La Liga's two other powerhouse are hoping that Barcelona's slew of injuries opens the door for a first-place battle.
Barcelona has dominated the table through the first 13 matches, leading the grouping with 38 goals and eight goals allowed during their undefeated campaign. But their grasp on La Liga's throne could be tested when they are forced to play without significant key contributors, including Lionel Messi.
Messi, who has already notched eight goals in La Liga play, will miss six-to-eight weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury.
But the show will go on for Barca when they face Granada, who have won their last two bouts. While Barcelona is deep enough to forge through without Messi, a slip up would invite Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to slither closer to first place.
Outside of the top-three squads, the race for fourth place remains wide open, as the next seven clubs are separated by just seven points. Levante could lessen that gap by topping fourth-place Villarreal, and Getafe could make some major noise with a victory over Atletico.
Here's a look at how the La Liga table shapes up following Matchday 14.
|La Liga Table—Matchday 14|
Osasuna 1, Valladolid 0
In a battle between two squads looking to escape the table's basement, Osasuna snatched three points after Oier Sanjurjo broke the draw in the 84th minute. Their fourth win of the campaign moves them out of the relegation zone before the weekend's matches.
Neither team generated much offense with three shots on goal apiece, so a draw looked inevitable before Osasuna turned the tides with time ticking. Manuel Lolo set up Sanjurjo with a well-timed cross that allowed the midfielder to collect his first goal with the team.
Valladolid kicked off the match with a bang, as Daniel Larsson nearly poked home a goal during the match's opening minute. But Andres Fernandez made the stop, and few such promising chances ensued.
Even though they came up short, Valladolid controlled the ball for 57 percent of the match while posting a 77 percent accuracy rating on their passes. But it was not enough to overcome their inability to finish throughout the contest.
While the win helped Osasuna climb to No. 15 for the moment, Valladolid is now dangerously close to relegation's reach at 17th place. Almeria or Rayo could send them in the bottom three if either gains a point.
Barcelona 4, Granada 0
What was that about Barcelona potentially struggling to overcome several injuries? Who said that?
Playing without Messi and others didn't seem to make much of a difference during their 4-0 manhandling of Granada. Through 14 matches, they remain undefeated and comfortably in first place.
The fact that ESPN FC's Dermot Ledwith can describe the winners of a 4-0 match as "sluggish," "tired" and "unconvincing" says a lot about the level of play expected from the league's powerhouse. Perhaps they could have ran the score up even more at full strength, but Barca still cruised to victory with goals from Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro.
Granada still resides in the table's top half at No. 9, which is probably a condemnation on the lack of talent spread throughout the Primera Division.
Atletico Madrid 7, Getafe CF 0
La Liga's top clubs continued to flex their muscles on Saturday. Atletico Madrid did a heavy number on Getafe's goal differential during a monstrous 7-0 win.
After a slow start, Raul Garcia kicked off the action for Atletico with a goal during the 26th minute. The onslaught ensued, continuing with an own goal from Lopo Garcia before halftime and two David Villa scores during the second half.
Despite starting the match on the bench due to a thigh strain, Diego Costa engineered the highlight of the blowout with a dazzling overhead kick during the 69th minute. At that point, the match was well out of hand.
Atletico compiled 24 shots during the match while Getafe managed a measly two. It was a horrendous showing for a Getafe squad fighting for a fourth-place finish.
Atletico maintained their grasp of second place, but Real Madrid held their ground with a 5-0 win over Almeria.
Villarreal 3, Levante 0
Villarreal is looking poised to run away with the once wide-open fourth place after downing Levante on Sunday.
In a convincing victory, Villarreal controlled time of possession for 62 percent of the match while firing off 23 shots to their opponent's five. They have now earned seven points through their last three matches and tout the fourth-best goal differential (+11) by a lofty margin.
Goalkeeper Keylor Navas was expelled just nine minutes into the match after tripping Ikechukwu Uche in the box. Bruno Soriano sent the penalty kick past substitute Javier Jimenez, and Uche added two scores of his own during the second half.
Espanyol 4, Rayo 1
Eager to climb into relevancy in this year's La Liga table, Espanyol routed struggling Rayo on Sunday to get into ninth place.
Sergio Garcia's mammoth day was the biggest difference, as the striker notched a hat trick in the 4-1 victory. His first two were penalty kicks, and the third came with his club sporting a one-goal lead.
Rayo was overmatched from the 25th minute on, when goalkeeper Ruben was handed a red card. Despite holding 70 percent possession and getting 16 shots off, Rayo were unable to generate many legitimate scoring chances.
Elche 2, Valencia 1
Valencia's less than stellar 2013-14 season continued on Sunday with an underwhelming performance in a 2-1 loss to Elche.
Desperation was certainly sensed for Valencia throughout, as they dominated possession 62-38 and ripped off 25 shots (eight on goal), but it didn't turn into offensive firepower. Juan Bernat's 73rd-minute goal was the only scoring they would do on the day.
Meanwhile, Elche slid into a tie with Valencia in the standings. They're both tied with two other clubs at 17 points for 10th place.
Sevilla 4, Real Betis 0
Real Betis' woeful season continued, as the despair-ridden club still has yet to notch double-digit points on the season with another loss, this time to Sevilla.
Sevilla were dominant from the get-go, as they led from Carlos Bacca's second-minute goal throughout the contest. Their stingy defense held Betis to just one shot on goal.
Perhaps the most telling stat of the match is that Sevilla had six players shoot the ball at least two times. Only one Betis player shot the ball more than once.
Real Betis looks headed toward relegation if they continue their losing ways, while Sevilla is inching into the better half of the table.
Athletic Bilbao 2, Malaga 1
Athletic Bilbao picked up three points on Monday night to remain right in the hunt for the top four. The win keeps Bilbao within one point of fourth-placed Villarreal and six points clear of Real Sociedad in fifth place.
The Basque side went down 1-0 early to a goal from Juanmi. It would be the only shot Malaga got on target the entire game, so at least they made it count.
Bilbao came roaring back in the second half. Mikel San Jose equalized in the 68th minute off a corner.
Francisco Portillo was sent off for Malaga after he picked up two yellow cards in a span of seven minutes. That gave Athletic Bilbao a man advantage with seven minutes left to play.
They didn't waste any time in making the most of it.
Iker Muniain found the winner in the 85th minute to secure the win for his side.
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