La Liga Results: Analysis for Rayo vs. Barcelona, and All the Weekend's Matches

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterSeptember 20, 2013

La Liga Results: Analysis for Rayo vs. Barcelona, and All the Weekend's Matches

0 of 7

    La Liga resumed this weekend with each team's fifth round of matches. The action began Friday and continued through Saturday and Sunday, ending with a Monday encounter between Espanyol and Athletic bilbao.

    Barcelona maintained their place atop the table with a comfortable, 4-0 win away to Rayo Vallecano while Real Madrid remained just two points back of their archrivals thanks to a 4-1 win against Getafe at the Bernabeu.

    Following are recaps of all 10 fixtures.

    Click here for the league table.

Osasuna 2-1 Elche

1 of 7

    Osasuna recorded their first win and points of the season with a 2-1 home victory over promoted side Elche on Friday night.

    With the victory, the hosts moved off the bottom of the table, climbing to 17th. Sevilla—who play at struggling Valencia on Sunday—are now bottom with two points. Elche, meanwhile, are 16th, having drawn three times and not yet winning a match.

    Friday was the home debut of new Osasuna manager Javi Gracia, who replaced the sacked Jose Mendilibar earlier this month.

    Emiliano Armenteros opened the scoring for Osasuna in the 16th minute, placing his first-time, left-footed shot into the bottom corner at the far post. Oriol Riera doubled the hosts' advantage two minutes after the break.

    Osasuna's Marc Betran conceded a penalty in the 87th minute for a handball. Edu Albacar converted it one minute later, setting up a tense finish.

    Statistics via

    Shots: 8-12

    On target: 3-4

    Passing: 70%-76%

    Possession: 41%-59%

Rayo Vallecano 0-4 Barcelona

2 of 7

    Pedro helped himself to a hat-trick as Barcelona cantered to a 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

    It took Barca 33 minutes to break down Rayo, and it was World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi who crafted the opener.

    Messi drove at the Rayo defence at pace before picking out Pedro who slotted home with aplomb.

    It was another rapid-fire move from Barca on 47 minutes that brought the second goal.  Xavi and Cesc Fabregas combined, with the latter teeing up Pedro for his second.

    The third was another fantastic piece of attacking interplay, with Neymar and Fabregas combing to slice open Rayo.

    Neymar could have gone himself, but unselfishly rolled the ball to an unmarked Pedro to slot the ball into an empty net.

    Fabregas has been in scintillating form this season and he got the goal his performance deserved with a precision finish after Rayo had gifted possession to Barcelona.

    Statistics via

    Shots: 14-14

    On target: 9-8

    Passing success: 82%-76%

    Possession: 55%-45%

Valladolid 0-2 Atletico Madrid

3 of 7

    Atletico Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Valladolid.

    Barcelona’s win at Rayo Vallecano took them to 15 points from five games, and it was a total matched by Atletico.

    It was far from easy, though, as it took Atletico 56 minutes to break the deadlock. The goal came from Raul Garcia who headed home a cross from Koke.

    Atletico made the game safe when Diego Costa drilled a low shot into the corner on 72 minutes.

    Statistics via

    Shots: 12-15

    On target: 2-6

    Passing success: 78%-76%

    Possession: 49%-51%

Saturday's Other Matches

4 of 7

    Real Sociedad opened Saturday’s action with a 0-0 draw with Malaga, while Levante fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Almeria.

    Goals either side of half-time from Jose Antonio Verza and Suso had the home side in charge, but a penalty from Nabil El Zhar and strike from Pape Kouli Diop earned a point for Levante.


Real Madrid 4-1 Getafe

5 of 7

    Real Madrid recovered from a slow start to defeat Getafe 4-1 on Sunday in a capital derby.

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, while Isco and Pepe added a goal each for the hosts, who stayed two points behind leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

    World-record signing Gareth Bale was unable to make his home debut for Real Madrid after limping off injured in pre-match warmups.

    Angel Lafita put Getafe ahead in the fifth minute, but Pepe leveled 17 minutes later, tapping in the rebound after Ronaldo's shot. Ronaldo then gave Real Madrid their first lead 12 minutes before the break, converting a penalty low and to his left.

    Ronaldo got the assist on Isco's goal in the 59th minute, playing a free kick quickly before Isco curled in a shot from inside the box. Ronaldo completed the scoring in stoppage time with a stylish back-heel from Sami Khedira's cross.


    Statistics via

    Shots: 29-7

    On target: 11-4

    Passing: 88%-78%

    Possession: 63%-37%

Sunday's Other Matches

6 of 7

    Valencia 3-1 Sevilla

    Valencia ended a run of three straight league defeats by beating visitors Sevilla 3-1 at the Mestalla.

    Jonas scored in the 32nd minute to give the hosts a slim advantage at half-time, but Kevin Gameiro equalised from close range shortly after the break.

    Jonas put Valencia back ahead in the 73rd minute, and Victor Ruiz headed in the third eight minutes from time.

    With the victory, Valencia moved up to ninth with six points. Sevilla remained winless and are bottom with two points.


    Real Betis 0-0 Granada

    Real Betis and Granada played out a scoreless draw that left both teams squarely in mid-table.

    The hosts produced 19 shots (six on target) but could not score on Granada. Javi Chica came close to scoring in second-half stoppage time, but his left-footed shot was just over the bar.


    Celta Vigo 0-0 Villarreal

    Villarreal remained unbeaten with a scoreless draw at Celta Vigo.

    The visitors are fourth with 11 points from five matches, while Celta Vigo are eighth with six points.

Espanyol 3-2 Athletic Bilbao

7 of 7

    Perhaps the matchday’s most compelling watching took place on Monday at Estadi Cornella-El Prat where hosts Espanyol hung on to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-2, maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

    Victor Sanchez scored his first of two goals in the 24th minute when his spectacular drive from distance beat Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz from distance. Oscar De Marcos equalized for the guests just prior to the break with a right-footed shot from in close, but after the restart it was all Espanyol.

    Sanchez completed his brace in the 49th minute after latching onto Sergio Garcia’s layoff, and five minutes after the hour-mark it was Garcia getting his name on the score-sheet with a header that beat Iraizoz.

    Ibai Gomez pulled Bilbao back to within a goal with a 90th-minute free-kick, but it was too little too late and Espanyol hung on for the three points.

    Statistics via

    Shots: 11-9

    On target: 6-3

    Passing success: 62%-74%

    Possession: 40%-60%