Madrid, Oct 17 (IANS) The effects of the international break were not felt in Spain in the eighth round of games as the top six sides in the La Liga all won, with some of them doing so in style.
The first round of matches after players return from duties with their respective countries can produce surprises, and one momentarily looked in the cards in the Vicente Calderon before Yannick Carrasco scored a hat-trick and gave two assists as Atletico Madrid retained their leadership of the Primera Liga in fine style with a 7-1 win at home to Granada, reports Xinhua.
Granada had taken an 18th minute lead thanks to a fine Isaac Cuenca volley, but two goals from Carrasco put Atletico ahead before halftime on Sunday evening.
He completed his hat-trick on the hour, before two goals from Nico Gaitan and further strikers from Angel Correa and Tiago turned a comfortable win into a rout to keep Atletico top of the table.
That put the pressure on Real Madrid, who traveled to play Betis without a win in four matches, but who returned with a 6-1 victory over a rival that contributed to their own defeat with major errors, such as the own-goal from Alvaro Cejudo which opened the scoring, before goals from Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Isco made it 4-0 by half time.
Isco's performance in the second half of the game and a late goal by Cristiano Ronaldo ended the rout and completed Betis' worst-ever home defeat in La Liga.
Leo Messi watched from the subs bench as Rafinha scored in the 20th and 30th minutes to put Barca on track against Deportivo la Coruna, before Luis Suarez made the result safe before halftime when he scored the third goal of the game.
Messi came on 10 minutes after halftime and almost immediately scored Barca's fourth. It was only a series of fine saves from visiting keeper German Lux that kept the score to a respectable level.
Sevilla claimed their first away win in 16 months as Pablo Sarabia's goal gave them a 3-2 win away to Leganes in a game that the visitors had led 2-0 thanks to Fran Vazquez and Samir Nasri, only to see the home side level the score through David Timor and Alexander Szymanowski.
Sunday saw Villarreal bring Celta Vigo brought back to earth with a bump after their win over Barcelona as they beat the Galicians 5-0.
Roberto Soriano put Villarreal 2-0 ahead in just 12 minutes and Cedric Bakambu added a third before the break and with Celta reeling from a Daniel Wass own goal after halftime securing a win which Manu Trigueros sealed in injury time.
Athletic Club Bilbao came back after conceding a goal to David Zurutuza to defeat Real Sociedad 3-2 in a pulsating Basque derby.
Iker Muniain equalized with a curling shot in the 50th minute, before further goals from Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams made it 3-1 for the home side who had to endure a nervous last 10 minutes after Inigo Martinez scored again for the visitors.
Alaves and Malaga shared the points in a 1-1 draw in Vitoria. Deyverson gave Alaves an early lead with a brave header, but Rosales equalized five minutes from time with a stunning long range shot.
Finally new Valencia coach Cesare Prandelli began his reign with a 2-1 win away to Sporting Gijon, a victory owed to two goals from Mario Suarez.
ajb/vmPublished 17 Oct 2016, 13:57 IST