A roundup of all of the weekend’s action in Spain’s top flight:
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Las Palmas 0-3 Atletico Madrid
Through 20 games of the La Liga season, Atletico Madrid have conceded just eight goals, and kept 13 clean sheets. On Sunday, Los Rojiblancos kept their fourth-straight clean sheet in league play, bringing their streak of having not allowed a goal to 364 minutes. With a defense like that, you’d expect Diego Simeone’s side to be near, or at, the top of the league table.
And — surprise! — they are. Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Las Palmas keeps Atleti top of the league, two points ahead of Barcelona,who still have a game in hand, and four points ahead of their capital city rivals, Real Madrid. Filipe Luis scored the opener on 17 minutes, followed by a second-half brace from Antoine Griezmann (12 goals in 20 league games this season).
Barcelona 6-0 Athletic Bilbao
As easy as Sunday turned out to be for Atleti, it was even more so for Barca, who played with a man advantage for 86 minutes, at home against Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot on seven minutes, and Neymar made it 2-0 just after the half-hour mark. In the second half, the floodgates opened; Luis Suarez bagged a second-half hat trick (47th, 69th and 82nd minutes), and Ivan Rakitic provided the other goal, thanks to another moment of sheer brilliance by Neymar (below video).
Real Madrid 5-1 Sporting Gijon
As for the “other” Madrid side (tongue firmly in cheek, there), the Zinedine Zidane era is off to a flying start for Los Blancos. Zidane’s career managerial statistics: two games managed, two wins, 10 goals scored, one goal conceded. Not bad, eh?
On Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each bagged a brace, and some peasant named Gareth Bale scored just a single goal of his own, all in the first half (below video). On the other hand, the latter two each left the game after suffering injuries. We’ll know more regarding the severity of Bale and Benzema’s injuries in the coming days. For now, though, the white half of Madrid can enjoy themselves just a bit for the first time all season.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Sevilla 2-1 Malaga
Celta Vigo 4-3 Levante
Villarreal 0-0 Real Betis
Valencia 2-2 Rayo Vallecano
Getafe 3-1 Espanyol
Monday’s La Liga schedule
Eibar vs. Granada (2:30 p.m. ET)