after Isco made it 3-1 with a superb finish and Ronaldo added his second and Madrid’s fourth in stoppage time.

Promoted Almeria are scoring plenty of goals but conceding even more. Leading 2-0 at home against Levante thanks to Verza’s penalty and a Suso strike, it looked as if Francisco Rodriguez would register his first win in charge. However, Almeria defender Christian Fernandez received two yellow cards in as many second-half minutes following his side’s second goal and Nabil El Zhar put Levante back in contention with a penalty, before Pape Diop completed Los Granotes’ comeback. Almeria have now dropped points from a winning position four times this season.

Osasuna, without a point prior to their encounter with Elche, opened their account with a 2-1 win over the Segunda champions. Emiliano Armenteros put the Basques in front after 16 minutes and Oriol Riera double their advantage after the break. Edu Albacar struck a consolation for Elche from the penalty spot two minutes from time as Osasuna moved off the foot of the table.

Valencia ended a run of three straight defeats with a 3-1 win over still winless Sevilla, who replaced Osasuna in last place, piling the pressure on coach Unai Emery. Jonas gave Los Che, who dominated throughout, a first-half lead but Kevin Gameiro equalised after the break. Jonas then added his and Valencia’s second before Victor Ruiz sealed the points eight minutes from time.

Espanyol consolidated their good start to the season, defeating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 and leap-frogging their opponents into fifth place as a result. Victor Sanchez gave Los Periquitos the lead on 24 minutes, but Oscar de Marcos equalised two minutes before half-time for the Basques. Sanchez grabbed his second following the restart and Sergio Garcia’s 66th minute strike established a two-goal cushion for the Catalans. Ibai Gomez pulled a goal back for Athletic in stoppage time but Espanyol deserved their win.

The weekend’s remaining three games all finished goalless. Real Sociedad are still without a win since the first day of the season after being held by Malaga, who created the best chances but couldn’t finish. Villarreal remain unbeaten after playing out a stalemate with Celta Vigo and Real Betis also drew a blank in the Andalusian derby with Granada.

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