Vicente Calderon

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Champions League Group A

Big wins for top three

La Liga's top three went goal crazy as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid scored 16 goals between them to thrash Granada, Getafe and Almeria, respectively.

Last Updated: 23/11/13 at 23:28 Post Comment

Pedro: Scored Barcelona's final goal against Granada

Pedro: Scored Barcelona's final goal against Granada

Carlos Vela, meanwhile, produced an impressive individual feat as the former Arsenal striker scored all four goals in Real Sociedad's win over Celta Vigo.

An under-strength Barcelona side consolidated top spot in the Primera Division with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Granada at the Nou Camp.

The hosts took the lead in the 20th minute when Andres Iniesta coolly placed his penalty into the bottom-right corner after the referee adjudged Cesc Fabregas had been fouled by Dimitri Foulquier.

And before the break Gerardo Martino's side had doubled their advantage - again from the penalty spot. This time it was Iniesta who won it, when he was brought down by Fran Rico, and Fabregas who converted, despatching into the top-right corner of Roberto's net.

The visitors' afternoon took a turn for the worse midway through the second half when Manuel Iturra was sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on Pedro, having been yellow-carded in the first half for a challenge on Neymar.

Barcelona scored a third on 72 minutes when Chile forward Alexis Sanchez latched onto Neymar's slick pass and dinked over the advancing Roberto for his eighth goal in La Liga this term.

And then, just to rub salt into the Granada wounds, Fabregas teed up Pedro for a fourth goal in the 90th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring before being forced off early in the second half with an injury as Real Madrid kept up the pressure on Barcelona with a comprehensive 5-0 win at Almeria.

Real took the lead on three minutes when Ronaldo, fresh from almost single-handedly getting Portugal to the World Cup finals with a brilliant hat-trick in the midweek play-off second leg against Sweden, stretched out his left foot to connect with Isco's cross from the right and divert the ball past Esteban.

Ronaldo's evening came to a premature end early in the second half, when he signalled to the bench that he had picked up a knock and wanted to come off.

Karim Benzema wasted no time in taking centre stage up front with a superb second goal in the 61st minute when he took on a pass from Jese on the edge of the box, gave himself some space with his first touch and then despatched a fine left-footed shot past Esteban.

Gareth Bale tucked away the third goal on 72 minutes after Sebastian Dubarbier had failed to deal with Isco's through ball.

Isco added gloss to the scoreline with a goal of his own moments later, striking the ball through the legs of substitute Tebar and into the bottom-left corner.

And, as if Almeria's three-match winning streak had not been ended emphatically enough, substitute Alvaro Morata then sprung the offside trap 10 minutes from time and lifted a cheeky dink over Esteban.

Raul Garcia and David Villa scored twice apiece as Atletico Madrid pummelled city rivals Getafe 7-0 at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico opened the scoring through Garcia on 26 minutes and doubled the advantage on 37 minutes through Alberto Lopo's own goal.

Getafe then had Juan Valera sent off three minutes before half-time for picking up a second yellow card and Atletico went further ahead four minutes after the break through Villa.

Garcia scored again three minutes later before Atletico's top scorer Costa weighed in with a goal on 69 minutes.

Former Barcelona striker Villa notched his second of the game on 78 minutes and substitute Adrian Lopez rounded off the rout with the seventh goal in stoppage-time.

Carlos Vela scored four goals as Real Sociedad hit back from two goals down with half an hour remaining to defeat Celta Vigo 4-3 in an enthralling match.

The former Arsenal striker opened the scoring with less than six minutes on the clock but the visitors scored twice in the space of five minutes through Rafinha and Alex Lopez to take the lead into half-time.

Luis Enrique's side looked to have the points wrapped up when Rafinha struck again after 57 minutes but Vela pulled one back and the pendulum swung further towards the hosts when Celta midfielder Andreu Fontas was sent off for two bookable offences.

With an extra man and their home fans roaring la Real on, Vela scored two more goals in the space of three minutes to complete the comeback and bring the match to an extraordinary climax.

The win marked Sociedad's third straight home victory in the league and moves them up into sixth in the Primera Division table, while Celta remain level on points with teams in the relegation zone and could find themselves in the bottom three by the end of the weekend.

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I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

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