Real, Barca win to stay ahead of the pack in La Liga
Madrid: Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 5-1 to remain leaders of the Primera Liga while substitute Luis Suarez inspired second-placed Barcelona to a 2-1 win against Almeria in the 11th round of matches this weekend.
Real Madrid's strike trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored in an entertaining game, where Rayo once again showed their attacking instincts, but were made to pay for defensive lapses by Madrid's lethal attack Saturday, reports Xinhua.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti gave a rare start to goalkeeper Keylor Navas in the Madrid goal and his side soon opened the scoring through Gareth Bale. Sergio Ramos made it 2-0.
Alberto Bueno gave Rayo hope before Tony Kroos made it 3-1 for Madrid with a fine shot from outside of the penalty area.
Benzema scored a fourth with a backheel from an offside position after Rayo had a second goal ruled out and Ronaldo rounded off the night's scoring to give his side a flattering result to go into the international break. Almeria are yet to win at home this season.
Barcelona were trailing with 15 minutes left to go thanks to Thievy's first half goal for Almeria. But a fine turn and pass from Suarez allowed Neymar to equalise from close range and the Uruguayan helped secure full points seven minutes from time when his cross from the right was prodded in by Jordi Alba.
Lionel Messi failed to get on the scroesheet for the third week in succession, although he was unlucky to see two efforts hit the crossbar.
"The best thing about the game was the result," admitted Barcelona coach Luis Enrique afterwards, although his side are back in second as compensation as Real Sociedad, despite not having a coach, defeated Atletico Madrid 2-1.
The Basque side are expected to name Jagoba Arrasate's replacement Monday, but goals from Carlos Vela and Imanol Agirretxe helped them overturn Mario Mandzukic's opener for Atletico at the Anoeta Stadium.
Valencia also lost ground as their all-win record was ended by a dogged performance from an improving Athletic Bilbao who drew 0-0 away from home.
Sevilla dropped off the leading pack after a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Levante. Sevilla opened the scoring through Vitolo just after the half-hour mark, but Victor Casadesus earned a valuable point for the visitors 10 minutes from the end of normal time.
Espanyol and Villarreal drew 1-1 in a dull game at Cornella el Prat stadium.
Getafe and Elche played out a 0-0 draw, while Malaga came back from a goal down to defeat Eibar 2-1 thanks to goals from Juanmi and Amrabat - scored from a penalty - three minutes from time.
Celta Vigo and Granada drew 0-0 in a rain-swept Balaidos Stadium and Cordoba and Deportivo also produced a game without goals.