By Benson Petit-Clair
With a pair of second half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema on Saturday, Real Madrid defeated Granada 2-0 to leapfrog to the the top of Spain’s top domestic league for the first time since May 2012. Real’s run to the top was short-lived thanks to outstanding winning efforts by FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid the next day.
With a 3-0 victory over Malaga on Sunday, FC Barcelona regained control of the league with 54 points after a week of turbulence which saw the club’s president Sandro Rosell resign. Barca received goals from Gerard Pique, Pedro Rodriguez and and Alexi Sanchez to get back on winning track after a lackluster 1-1 performance last week against Levante.
Atletico Madrid reclaimed the the second spot following a 4-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.
The visitors received an early goal from David Villa, who scored his 11th goal of the season, to claim the lead. Arda Turan added two more for Atletico before the half, then Sau Niguez’s owned-goal in the 76th minute crushed the hosts’ hope for any comeback. Though, Joaquin Larrivey added a late consolation goal for Rayo, Turkish midfielder Viera Ramos added the other goal for the home team before halftime. The win keeps Atletico in position to challenge Barcelona and Real for the Liga title this year.
With a comfortable 5-1 victory over Osasuna on Sunday, Athletic Bilbao moved to five points ahead of Villarreal in fourth position. Enersto Vervade’s squad will qualify for the UEFA Champions League next year if they remain close to the top of the table.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Almeria defeated Getafe 1-0, with Sundy Jonathan providing the lone goal of the match soon after the half.
Earlier on Saturday, Levante beat Sevilla 3-2 to claim the 8th spot, while Valencia and Espanyol had to settle for a share of the points in a 1-1 draw.
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