La Liga: Atleti on cruise control; Barcelona leapfrog Real Madrid in 2nd
A roundup of the weekend’s results in La Liga, where Atletico Madrid went 10 points clear (with a game in hand) in the title race, and Barcelona went above Real Madrid in second place…
Cadiz 2-4 Atletico Madrid
Luis Suarez scored twice to take his league total to 14 goals — not bad for a player released before the final year of his contract as he was deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona — and guide Atleti to a 4-2 win away to 13th-place Cadiz. Suarez struck in the 28th minute and again in the 50th, the latter from the penalty spot with goals from Saul Niguez and Koke either side.
That’s eight straight wins (and 15 out of 16) for Atleti, who have lost just once in 19 La Liga games this season. Diego Simeone’s side sits 10 points above second- and third-place Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, with half the season still to play; Suarez leads the Golden Boot race; and Los Rojiblancos have conceded six fewer goals (10 total) than any other side.
All in all, things are looking quite rosy on the “other” side of Madrid.
Barcelona 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona players scored all three goals — two in the correct goal, even — as the Blaugrana secured a late victory over Bilbao.
Lionel Messi, who trails Suarez by two goals for the Golden Boot, opened the scoring in the 20th with the 650th goal of his Barcelona career.
Jordi Alba tied the game up by slotting the ball into his own net four minutes into the second half, but Antoine Griezmann hammering home Oscar Mingueza’s cross for the winning goal in the 74th minute.
Real Madrid 1-2 Levante
Eder Militao’s 9th-minute red card meant Real Madrid were forced to play with 10 men for 81 minutes on Saturday, and eventually it was too steep a hill for Los Blancos to climb.
Marco Asensio put the defending champions ahead just four minutes after Militao was sent off, but Jose Luis Morales equalized just after the half-hour mark, at which point a second goal for Real Madrid was simply too much to ask. Zinedine Zidane’s side would take just eight shots due to their numerical disadvantage upon which Levante capitalized with Roger Marti’s 78th-minute winner.
Other La Liga results
Eibar 0-2 Sevilla
Valencia 1-0 Elche
Villarreal 1-1 Real Sociedad
Getafe 0-0 Alaves
Granada 0-0 Celta Vigo
Real Valladolid 1-3 Huesca