La Liga week 23 recap: Barcelona dump Atleti to barge into top 4
FC Barcelona got their revenge on Atlético Madrid with a 4-2 beatdown at Camp Nou the past weekend.
Xavi’s Blaugrana bucked an early deficit to barge into the top four of the La Liga table for the first time since week three.
Jordi Alba’s volley at the tenth minute canceled out Yannick Carrasco’s initial strike two minutes prior. Gavi gave the home side the go-ahead at the 21st minute by heading home an Adama Traoré cross.
Ronald Araújo’s 43rd minute effort put Barcelona up 3-1 at the break, while Dani Alves put another one in with a thumping low shot four minutes from the restart.
Luis Suárez’s 58th-minute header proved to be a consolation, as Barca held firm despite Alves’ dismissal 21 minutes before fulltime.
Real Madrid squeak past gritty Granada with Asensio magic
Leaders Real Madrid extended their stay at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over gritty Granada at the Bernabéu on February 7.
Marco Asensio put a spectacular strike past Luís Maximiano at the 74th minute to put the hosts six points clear of Sevilla, which were left frustrated after being held to a goalless draw by Osasuna.
The Portuguese shot-stopper had a brilliant game for the visitors with a season record ten saves in the match, but he could not prevent the Spanish international’s left-footed rocket after Éder Militão picked off substitute Dani Raba outside the box.
Athletic Bilbao rally to beat Espanyol
After barging through to their third straight Copa del Rey semifinal, Athletic Bilbao clawed back from an early goal deficit to defeat Espanyol, 2-1, on February 8 at San Mamés.
The Basque side fell behind to a third-minute strike by Dutch midfielder Tonny Vilhena.
Oihan Sancet responded with a the right-footer two minutes later after the goal was confirmed by VAR. Center half Iñigo Martínez headed home the 16th-minute winner after receiving Dani Vivian’s volleyed cross from a set piece.