Real Madrid increased their lead at the top of La Liga to two points in Week 8, beating Granada 4-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu before trailing Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw at Real Valladolid.
Nine-man Barcelona dominated Julen Lopetegui's Sevilla side 4-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday to close the gap on Los Blancos, with Lionel Messi capping off a confident win. Ronald Araujo and Ousmane Dembele were each shown late red cards in that fixture.
Getafe were the only team to win away from home on Sunday when they beat 10-man Real Sociedad 2-1 on their own soil, where Nemanja Maksimovic scored in the 89th minute to complete a dramatic turnaround.
Levante won 2-1 at Leganes on Saturday and were the only other team to win away in Week 8, while Mallorca and Celta Vigo secured home wins over Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao, respectively.
Mallorca 2-0 Espanyol
Celta Vigo 1-0 Athletic Bilbao
Real Valladolid 0-0 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 1-2 Getafe
Barcelona 4-0 Sevilla
La Liga Standings (Played, Goal Difference, Points)
1. Real Madrid 8, +8, 18
3. Atletico Madrid 8, +3, 15
4. Granada 8, +5, 14
5. Real Sociedad 8, +4, 13
6. Sevilla 8, 0, 13
7. Athletic Bilbao 8, +3, 12
8. Valencia 8, 0, 12
9. Villarreal 8, +6, 11
10. Levante 8, 0, 11
11. Osasuna 8, 0, 11
12. Real Valladolid 8, -1, 10
15. Real Betis 8, -5, 9
16. Celta Vigo 8, -4, 9
17. Alaves 8, -4, 8
18. Mallorca 8, -6, 7
19. Espanyol 8, -10, 5
20. Leganes 8, -8, 2
Visit Sky Sports to view the full table.
Winner: Zinedine Zidane
Following the huge disappointment of Tuesday's 2-2 draw at home to Club Brugge, Real got the response they sought against a Granada team flying high in La Liga this campaign.
Eden Hazard finally got his first competitive goal in Real colours and then assisted a superb Luka Modric strike to celebrate a valuable win in style:
Zinedine Zidane is yet to win in the UEFA Champions League since he returned to the club, but the domestic front has quickly picked up for the French manager after Real drew two of their first three matches this season.
Leading La Liga during the international break is a particular boon for Zidane—who is attempting to reclaim the title he last won in 2017—and his team are the only side unbeaten in La Liga.
The tactician will have been especially happy to see Atletico fall in Week 8 to help give his side some breathing space at the summit, made all the sweeter by their shared rivalry.
Loser: Atletico Madrid
Not long after Atletico looked like the team to beat amid Real and Barca's early struggles, successive draws have left Atletico three points off La Liga's lead approaching the quarter-season mark.
Diego Simeone's side have still lost only once this season, but three draws (two at home) have left Los Rojiblancos already hoping to make up lost points in the title race.
AFP's Tom Allnutt detailed the lack of attacking threat in Sunday's stalemate away to Valladolid as well as the apparent restoration of the usual power balance in La Liga:
Their downturn in form could have been worse, too, considering Valladolid striker Sandro Ramirez fired his penalty attempt over the crossbar and could have stolen all the points for the hosts.
Winner: Levante's Away Record
Levante won a competitive game on the road for the first time since May when they held on to defeat Leganes 2-1 on Saturday, with Roger Marti and Jose Campana scoring either side of half-time.
Paco Lopez's men won just four away fixtures over the course of last season and look capable of replicating a similarly dismal record in 2019-20, though results such as that on Sunday could prevent it.
Campana's winner in particular showcased a rare kind of awareness that proved deserving of three points in the end, via Premier Sports:
Levante are up to mid-table with three win from eight games, and Lopez will hope their maiden away result this season doesn't prove to be an anomaly.
Loser: Julen Lopetegui
Julen Lopetegui returned to Barcelona with a renewed record at the Sevilla helm, though he'll have been well aware this was the last opponent he faced before being fired as Real Madrid manager last season.
The then-Real boss lost 5-1 to Barca in what proved to be the final straw before he was shown the exit, though aspirations were a lot higher after restoring some of his renown in Seville this term.
Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Dembele each scored in an eight-minute span to put the Blaugrana three goals up by the break in what was another miserable visit to this ground.
It seemed apparent the Sevilla coach was feeling the tension at Camp Nou:
Lopetegui's side looked like a surprise package in La Liga until recently, but a record of three defeats in their past four league matches has seen them slide to fifth.
A result against Barcelona at this juncture could have transformed Lopetegui's first season in Seville, but there were few surprises as the Blaugrana came back to haunt his side again.