Barcelona return to top of La Liga
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.