Madrid: Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil saw Real Madrid defeat neighbors Atletico 2-0 in the city derby in the Spanish football league, La Liga.
It is the 24th consecutive match in which Atletico have failed to defeat their neighbours, a run stretching back to 1999 and Diego Simeone’s side partly had themselves to blame for the defeat as they abandoned the footballing principals which have seen them perform so well this season and try and attempt to muscle Real Madrid out of the game.
The tactic resulted in an ugly match with two sides more interested in destroying than in creating good football but the football played by Real Madrid helped them win the game.
Ronaldo scored a free kick after 16 minutes and Ozil finished off a neat passing move midway through the first half.
Ronaldo hit another free kick against the bar and had a shot hit the post as the game went to a conclusion but despite his obvious frustration, the work had already been done and Atletico will have to wait for another chance to end their dreadful run.
Elsewhere, Barcelona striker Leo Messi closed in on Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year when he netted twice in his side’s 5-1 home win against Athletic Club Bilbao.
Gerard Pique had already put Barca ahead before Messi’s chip was sliced into his own net by Athletic defender Fernando Amorebieta, although the referee, perhaps erroneously, ruled that the ball would have gone in anyhow.
Adriano Coreira made it 3-0 to Barca on the stroke of halftime to virtually end the game.
Cesc Fabregas added a fourth for Barca 10 minutes after the break before Ibai Gomez scored a consolation for the visitors.
However, there was still time for Messi to score his second of the night and seal a 5-1 win which means Barca have now achieved the best ever start to a La Liga season.
Getafe kicked off the weekend with a 1-0 win at home against Malaga, who had begun the game in fourth place in the standings.
Albert Lopo’s close range header 10 minutes into the second-half was all that separated the teams in a game where Malaga failed to turn their possession into clear cut chances.
Roberto Soldado got Valencia off to a flying start at home to Real Sociedad with a close range finish but the visitors drew level a clever finish from Alberto de la Bella five minutes before the break, just after Jonas Gonsalves had been sent off for using his elbow.
Real Sociedad grew in confidence after the break and went ahead after 56 minutes before Diego Ifran made it 3-1 shortly after the half hour. Soldado’s second of the night made it 2-3 with 18 minutes remaining but Imanol Agirretxe reestablished Real Sociedad’s advantage and Carlos Vela’s 90th minute penalty sealed a stunning 5-2 away win for the Basques.
The loss led to Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino being sacked around an hour after the final whistle.