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.”
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.
⚪️ A chance for @RCCeltaEN quickly turns into a celebration for @realmadrid as LUCAS VAZQUEZ puts them in front early!#RealMadridCelta
📺 – beIN SPORTS
💻📱 – beIN SPORTS CONNECT: https://t.co/LRYa03w6yI pic.twitter.com/DiDFRG6Dyd
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) January 2, 2021
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.