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Barcelona return to top of La Liga

2.14K   //    10 Feb 2014, 15:45 IST

Madrid, Feb 10 (IANS) The lead in the Spanish Primera Liga changed hands again this weekend as FC Barcelona returned to the top of the league thanks to a 4-1 win away to Sevilla.

Two goals from Lionel Messi and further strikes from Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas gave Barca the win and a vital three points after they had fallen behind in a rainswept Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Barca’s win knocked Real Madrid off the top of the table after they had overtaken Atletico Madrid Saturday as a result of their 4-2 triumph against Villarreal and Atletico’s surprise defeat in Almeria.

Atletico were without first choice goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois and his replacement Dani Aranzubia had a difficult night, as he was beaten by a cross from Verza with 11 minutes remaining.

The keeper was then sent off for supposedly committing a penalty after an ill-judged decision to try and dribble the ball around Almeria striker Zongo.

Real Madrid went level on points and ahead of their neighbours on goal difference courtesy a 4-2 victory at home to Villarreal, a result achieved despite the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.

Second from bottom Rayo Vallecano produced their best display of the campaign with a 4-1 win over Malaga. Iago Falque was the standout player for Rayo, while Malaga were unhappy after playing half the game with a man less after Sergio Sanchez was sent off.

Friday saw Espanyol beat Granada 1-0 while Celta Vigo entertain fourth place Athletic Club, who could open up a six point gap over Villarreal if they win Monday night.