Bruno Soriano was on target
The weekend Liga programme kicked off on Friday with two games.
The matches come thick and fast, with four games on Saturday—including Real Madrid's meeting with Real Valladolid.
The action concludes on Sunday with four games, the highlight being Barcelona's trip to Athletic Bilbao, and over the course of the following slides we will dig into the clashes.
Keep checking in over the weekend for updates.
Stats via WhoScored.com.
Gareth Bale scored his first hat-trick for Real Madrid as Los Blancos won comfortably, 4-0 at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday. In addition to his three goals, Bale assisted another for Madrid, who closed to within three points of leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid despite playing without injured superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bale, who joined Real Madrid in a world-record transfer over the summer, scored with his left foot, right foot and head to complete a "perfect" hat-trick. He has scored eight goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions, and seven in the league this season.
With the win, Madrid moved onto 37 points, three behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Atletico won 2-0 at Elche on Saturday. Barcelona play Sunday at Athletic Bilbao.
After a bright start by the hosts, Bale opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Valladolid keeper Diego Mariño spilled Angel Di Maria's shot directly into Bale's path, and Bale headed in powerfully for a 1-0 Madrid lead.
Three minutes later, it was 2-0. This time, though, Bale was the provider.
With acres of space on the right, Bale picked out Bezema making a run in front of goal. Unmarked, Benzema headed in to make it 2-0.
Bale scored his second—Madrid's third—in the 64th minute, tucking in a low finish after Jesus Rueda tipped Marcelo's cross into the Welshman's path. He capped off the hat-trick in the 89th minute, finishing a move that he started after trading passes with Marcelo on the left.
On target: 12-9
Barcelona suffered a first La Liga defeat of the season, losing 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday at San Mames Barria.
Iker Muniain scored the only goal, finishing a swift move by the hosts in the 70th minute. With the win—their first over Barcelona since May 2006—Athletic moved up to fourth place on 29 points.
It was a second straight defeat in all competitions for Barcelona, who lost at Ajax on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League. Gerardo Martino's team dropped points for only the second time this season in 15 matches. The other was a scoreless draw at Osasuna in October.
Athletic have won six of eight home matches this season, with only Elche and Valencia escaping with draws before Barcelona's visit. Barca, for their part, had won six of seven on their travels this season before Sunday.
Despite the defeat, though, Barcelona remain atop the league table with 40 points.Atletico Madrid also have 40 points, but Barcelona have a superior goal differential.Real Madrid sit a further three points behind.
Athletic's goal came in the 70th minute. Ander Herrera won possession on the right and freed Susaeta with a pass to the edge of the Barcelona box. Susaeta crossed for Muniain, who finished first-time past Pinto.
On target: 6-2
Real Betis 2-2 Rayo Vallecano
Alberto Buerno netted twice, including a goal in the final minute, to earn Rayo Vallecano a point at Real Betis.
Betis raised hope of hauling themselves off the foot of the table when Antonio Amaya fired them ahead on 27 minutes. However, Buerno leveled things six minutes after the break.
Joan Verdu put Betis ahead for the second time in the contest nine minutes from time, but the home side’s hearts were broken by Buerno’s late intervention.
Granada 1-2 Sevilla
Substitute Kevin Gameiro came up with a goal three minutes from time to hand Sevilla a 2-1 win at Granada.
Carlos Bocca fired Sevilla ahead on 23 minutes. Granada thought they were on course for a point when Yacine Brahimi netted a penalty on the hour, but Gameiro stole the win for the visitors.
Valencia 3-0 Osasuna
Jonas hit a hat-trick as Valencia won easily at home to 10-man Osasuna.
The visitors had Francisco Puñal sent off in the 16th minute for a studs-up tackle on Daniel Parejo. Jonas then struck in the 45th, 48th and 53rd minutes to grab the three points.
Koke and Diego Costa scored in the second half as Atletico Madrid won 2-0 at Elche on Saturday to move level on points with Barcelona atop the league table.
Atletico had faced stiff resistance throughout the first half and into the second before Koke scored the breakthrough goal in the 63rd minute. Costa aided the goal by bumping into Elche's Alberto Botía out of the way after Elche goalkeeper Manu Herrera had pushed away Raul Garcia's initial shot.
Costa then sealed the points with Atleti's second, finishing Adrian's lovely lofted pass in the 74th minute.
With the win, Atletico moved onto 40 points, level with leaders Barcelona, who play at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Barcelona have a superior goal differential.
On target: 2-3
Celta Vigo overcame an early deficit to win 3-1 at home to Almeria on Saturday.
Suso opened the scoring, putting Almeria ahead in the ninth minute, but Fabian Orellana equalised midway through the first half before Borja Oubina and Charles struck after the break for Celta to seal the points.
The win stopped a run of back-to-back defeats for Celta, who climbed up to 14th place with 15 points. Almeria are 18th after losing their second straight.
On target: 6-3
A late own goal gave Real Sociedad a comeback 2-1 victory at Espanyol on Saturday. Antoine Griezmann had scored a second-half equaliser to cancel out Jhon Cordoba's opener for Espanyol.
With the win, Sociedad moved up to sixth place on 23 points. Espanyol, who could have moved above Sociedad with a win, are ninth with 18 points.
Cordoba's goal came on the break in the 31st minute, moments after Espanyol stopped a Real Sociedad attack. Hector Moreno passed forward quickly to Cordoba, who finished calmly past Claudio Bravo.
Espanyol's Christian Stuani misplayed the ball into his own net in the 88th minute to gift Sociedad the three points.
Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela was unable to replicate his performance last week, when he scored four times against Celta Vigo. However, he did assist Griezmann's headed equaliser.
On target: 4-6
Bruno Soriano scored for Villarreal
Villarreal 1-1 Malaga
Robson Weligton popped up with an injury-time strike to earn struggling Malaga a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Friday.
Villarreal are in the mix for Champions League qualification. And it looked like they would secure the three points after taking a first-half lead.
Malaga gifted possession to Villarreal on the edge of their own box for the home side's goal on 32 minutes.
Cani drove into the left-hand side of the box, looked up and picked out Bruno Soriano who stroked the ball into the corner.
Malaga, who are hovering just above the relegation zone, kept pressing and were rewarded when Weligton scored in the dying embers of the match.
Getafe 1-0 Levante
A second-half goal from Pedro Leon earned Getafe a 1-0 win over Levante.
Getafe are on the fringe of the European places and Leon’s strike 12 minutes from time was good enough for the three points.
Sunday's Liga games:
Real Betis 2-2 Rayo Vallecano
Granada 1-2 Sevilla
Valencia vs. Osasuna - 6pm (1pm ET)
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona - 8pm (3pm ET)