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La Liga Table 2018 Week 18: Standings and Final Scores After Sunday

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJanuary 7, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 07:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his teammates during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Levante at Camp Nou on January 7, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona restored their nine-point lead at the top of the La Liga table after beating Levante 3-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Goals from Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Paulinho secured the win as summer signing Ousmane Dembele also made his first start since recovering from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Elsewhere, champions Real Madrid dropped points again as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo at Balaidos.

Sunday's other games saw wins for Leganes and Athletic Bilbao, while Villarreal were held at home by Deportivo La Coruna.

Here's a look at all Sunday's results, the updated table and a recap of the best action of the day. 

       

Sunday's La Liga Results

Leganes 1-0 Real Sociedad

Barcelona 3-0 Levante

Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Alaves

Villarreal 1-1 Deportivo La Coruna

Celta Vigo 2-2 Real Madrid

       

La Liga Table (Goal Difference)

1. Barcelona 48 (41)

2. Atletico Madrid 39 (19)

3. Valencia 37 (20)

4. Real Madrid 32 (16)

5. Sevilla 29 (-4)

6. Villarreal 28 (4)

7. Eibar 27 (-7)

8. Athletic Bilbao 24 (1)

9. Leganes 24 (-1)

10. Real Betis 24 (-4)

11. Getafe 23 (4)

12. Real Sociedad 23 (1)

13. Girona 23 (-6)

14. Celta Vigo 22 (5)

15. Espanyol 20 (-7)

16. Levante 18 (-10)

17. Deportivo La Coruna 16 (-15)

18. Alaves 15 (-14)

19. Malaga 11 (-18)

20. Las Palmas 11 (-26)

       

Sunday Recap 

Barcelona's unbeaten run continued as they enjoyed a comfortable return to league action with a convincing win over struggling Levante.

Messi opened the scoring after just 12 minutes following more good combination play with left-back Jordi Alba.

The link-up between the pair has been a feature of Barcelona's season so far, and this time, Messi dinked a ball to Alba, who headed it back to the Argentine to fire home.

Barca were then forced to be patient before doubling their lead, but when it came, the goal was worth waiting for. Right-back Sergio Roberto raced down the right and crossed for Suarez, who took a touch before firing in off the underside of the bar.

Opta showed how it was yet another crucial contribution from Roberto:

OptaJose @OptaJose

3 - Sergi Roberto has provided an assist in three consecutive La Liga appearances for the first time in his career. Selfless. https://t.co/p6VAQNeZ9H

Levante had chances to pull one back in the second half but found goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen continuing the superb form he has shown in the first half of the season.

Roy Nemer has become used to the German making great saves:

Roy Nemer @RoyNemer

And the obligatory ridiculous save by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Fantastic save by the German.

Summer signing Dembele lasted 66 minutes before being replaced by Nelson Semedo and put in a promising display, per ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Dembele's race is run, 65 minutes in the tank. Looked cautious early on but much better in the second half.

Paulinho then added some gloss to the scoreline late on as he knocked home his seventh La Liga goal of the season from close range to seal the 3-0 win.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid went behind at Celta Vigo as Daniel Wass opened the scoring with a sweet chip over goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Yet the goal simply seemed to shake Madrid into life, and they were level within three minutes as Gareth Bale latched onto a pass from Toni Kroos and fired across goal and past goalkeeper Ruben Blanco.

Two minutes later and Bale had put Madrid ahead as he flicked home Isco's cross. The Welshman was looking sharp after an injury-interrupted campaign, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Not to say that Bale and Ronaldo working as a partnership / not sure they've linked up at all. But Bale looks razor sharp and fully fit.

The second half was a more low-key affair but sparked back into life with 20 minutes remaining when goalkeeper Navas conceded a penalty after bringing down the lively Iago Aspas.

However, the goalkeeper was quick to make amends, diving low to his right to save the kick and preserve Madrid's lead.

However, the visitors kept going and were rewarded late on as Aspas found Wass, who crossed for Maxi Gomes to thunder a header home.

Football writer Sid Lowe was not surprised to see Celta equalise:

Sid Lowe @sidlowe

Its been coming, even if you'd started to think it wouldn't come. Celta have been fantastic.

Celta held on to take a point and even had another penalty claim as Aspas went down under Marcelo's challenge, only to see the referee wave the appeals away.

It was a deserved point for the hosts, but more dropped from Madrid, who are now a massive 16 points behind leaders Barcelona.

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