La Liga, week thirteen
La Liga’s week thirteen provided the first serious fireworks of the season. Atletico have now outscored Real Madrid, Valencia almost beat Barcelona but for an 82nd minute touch of Messi magic, and Sevilla won away to Villarreal to secure a four-point cushion between them on the table.
With Copa del Rey and Champions League matches pending many of the top dwellers of the table needed to make hay this weekend and only Atletico took full advantage. Real just got their victory at home against the 18th team on the table and Valencia and Barca could not but draw.
On Friday, Celta Vigo beat visiting Leganes 1-0. On Saturday, Eibar defeated hots Alaves 2-1, Real Madrid squeaked by Malaga 3-2 at the Bernabeu, Real Betis and visiting Girona drew 2-2, and Atletico Madrid exploded for a 5-0 away win to Levante.
On Sunday, Depor and Athletic Bilbao and Real Socied and Las Palmas tied 2-2, while Sevilla took all three points at Villarreal winning the away game 3-2. Barcelona were robbed of a Lionel Messi goal by an officiating error while Valencia were not given a clear penalty. The teams had to settle for a 1-1 draw. On Monday, Espanyol won 1-0 at home over Getafe.
The results left Barcelona at the top of the table with 35 points with Valencia second at 31, Atletico Madrid ahead of Real Madrid on goal differential at 27 points and Sevilla rounding the top five at 25 points. The top scorer at this stage were Barca’s Messi at 12, Valencia’s Simone Zaza and Villarreal’s Cedric Bakambu at nine, and Valencia’s Rodrigo at eight.