La Liga Review: Real and Barca win again

Updated: January 23, 2012

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Real Madrid and Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao and Malaga respectively, by the same 4-1 scoreline in the Primera Division on Sunday.

The victory over Malaga was only Barcelona’s fourth away win of the season and left Real Madrid needing a win over Bilbao in the late kick-off; a result they achieved despite going one goal down in the first half.

Spanish international Fernando Llorente put the away team ahead in the 12th minute when he ended a counter attack with a side-footed finish from a cross from the right.

Marcelo levelled the score in the 24th minute and then two second half penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter resulting in a red card for Bilbao’s Oscar De Marcos, put the game out of sight for the visitors.

Second-half substitute Jose Callejon finished the scoring with less than five minutes to go when Real Madrid’s counter attack allowed Gonzalo Higuain to play through the winger to end the game at 4-1.

Madrid’s win came against a backdrop of anti-Mourinho jeering after their midweek defeat to Barcelona; read more about that here.

Barcelona eased past high-spending Malaga away from home courtesy of a hat-trick from Lionel Messi and a goal from Alexis Sanchez; Jose Rondon scored a late consolation for Malaga in the 85th minute.

Malaga could have taken the lead in the first 15 minutes of the game if it were not for the quick reactions of Victor Valdes, but it was the Ballon D’or winner who opened the scoring with a header in the 33rd minute after connecting with a cross from Adriano from the left.

Sanchez doubled the lead with a tap in just two minutes into the second half and then Messi finished his hat-trick with two brilliant solo runs straight through the centre of the Malaga defence; Rondon’s consolation came from a spilled shot from Valdes, five minutes from time.

The mirrored results leaves Real Madrid and Barcelona as they were, with Mourinho’s men still five points ahead, while Valencia slipped to nine points behind Barca with a draw against Osasuna.

An 84th minute goal from Roberto Soldado looked to have sealed the points for Valencia until a late equaliser was poked in by Osasuna’s Lolo to share the spoils.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Mallorca beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 away from as one goal from Ivan Ramis was enough to separate the sides, while Levante and Zaragoza played out a 0-0 draw.

On Saturday, the Seville derby ended in a 1-1 draw between Real Betis and Sevilla with first half goals from Betis’ Exteberria Benat and Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo; Sevilla finished the game with ten men after Federico Fazio was shown a straight red card for bringing down Roque Santa Cruz in the second half.

Diego Simeone got comfortable in his role as new Atletico Manager with a 4-0 away win over Real Sociedad, which included a hat-trick for striker Falcao, after scoring a 2nd minute penalty and then finishing his scoring late on with two goals in the last 10 minutes.

Adrian got the other goal for Atletico early in the second half, in game that was mired by ill-discipline; the referee booked 11 players, seven from Simeone’s side.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Espanyol beat Granada 3-0 at home thanks to goals from Raul Baena, Rui Fonte and a penalty by Joan Verdu, while Getafe picked up a 2-1 away win over Racing Santander, with goals Michel and Pedro Leon; Christian Stuani scored Racing’s only goal early on.

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