Atlético Madrid are keeping up the pace with leaders Barcelona, and they too made it eight wins out of eight after beating Celta 2-1 on Sunday lunchtime. Visiting keeper Yoel was in action early on to save from David Villa, and midway through the first half he also kept out a Diego Costa penalty (and Villa's follow up) after David Costas brought down Filipe Luis in the area. Costa came up against Yoel again later in the first half, but with three minutes to go to the break the keeper could do nothing as the Brazilian striker got the last touch on a Filipe Luis cross as he and Godín steered it in to the empty net. Villa failed to convert another good chance soon after the restart, but a few minutes later Costa ran on to a long pass from Mario Suárez and held off David Costas to fire home his second of the day and his tenth of the season to date. That seemed to be it, but ten minutes later Nolito battled past Mario Suárez and Juanfran to lift a shot over Courtois, and it took a great save by the Belgian keeper from an injury time Nolito free kick to make sure of that record eighth win.
Getafe are up to fifth after a 3-1 victory against Betis later in the day, confirming a major improvement in form for Luis García's side since they ended week three in next to bottom spot. With less than half an hour on the clock they were already three up, Guillermo Sara having to save from Pedro León and Borja before León caught the keeper off his line with an impressive free kick from just over the half-way line. León himself headed in the second from Colunga's cross, and Colunga made it three after pulling down a long Borja clearance and lobbing a shot over the stranded keeper. León had to leave the field with an injury before the break though, and after the restart the visitors fought back, Cedrick bringing a good save out of Moyà before Rafa headed Verdú's wide free kick back in to his own net. There was nothing left in the tank though after Thursday night's Europa League game at Rijeka, and Colunga and new signing Marica could have added to the lead later on.
Athletic Bilbao and Valencia are level on points with Getafe after they drew 1-1 in the last match of the weekend. With his three main strikers either injured or off form, Valverde gave De Marcos the front role, and he went close a couple of times early on. Jonas brought a good save out of Iraizoz in reply though, and with three minutes to go to the break Feghouli was brought down by Laporte in the area, and Banega stepped up to convert the resulting penalty. Jonas brought a couple of good saves out of the local keeper after the interval, and Barragán lobbed a good chance over the bar. But Muniain and Aduríz responded well for the locals, and with a quarter of an hour to go De Marcos headed a Susaeta cross back across goal for Mikel Rico to head in the equalizer. First points dropped in the new San Mamés stadium, but both clubs remain in the upper reaches of the table.
Sevilla meanwhile beat regional neighbours Almería 2-1, a result which took Unai Emery's side up to mid-table, but left the visitors at the bottom of the pack after yet another late defeat. The locals went ahead in the sixth minute after a disastrous throw-in by Christian towards his own goal, Gameiro getting in front of Esteban to run the ball in to the net. Ex Sevilla striker Rodri picked up Suso's pass to level it midway through the first half, but Rabello fired a shot against the bar, and Jairo, Marin and Gameiro all failed to convert chances before the break. Both keepers had work to do after the restart, Beto saving from Suso and Rodri, and Esteban keeping out Iborra. But with the game in the second minute of injury time, Rakitic got on the end of Marin's cross to head home the winner from the near post, leaving Almería coach Francisco facing an uncertain future. (06.10.13)
Barcelona extended their record run at the start of the season to eight wins out of eight after beating Valladolid 4-1 in the last game on Saturday evening. Javi Guerra did give the visitors an early lead though, getting above Adriano to head in Ebert's corner with only ten minutes gone. A couple of minutes later however Mariño had to be at his best to turn a long shot by Marc Bartra for a corner, and straight afterwards Alexis picked up Tello's square pass to fire home the equalizer from outside of the area. With Messi still out injured Neymar took centre stage after that, putting Tello away for him to have a shot blocked by the keeper, and then coming up against Mariño himself a few minutes later. Seven minutes in to the second half Xavi made it two after Neymar and Tello combined to set him up, and Tello rattled the crossbar with a long shot soon afterwards. Alexis scored his side's third with an angled shot after Neymar put him clear, and the Chilean forward returned the favour six minutes later, laying the ball back for Neymar to get the fourth. Neymar also had a couple of good penalty appeals turned down and Alexis could have had a hat-trick when he headed a Dani Alves cross at the keeper in injury time, but by then the game was well over.
