For all the clamour over El Clasico, there were nine other matches this weekend, with Atletico Madrid going joint top of La Primera as they defeated Malaga.
ATLETICO MADRID 2-1 MALAGA
Both teams went into this match with unbeaten records, so something had to give. In the end it was Malaga who had to savour defeat for the first time this season, as their resistance gave out late on.
So for all the clamour regarding their city rivals visiting Camp Nou, it was Atletico who took all three points to move them level at the top of the table with Barcelona.
Falcao had missed Atleti’s last match through injury, but didn’t take long to make his impact felt upon his return, as he opened the scoring in the sixth minute.
Roque Santa Cruz ensured Malaga went into the break on level terms with his first goal for the club and so it looked like it would remain until the final minute of the match, as Falcao made a nuisance of himself and forced the unfortunate Weligton to put the ball into his own net, leaving Atletico fans, players and management celebrating wildly as the go joint top after seven fixtures.
REAL BETIS 2-0 REAL SOCIEDAD
While the previous two sides occupy second and third, Real Madrid still find themselves trailing Real Betis, who are exceeding even the high expectations of their own president by sitting in fourth.
Four wins have now been recorded by the unfashionable Seville side, although once again they found discipline providing a black mark against what was an otherwise comfortable victory.
Paulao and Ruben Castro scored in either half for Betis to lift them into the top four, but the evening was mildly tarnished by the dismissal of Mario, who picked up his second booking of the match late on, to bring about their fourth red card of this still young season.
CELTA VIGO 2-0 SEVILLA
It was a strange turn of events that saw this match take place on a Friday evening, and Sevilla found themselves suffering consecutive defeats, following last week’s reverse against Barcelona.
Iago Aspas opened the scoring from the spot on the hour mark to record his third of the season, before Enrique De Lucas wrapped things up for Celta five minutes from time.
RAYO VALLECANO 2-1 DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA
Rayo made sure they bounced back from their heavy defeat at Valladolid last week with a victory, but three consecutive defeats for Deportivo have seen them slip into the bottom three.
Rayo picked up a massive eight bookings over the course of the match, but goals inside the first half hour from Piti and Jose Carlos proved enough to pick up a much needed three points, with Pizzi’s penalty shortly before half-time not proving enough for Depor, who after a promising start seem destined for a relegation battle of their own.
LEVANTE 1-0 VALENCIA
Three defeats already have seen Valencia’s new look management come under a bit of pressure, with this latest ensuring they sit in the bottom half of the table, and not even the best team in the Valencia region following defeat to their local rivals.
Obafemi Martins scored the only goal the game after 22 minutes to give Levante a huge boost after a hammering at Osasuna last week, lifting them above Valencia and clear of the drop zone.
MALLORCA 1-2 GRANADA
If you were a gambling man, you would have undoubtedly backed an in-form Mallorca side on their home patch against a Granada side that had only just managed to pick up their first victory of the season.
And you would have lost your money. Mallorca found themselves at a major disadvantage just after the hour mark as Emiliano Nsue was sent off for hacking down Gabriel Torje in the box, with Youssef Al-Arabi doing the honours from the spot.
Yacine Brahimi evened up the numbers quickly as he received his second booking of the match, but it did little to stop Granada as Torje doubled the scores with his second in as many weeks.
Tomer Hemed pulled one back five minutes from time with his fifth of the season, but it was not to be enough for Mallorca, who dropped their first points on home soil this season to slip out of the top four.
ATHLETIC BILBAO 1-0 OSASUNA
Osasuna had hoped to get their season up and running following their maiden victory of the season, but fell to a narrow defeat against Basque rivals Athletic, who move out of the drop zone in the process.
Aritz Aduriz scored the only goal of the game after 12 minutes to justify his continued selection ahead of the disgruntled Fernando Llorente, as Athletic look to finally get some momentum into their stuttering season.
VALLADOLID 1-1 ESPANYOL
Espanyol still remain without a win this season, with only two points garnered all season piling the pressure on Mauricio Pochettino.
They had looked to be on course to record their first victory, as they defied their numerical disadvantage following Victor Alvarez’ dismissal on the stroke of half-time to take the lead, with Joan Verdu scoring from the spot with 20 minutes remaining.
But they were denied with nine minutes remaining, as Oscar bundled the ball over the line to give Valladolid a share of the spoils and leave Espanyol still searching for their first three-point haul.
REAL ZARAGOZA 0-1 GETAFE
Real Zaragoza will only have themselves to blame after slipping to a home defeat to Getafe.
They found themselves at a numerical disadvantage before ten minutes were on the clock, as Christian Romaric saw red for a wild lunge.
Getafe struggled to make their numerical advantage count until the 62nd minute of the match, as Zaragoza were reduced to nine with Alvaro Gonzalez’ dismissal for a foul in the box, allowing Diego Castro to score the only goal of the game from the spot.
Getafe ended the game with a red card of their own following in-form Abdul Barrada’s dismissal for a late challenge, but they held on to record back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Tags: Atletico Madrid, La Liga, Radamel Falcao