After defeating Valencia 5-1 on Saturday, Madrid, who is now in second position, is now two points ahead of Barcelona after their 2-1 triumph at home on Sunday.
In the Spanish league, Robert Lewandowski saved the day for Barcelona, scoring twice as the team battled back to defeat Alaves and maintain a two-point lead over Real Madrid and Girona.
After defeating Valencia 5-1 on Saturday, Madrid, who is now in second position, is now two points ahead of Barcelona after their 2-1 triumph at home on Sunday. Barcelona trails neighboring Catalan team Girona by four points. Girona surprised everyone by winning 2-1 against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday after coming from behind.
With a goal and an assist from Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid overcame a deficit to overcome Villarreal 3-1, but Barcelona maintained their two-point lead. Atletico had won 15 straight league games at home, breaking the record of 14 straight wins at Vicente Calderon Stadium from May 2012 to February 2013.
After Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan lost control close to midfield, Alaves seized the lead on a breakaway one minute into the game at Montjuic. However, Lewandowski gave the home team a boost with a header in the 53rd minute and a penalty kick in the 78th.
Lewandowski, who had an injury lately and missed six games, hadn’t scored in six games since winning 3-2 over Celta Vigo in September.
Barcelona’s coach Xavi stated, “We played a bit better, but we are not going through our best moment.” “We prevailed in a match that turned challenging. We will benefit from the international break so we can reorganize. We will definitely get better.
Barcelona was coming off a 1-0 Champions League group stage loss to Shakhtar Donetsk. In the Spanish league’s first “clasico” of the season, it was defeated 2-1 at home by Real Madrid two rounds ago. Then, last weekend, Barcelona needed a goal in stoppage time to defeat Real Sociedad.
After ten wins and two draws in the league, Barcelona’s unbeaten streak against Alaves now stands at twelve games.
Alaves ended a seven-game league winless drought by defeating Almeria, the team in last position, in the previous round.
Barcelona was still missing Sergi Roberto and Frenkie de Jong due to injuries, and Xavi was also without Gavi due to suspension.
After beginning the previous two games off the bench due to an injury, Pedri was back in the starting lineup.
After starting the previous four games on the bench, teenage Lamine Yamal also made a start.
Barcelona women’s team member Aitana Bonmatí gave supporters a tour of the Ballon d’Or trophy, which she won last month, before to the game.
Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno gave Atletico the lead in the 20th minute, but the home team responded with goals from Axel Witsel in stoppage time in the first half, Griezmann in the 80th, and Samuel Lino in the 85th.
Griezmann, who is leading an assault that has scored 29 goals in 12 league games with Álvaro Morata, scored his seventh goal in six games.
Atletico was fresh off a 6-0 thumping of Celtic at home during the Champions League group round. With 10 victories and 2 draws in its past 12 games in all competitions, it is undefeated. Atletico set a new club record at the Metropolitano stadium by winning all six of its home games this season in addition to the last nine games from the previous campaign.
Griezmann stated, “Playing in front of these fans is always a plus.” “They always provide us with an extra push.”
The squad led by Diego Simeone, whose contract was extended last week until 2027, is now in action because a September home game against Sevilla was postponed due to inclement weather.
14th-place Villarreal, led by sports director Miguel Ángel Tena following the dismissal of coach José Rojo Martín, or “Pacheta,” last week, suffered their seventh league defeat.
Alexander Sorloth, a striker for Villarreal, was injured in the first half. The Norway international seemed to have suffered a hamstring injury.
In the Sevilla derby, Ivan Rakitic’s goal in the 79th minute gave Sevilla a 1-1 draw against rival Real Betis.
In the 72nd, Ayoze Pérez had given the visitors the lead.
After five straight draws, Sevilla, currently in 13th position in the league, had its winless streak in league play stretch to six games.
Seventh-place Betis, managed by Manuel Pellegrini, had won five consecutive in all competitions, including two in a row in the Spanish league.