Barcelona romped Rayo Vallecano 6-0 to further solidify their place at the peak of the La Liga mountain this weekend, and despite Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid notching wins, the weekend is all about free-scoring Barca, who compiled further misery onto relegation threatened Rayo.
It took the Catalan giants only 2 minutes to get onto the scoresheet, with full back Adriano finding the back of the net with a shot from outside the area.
Lionel Messi’s lobbed finish made it 2-0 before half time, and he turned provider to tee up Alexis Sanchez for the third.
Three minutes later Fabregas got involved in the action, squaring a pass across the area for Pedro to tuck away for 4-0.
Messi scored Barcelona’s 5th of the night on 68 minutes, thanks to Sanchez combining well with him again before Neymar, back in action after a lengthly injury lay off, finishing a 25-yard effort for an impressive and dominant victory.
For Rayo, they remain 19th level on goal difference now with bottom club Real Betis, but two matches worth of points adrift from 17th place, currently held by Malaga.
No such problems for Real Madrid either, sweeping aside Getafe on their travels who like Rayo, are fighting their battles at the wrong end of the table.
Jese got Madrid rolling after just 5 minutes, after being picked out by Bale on the edge of the area, he finished from 20 yards.
Karim Benzema made it two just before the half hour mark, converting Angel Di Maria’s cross from close range.
Madrid had to wait until mid-way through the 2nd half to make it three, but Modric found himself with some room to work with on the edge of the Getafe penalty area and finished to wrap up a comfortable victory for Madrid to keep the pressure on Barcelona and Athletico Madrid at the top of the table. For Getafe though, they sit in 15th place and 4 points adrift of the relegation zone. They’re safe, for now.
Athletico Madrid made the most of home comforts to dismiss relegation threatened Real Valladolid, and they found themselves two goals ahead in just 4 minutes after kick-off.
Garcia was nicely set up from Koke’s free kick and found the bottom corner of the net with Athletico’s first, and the fans were in dreamland when Costa looped an effort over Valladolid keeper Diego Marino for 2-0.
Diego Godin secured Athletico’s points in the 74th minute with a header to make sure no ground was lost in the title chase. For Valladolid though, it may not have been a game they were expecting points from, but a loss will still hurt as they remain 18th and 3 points off safety.
Elsewhere, Celta Vigo’s impressive away 2-0 win away at Villarreal, who were gutsy away at Real Madrid last week, sits them comfortably in mid-table, and stunts Villarreal’s hunt for European football in 5th, and they will feel frustrated at a missed opportunity to put pressure on Athletic Bilbao who were defeated on home soil 2-1 against 9th placed Espanyol.
A valuable win for Grenada over rock bottom Betis moves them up to a more comfortable 12th place on 27 points, whilst Sevilla and Valencia battled to a frustrating goalless draw, that won’t help either of them in their quests to move on up the table, and leaves them stranded mid-table in 7th and 8th respectively on 32 points.
Friday 14th February
Elche 0-0 Osasuna
Saturday 15th February
Atlético Madrid 3-0 Valladolid
(Raul Garcia 3, Diego Costa 4, Godin 74)
Levante 1-0 Almería
Barcelona 6-0 Rayo
(Adriano 2, Messi 36, 68, Sanchez 53, Pedro 56, Neymar 89)
Villarreal 0-2 Celta Vigo
(Orellana 83, Agudo Duran 90)
Sunday 16th February
Granada 1-0 Real Betis
(Medina Luna 31, Gonzalez Benitez so 79 (GRA), Amaya so 90+2 (BET))
Getafe CF 0-3 Real Madrid
(Jese 5, Benzema 27, Modric 66)
Athletic 1-2 Espanyol
(Gurpegi 56, Aduriz so 57 (ATH), Garcia de la Fuente 6, Colotto 65)
Sevilla 0-0 Valencia
(Moreira da Costa so 50 (VAL))
Monday 17th February
Málaga 0-1 Real Sociedad