Barcelona overcame Deportivo La Coruna in a nine-goal thriller, while Espanyol finally recorded their first victory of the season to move off the foot of the table.
DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 4-5 BARCELONA
What to make of this Barcelona team currently? Once again they prevailed to extend their unbeaten record having dropped only two points all season, and those against Real Madrid.
On the other hand, they once again failed to keep a clean sheet, with their goals against tally for the season reading the same as Osasuna, who prop up the table.
Barca raced into a 3-0 lead within the first 20 minutes, with Jordi Alba, Cristian Tello and Lionel Messi all finding the back of the net. But their makeshift defence, shorn of the injured Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, proved leaky once more, with Pizzi converting a harshly adjudged penalty, before Alex Bergantinos reduced the deficit further.
Messi restored a more comfortable cushion before half-time, but that lasted only a couple of minutes into the second half, when Pizzi fired home a free-kick.
Javier Mascherano then saw red for a second bookable offence to cause even further discomfort to Barca, but Lionel Messi proved the saviour once again as he completed his hat-trick. There was time for an Alba own goal to make things awkward again, but Barca held on to their victory and top spot of La Primera.
REAL SOCIEDAD 0-1 ATLETICO MADRID
We’re still waiting for the real Atletico to re-surface and descend into inconsistency, but eight games in and only two points dropped having won seven in a row suggests this is a side made of sterner stuff than previous seasons.
This was by no means a polished performance, but it was the mark of champions to dig in and claim that vital three points, with the aid of their ever-more valuable talisman Falcao.
The Colombian hit-man took up the mantle to save the victory for Los Rojiblancos, hitting home a fantastic free-kick to keep Atletico neck-and-neck with Barcelona.
REAL MADRID 2-0 CELTA VIGO
This was hardly the polished performance Jose Mourinho had hoped for, as he still awaits his Real Madrid side to kick-start a season that has been disjointed, and sees them trailing both Barcelona and Atletico by eight points.
A goal in either half from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo (penalty) proved enough to deal with the small task of overcoming a clearly intimidated Celta side, but they will have to up their game if their not to drop more costly points.
ESPANYOL 3-2 RAYO VALLECANO
A classic ding-dong contest at the foot of the table saw Espanyol finally overcome Rayo Vallecano to record their first win of the season.
Leo Baptistao put Rayo in front after 13 minutes, but the teams went into the break on level terms, as Joan Capdevila scored for Espanyol. Joan Verdu then put the home side in front four minutes into the second half, only for Rayo to fight back, with Leo netting his second of the game.
Both sides then went down to ten men, as first Mikel Labaka saw red for the visitors for an ill-timed lunge 20 minutes from time, before Diego Colotto levelled up the numbers by picking up his second booking of the game.
The drama was not done there however, as Christian Stuani headed home in stoppage time to give Espanyol a much-needed three points in their battle against survival.
VALENCIA 3-2 ATHLETIC BILBAO
Athletic are still struggling towards the bottom of the table after they surrendered the lead twice at Mestalla, before eventually slipping to defeat.
Aritz Aduriz twice scored for the visitors against his former club either side of Roberto Soldado’s penalty, before Athletic’s gameplan was undone by the sending off of Ander Herrera.
Athletic held out until two minutes from time, but it all went wrong as first Tino Costa and then Nelson Valdez scored to turn the scoreline on its head and give Valencia all three points.
MALAGA 2-1 VALLADOLID
Malaga maintained their grip on third place, but had to do things the hard way, coming from behind to beat Valladolid.
Manucho had given the Primera newcomers the lead inside the first ten minutes, but Isco managed to tie up the scores before half-time.
The game looked to be heading for a stalemate until Manucho turned from hero to villain by getting himself sent off for a second booking ten minutes from time, before Joaquin made Malaga’s numerical advantage count, netting the winner and keeping Malaga on course for a top four finish.
SEVILLA 3-2 MALLORCA
Sevilla twice came from behind against a spirited Mallorca side to claim victory and move up to fifth in the table.
A mad five minute first-half spell saw Mallorca take the lead through Pedro Bigas, Alvaro Negredo level for the hosts, before Tomer Hemed ensured Mallorca took a lead into the half-time break.
However, Sevilla came back stronger in the second half with Negredo netting his second of the game to level the scores, and Cicinho hammering home a volley to give the home side all three points and jump above their visitors.
GRANADA 1-2 REAL ZARAGOZA
Real Zaragoza have made a habit of beating the teams around them at the foot of the table this season, which could prove invaluable come the end of the year.
An impressive first half proved to be enough for Zara, with goals from Helder Postiga and Victor Rodriguez sufficient to keep Granada’s second half comeback at bay; Youssef El Arabi’s strike not enough for the hosts who also saw Iriney sent off.
GETAFE 0-1 LEVANTE
The Levante story refuses to go away, as this plucky minnow refuses to back down, despite inferior resources to the rest of the league.
They’ve now won half of their games this season to prove the doubters - who questioned whether they could achieve last season’s form again – wrong and sit seventh, following Michel’s late stunner to end Getafe’s recent run of victories.
OSASUNA 0-0 REAL BETIS
Osasuna go bottom. Otherwise, there was nothing to see in a very dull contest.
Tags: Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Deportivo, Espanyol, La Liga, Lionel Messi, Real Madrid