La Liga roundup: Celta drops Barca, Valencia falls despite Alves heroics

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Celta Vigo earned an impressive 4-3 win over Barcelona on Sunday as the Blaugrana were forced to deal with the absence of Lionel Messi. Celta pushed Luis Enrique’s side early on and were rewarded with three first-half goals, including a Jeremy Mathieu own goal in the 33rd minute. Despite Barcelona’s efforts to pull it back to 4-3 in the second stanza, Pablo Hernandez put the match permanently out of reach with 13 minutes remaining.

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Despite two penalty stops from Diego Alves, Valencia fell 2-0 to Atletico Madrid. The Brazilian goalkeeper made key saves from the penalty spot on both sides of halftime, however, second-half finishes from Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro gave Atletico the win to move up to second place in La Liga.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s other side continued its struggles and stumbled once again against Eibar. Real Madrid drew 1-1 with Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu after Gareth Bale‘s 16th minute strike cancelled out Fran Rico’s early finish. Eibar went ahead in the sixth minute when Rico headed home Ander Capa’s cross, and from there the visitors defended stoutly to earn a road point.

Elsewhere in Spain:

Espanyol 0-0 Villareal

Malaga 0-1 Athletic Bilbao