The 2013-14 La Liga season still showcases three powerhouse teams that are on top of the league, but Matchday 16 will feature a number of important contests throughout the weekend for the rest of the league.
With wins from both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both notching victories in Week 17 over the weekend, the top of the table looks just as it did heading into the week. The two are tied atop the table in what is proving to be a three-team race.
Along with Barcelona and Atletico, Real Madrid sits in the top three and is the only other team in La Liga that should be viewed as a contender for the title.
The path to that championship got a tad more difficult this week. Real Madrid suffered a 2-2 draw as the away team against Osasuna. That was just the sixth time in their 16 La Liga matches that Osasuna did not lose.
|La Liga Table|
Update: Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7:08 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Of the top three teams, only Atletico Madrid were in action on Sunday, Dec. 15, and things were dicey for 58 minutes in that one. Then Diego Costa broke a scoreless and put Madrid up, 1-0.
That opened the floodgates. Just four minutes later, Raul Garcia netted his side's second goal. Costa picked up a brace by drilling a penalty in the 81st minute and help his team to a 3-0 triumph.
Real Sociedad had an even easier time on Sunday. Jorge Molina netted a goal for Real Betis in the 19th minute to pull the match even at one. That score actually held up for the remainder of the first and 10 minutes into the second.
It was all Sociedad from that point on. The sixth-place team netted four goals the rest of the way to win 5-1.
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Levante 2-1 Elche
Levante seriously needed a win heading into this match. They had lost five straight games across all levels of competition and were quickly falling down the league table.
Things didn't get off to a great start for Levante, with Elche's Cristian Sapunaru scoring a goal in the 25th minute, giving his team the early lead. David Barral was able to get one in for Levante just four minutes before half-time, however, tying things up at 1-1.
There were few solid opportunities for either side in the second half, and there were plenty of tense moments. Finally, in the 80th minute, Barral was able to show up once again for Levante, heading in the game-winning goal. Elche had one more chance in stoppage time off of a free kick, but the attempted header went over.
The win for Levante was a big one, as it helped them grab three points and end their slide down the table. For Elche, they have now lost two straight in La Liga play, and they will be looking to turn things around next week against Malaga.