La Liga: Neymar scores 4 as Barcelona roll; Real Madrid go top
A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight:
Barcelona 5-2 Rayo Vallecano
Remember that “it’s Neymar’s time to shine with Lionel Messi out injured” narrative from a few weeks back? It may have taken the Brazilian superstar a couple weeks to get on board, but the 23-year-old did his part as Barcelona rolled past Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Four goals’ worth of “his part,” actually. Want proof? Here, have it.
Barca are now joint-top in La Liga, behind the current leaders (more on them in a moment) on goal differential (+16 to +6). The first El Clasico of the season is just over a month away, Nov. 22, by the way.
Real Madrid 3-0 Levante
Sure, 3-0 isn’t as exciting as 5-2 with a four-goal scorer, but it’s just as effective in that it means three points in the league table. With Saturday’s victory, Real Madrid leapfrogged Villarreal, who are idle until Sunday, for the top spot in La Liga after eight games.
Marcelo opened the scoring in the 27th minute, finishing off a clever one-two with Cristiano Ronaldo. Three minutes later, it was the Portuguese’s turn to put his name on the scoresheet (below video). According to UEFA, it was Ronaldo’s 324th goal for Real Madrid, which breaks Raul’s all-time record. Ronaldo has played 431 fewer games for Madrid than Raul’s legendary career. Jese Rodriguez completed the scoring for Madrid in the 81st minute.
Elsewhere in La Liga action
Eibar 1-1 Sevilla
Valencia 3-0 Malaga
Real Betis 1-3 Espanyol
Sunday’s La Liga schedule
Villarreal vs. Celta Vigo (6 a.m. ET)
Real Sociedad vs. Atletico Madrid (10 a.m. ET)
Getafe vs. Las Palmas (12:15 p.m. ET)
Deportivo La Coruna va. Athletic Bilbao (2:30 p.m. ET)