La Liga Saturday roundup: Barcelona beats Rayo, Atletico falls to Valencia

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La Liga Saturday had five games take place, and while it’s assumed Barcelona would defeat Rayo, Valencia came away with a win that made a statement, defeating incumbent title holders Atletico Madrid, 3-1.

Here are quick roundups of each match.

Valencia 3-1 Atletico Madrid: Miranda’s own-goal in the sixth minute started Atletico on the wrong foot, and a quick succession of scores, Andre Gomes finish in the seventh minute and Nicolas Otamendi’s header in the 13th minute, put Diego Simeone’s side in a hole far too deep. Mario Mandzukic’s conversion in the 29th minute was all the Red and Whites could muster, as Valencia jumped them in the league table at second place.

Rayo 0-2 Barcelona: The Neymar-Messi duo ultimately provided Barcelona with victory, but overall, it wasn’t the typical astounding win some may have come to expect out of Luis Enrique and Co. Messi’s chipped score in the 35th minute has drawn him within two goals of the Spanish league goal scoring record, while Neymar’s one-timed strike has the young Brazilian in fine form. Barca remains at the top of the La Liga table with 19 points. Rayo sits in 11th place.

[RELATED: La Liga Standings]

Eibar 3-3 Levante: Levante let themselves go in the second half, relinquishing a two-goal lead. And then, when they established a 3-2 advantage off Victor Casadesus’ goal in the 79th minute, a 90th minute score from Federico Piovaccari finalized the 3-3 draw in what was a high-scoring, thrilling affair. Eibar exists in the seventh spot of the league table. Levante is nearing relegation in 17th place.

Almeria 2-2 Elche: Elche rushed out to an early lead, with Victor Rodriquez netting a goal in the sixth minute, but Verza’s penalty kick conversion in the 37th minute drew the two sides even, 1-1, before halftime. Elche could’ve preserved the victorious result following Jonathas score in the 57th minute. However, late-game magic from Tomer Hamid tied the game at 2-2. Almeria is situated in the 8th position of the league rankings. Elche moved up to 16th place with a point gained from this match.

Malaga 2-1 Granada: Only one minute had passed, and Youssef El Arabi had fired a strike into the back of the net off a block near the outskirts of the penalty area. Granada looked dull to start this competition, but eventually, they strengthened their performance, and substitute Roque Santa Cruz tallied an equalizer in the 60th minute. Twenty minutes later, Granada would fully loose their once-firm grip on the match’s scoreline, a controversial call leading to a simple PK score from Antunes. With this victory, Malaga went one point ahead of Granada in the league table.