Barcelona saw their 11-match winning run come to an end just days before their Champions League knockout tie against Manchester City. Dani Alves’ mistake gifted Malaga a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp as Juanmi pounced on the Brazilian’s poor backpass in the seventh minute. Unable to break down Malaga’s resilient defence, Barca succumbed to a second home loss of the season, and missed out on the chance to overtake leaders Real Madrid ahead of their game the following day. Their form had been a stark contrast to Manchester City’s recent slump, but with their 5-0 Premier League win over Newcastle, the tie might not be as straightforward as many had thought.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the second goal in Madrid’s 2-0 win at Elche on Sunday night, moving him up to third in the club’s all-time scoring charts. Ronaldo’s header was the 290th of his Real Madrid career, a strike that takes him ahead of Carlos Santillana and just 33 behind legendary striker Raul. His next target is Alfredo Di Stefano, currently second on the list and just 15 goals ahead of Ronaldo, and could surpass the Argentinian this season! The win at Elche increased Madrid’s La Liga lead to four points after Barca’s slip-up.
Antoine Griezmann’s ninth goal in his last eleven games helped Atletico Madrid get back to winning ways as they eased past Almeria on Saturday. The Frenchman struck after Mario Mandzukic’s 13th-minute penalty, with the Croatian forward playing a part in both of Griezmann’s strikes. Although seven points adrift of Real Madrid, Atleti made sure that a repeat of last week’s defeat wouldn’t happen by getting the business done early – as they did two weeks ago against Eibar on a sodden pitch. Some quick goals would be nice next week as Sevilla come to really test their title credentials.
David Moyes and Real Sociedad added Sevilla to their list of scalps this season, grabbing a stoppage time winner to win 4-3. Although yet to win away under Moyes, Sociedad have now won against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Anoeta. Moyes stated his intentions to transform Sociedad’s home into a bouncing fortress by encouraging supporters to back the team, and whatever his impact, it appears to have worked. Sociedad led twice but found themselves heading into the final ten minutes 3-2 behind until an Arribas own goal and Xabi Prieto header gave the hosts the win in a pulsating encounter. Moyes will be hoping this win is the trigger for Sociedad to correct their erratic away form at long last.
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