Real Madrid remains a compelling with a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid derby on Saturday, caused by the dismissal of Atletico Thibaut Courtois goalkeeper and a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo.
It is 12 years since Atletico has beaten illustrious rivals and win at the Bernabeu Real Madrid – 13th in succession – put them six points behind Barcelona.
Real Madrid beat Atletico 4-1 to stay top in Spain.Atletico started with a high tempo and put their opponents on the defensive with a goal by Adrian Lopez on 14 minutes. Diego’s pass broke the offside trap and fired from close range Adrian home.
The key moment of the game came midway through the first half, when Karim Benzema was brought down by the goalkeeper of Atletico, who was red, and coolly slotted Ronaldo from 12 yards.
Atletico coach Gregorio Manzano hinted that his team could use a physical approach to fend off real and yellow cards stacked and visitors seemed to cling to.
After the break, however, Ronaldo took the ball to Ángel Di María for real before and after replacement of Gonzalo Higuain rounded the keeper after 64 minutes for the third.
Atletico were reduced to nine men when defender Diego Godin was ejected for a foul on Higuain in the box and Ronaldo got his second game of the resulting penalty with nine minutes left.
Barcelona is in the familiar position of playing a secondary role and will look to keep pressure on leaders to a team Getafe just one win in seven games.
With attention in Spain and are turning to the classic for the first time in the league against Real Madrid next month, the Barca coach Pep Guardiola seemed to play down saying it was not high on their list of priorities at this time.
“I’m focused on the Getafe game and then the games after that. We will prepare for the classic when it comes. It is of vital importance to us to be leaders ahead of this party and I’m not obsessed with Real Madrid” said.
Barcelona changed their formation to a three-man defense in the Champions League win at AC Milan in midweek, and Guardiola said it is a tactic that is happy to be reused.
“I know that the day is lost through that training, I will be attacked, to the point of losing my license,” he joked.
“It’s not the case that is lost because you have three men in the back. It’s a formation that allows us to attack and play good football. ”
Valencia continued their attempts to prove that there is a two-horse race in the league this season as their 2-1 victory away from Rayo Vallecano put them a point behind Barcelona.
The visitors came to the back of a 7-0 thumping of Genk in the Champions League and in the country who have lost only once in seven games – a tough battle to the final against Real Madrid last weekend .
Valencia faced a Lightning team that have adapted well to life again in the top flight after an absence of eight years and knew that a win would have put the European places.
Valencia took the lead with the first real chance of the game when Jonas had a speculative shot from distance that surprised goalkeeper David Cobeño Ray.
Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves had to thank two blocks of excellent Alejandro Arribas and Andrija Delibasic either side of half time, before a great team move was finished off by Alberto Costa.
Substitute Raul Tamudo scored a consolation for the Lightning to six minutes from time