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La Liga: Penalty save helps Sevilla to Gran Derbi draw; Real Madrid wins

La Liga

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 02: Emerson Royal of Real Betis competes for the ball with Bono of Sevilla FC during the La Liga Santander match between Real Betis and Sevilla FC at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 02, 2021 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Real Madrid is back where it finished last season -- atop La Liga’s table -- but there’s a huge asterisk.

That * reads “Atletico Madrid is a point back and has played three fewer matches.”

[ MORE: Three things we learned from WBA - Arsenal ]

Here’s what happened in La Liga ahead of a Sunday which will see Atleti at Alaves and Barcelona away to Huesca.

Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo

Marco Asensio set up Lucas Vazquez for an early first-half goal and Vazquez returned the favor eight minutes into the second half as Real sacrificed possession for points in a two-goal win.

You can actually see where Vazquez notices he may have a chance to score if he goes on a lung-busting 85-yard run. We’re tired.

Real Betis 1-1 Sevilla

Sevilla stumbled but stretched its unbeaten league run to five thanks to star goalkeeper Yassine “Bono” Bounou’s heroics in El Gran Derbi.

Suso staked Julen Lopetegui to a post-halftime lead but Sergio Canales leveled the score five minutes later.

Betis looked set for the lead when Nabil Fekir won a penalty, but the French star was saved by Bono.

Villarreal 2-1 Levante

Villarreal kept pace with Real Madrid in cooling off Levante to move fourth-place, seven points back of the top.

Fernando Nino and Gerard Moreno stakes the hosts to a 2-0 lead and Levante only managed a Sergio Leon goal in the 73rd minute.

Getafe 0-1 Real Valladolid

Valladolid was outshot but Israeli forward Shon Weismann made the most of one of two shots on target to move the visitors three points clear of the bottom three.

That’s a point more than 15th-place Getafe, who holds a match-in-hand.

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