Real Madrid stay five points behind the leaders after they won 2-3 at Levante, a game they were actually losing until three minutes from the end. All the goals came after a quiet first half, Babá getting on the end of a long Xumetra cross to drill a first time shot past Diego López with just under an hour on the clock. Sergio Ramos made it all square from a Di María corner just four minutes later though, and second half substitute Marcelo fired a shot over the top soon afterwards. With four minutes of normal time remaining El Zhar appeared to have won it for the locals when he beat López to a cross from the left and held off Ramos before turning a shot back in to the net. But four minutes later Morata picked up a pass from Varane to level the scores once again, and with the game coming to an end Cristiano Ronaldo collected a pass from Modric and fired in an angled shot which deflected off the back of Juanfran and in off the far post.
Elche kicked off the day with a 2-1 victory over Espanyol, a result which takes the newly promoted side clear of the danger zone. The first chance fell to the visitors, Sergio García heading wide, but Javi Márquez, Manu del Moral and Coro all tested Casilla at the other end, and with half an hour gone ex Espanyol forward Coro picked up Manu's headed pass from a long cisma throw and ran on to open the scoring against his old side. Aguirre brought on Thievy and Pizzi at the break in response, and twenty minutes in to the second half Thievy picked up Sergio García's pass to equalize. But eight minutes later Coro restored the lead with a shot on the turn after Carles Gil crossed in from the left, and although Lanzarote and Colotto went close after that, Espanyol's challenge ended when Víctor Sánchez was sent off for a second bookable offence near the end.
Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad came in to their game having not won in the league since the opening day of the season, but in the end the locals won it with a late penalty to move off the bottom to within a point of their opponents in the table. Carlos Vela brought an early save out of Rubén, but otherwise the locals had the better of the first half, Adrián turning a shot against the crossbar and Larrivey heading against the upright a few minutes later. Rubén had to keep out Agirretxe and Seferovic after the restart, but with a couple of minutes to go Claudio Bravo brought down Jonathan Viera inside the area, and the on-loan Valencia winger stepped up to convert the resulting penalty kick himself. An end to Rayo's run of six defeats in a row, but with their Champions League campaign also on the rocks, Real's season is already in serious trouble. (05.10.13)
Villarreal are up to third pending the rest of the weekend games after beating Granada 3-0 on Friday evening. Both teams had penalty appeals turned down early on, but Aquino fired a good chance over the top before Bruno collected Cani's cross to open the scoring on the half hour mark. Mario hit the side netting and Roberto did well to keep out Pereira, and Asenjo was tested for the first time by Brahimi shortly before the half time whistle. But just four minutes in to the second half the locals went further ahead when Giovani turned the ball past the visiting keeper after Cani and Pereira combined to set him up. Ighalo did fire a shot against the outside of the post after that, but with eight minutes to go Tomás Pina wrapped things up, heading Cani's cross past Roberto to take Marcelino's side above Real Madrid in the table.
Later in the evening Osasuna won 0-1 at Málaga, a result which takes the Pamplona based side to the brink of escaping the drop zone. Javi Gracia's team had only won one game all season, but they started strongly, Caballero having to save from Oriol Riera with only a minute on the clock. De las Cuevas and Lolo fired shots wide, and midway through the first half Riera put the visitors ahead, beating the keeper at the second attempt after his first shot from Sisi's cross was saved. Caballero had to save from Riera again, and De las Cuevas missed the target for a second time before the break, and at half time a disappointed Bernd Schuster made two changes, bringing on El-Hamdaoui and Pawlowski. After that things did improve for the Andalusians, but they were unable to find the route to goal, and they ended the day still three points away from the European spots. (04.10.13)