Lionel Messi sent Barcelona back to the top of La Liga after scoring the winner in the 86th minute to beat Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Messi's strike at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium means Barca top Real Madrid on goal difference. It also means Atleti fell to sixth on a day when third-place Sevilla continued their strong form with a third straight win, while Athletic Bilbao got past Granada and Osasuna deepened the crisis at relegation-threatened Espanyol.
- Sevilla 1-0 Leganes
- Athletic 2-0 Granada
- Espanyol 2-4 Osasuna
- Getafe 4-0 Levante
- Atletico 0-1 Barcelona
Barca needed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to keep them in the game during a rain-soaked first half. The 27-year-old answered the call and made terrific stops to deny Mario Hermoso and Alvaro Morata.
The German's brilliance set the stage for Messi to finally separate the teams late on. Barca's attacking talisman had been relatively quiet against the well-drilled hosts, but Messi was cool under pressure when he received a Luis Suarez pass and slotted past Jan Oblak.
The goal not only represented a fatal blow to Atleti's title hopes. It also added the Wanda Metropolitano to the many venues in Spain that have played host to Messi's magic:
A single goal from Diego Carlos was also enough for Sevilla to earn three points against bottom-of-the-table Leganes. It was the rugged defender's maiden goal in the competition:
The narrow win was a fortunate escape for the Andalusians, who played a horrible match against La Liga's worst team but caught a lucky break after 63 minutes when the ball fell to Carlos, who converted from close range.
In the Basque country, Raul Garcia and Yuri Berchiche got the goals in a simple win for Bilbao, even though there was some controversy involved with the opener.
Garcia initially had his penalty saved, but goalkeeper Rui Silva was judged to be off his line. Replays showed it wasn't by much, per The Spanish Football Podcast:
Espanyol made it four losses in their last five La Liga matches at home to Osasuna, who bounced back from their loss to Athletic in Week 14. The visitors played the bulk of the second half without centre-back Facundo Roncaglia, who was sent off after 52 minutes.
Getafe pushed their unbeaten run to five matches against Levante, dismantling the club from Valencia in a 4-0 win. Leandro Cabrera started the scoring salvo nine minutes into the second half, and David Timor ended the rout 12 minutes from time.