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La Liga Wrap: Atletico Madrid, Real, Barca all triumph
Sep 02, 2013 5:05 AM EST
Atletico Madrid's impressive start to the season continued on Sunday as they picked up a well-earned 2-1 win over Real Sociedad at Anoeta.
The visitors looked the more likely to take three points from the off as David Villa wasted a good chance before eventually getting his name on the scoresheet just before the half-hour mark as he poked the ball over goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from point-blank range.
After spurning a number of other chances, Atletico added a second early in the second half as Villa turned provider for Koke, but Xabi Prieto gave the hosts a lifeline as he rifled an unstoppable drive into the top far corner from the right side of the penalty area.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side did all the pressing and attacking during the final quarter of the match, but Atletico were able to hold on for their third win of the campaign.
La Liga’s big two were also in action on Sunday and they both picked up wins. Real Madrid welcomed Athletic Bilbao in the early kick-off and won 3-1 thanks to two goals from Isco either side of a Cristiano Ronaldo strike, before Ibai Gomez netted a late consolation.
Champions Barcelona also fired three past their opponents as a Lionel Messi hat-trick saw the champions squeeze past Valencia 3-2 at Mestalla, with Helder Postiga scoring twice for the hosts.
Sevilla, Atletico’s first victims of the season, are still searching for their first victory of the term as Malaga held them to a 2-2 draw at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in an end-to-end Andalusian derby.
Chilean Pedro Morales gave Bernd Schuster’s side a 40th-minute lead, but Sevilla hit back before the break as Kevin Gameiro headed in debutant Stephane M’Bia’s cross from the right.
Roque Santa Cruz restored Malaga’s lead in the 68th minute after a delightful reverse pass from Sergi Darder but Unai Emery’s men came back again as Gameiro nodded Ivan Rakitic’s lofted pass from deep past Willy Caballero before Duda received a red card in stoppage time.
Sevilla’s city rivals Real Betis played out a goalless draw against Espanyol at Cornella El Prat in a match that visiting coach Pepe Mel described as “ugly” in his post-match press conference.