Barcelona and Real Madrid win their La Liga matches

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Lionel Messi was one of the goalscorers again as Barcelona humiliate Athletic Bilbao 5-1 to set a new record for the best ever start to a Spain La Liga season and stay 11 points ahead of defending champions Real Madrid.

Real Madrid beat Atletico 2-0 in a derby match with Cristiano Ronaldo and Ozil on target to keep their title hopes alive.

Barcelona have now put together 13 wins and a draw from their first 14 matches to beat the previous best start in the Spain Primera Division set by Real Madrid in the 1991-92 season.

View the match stats for Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid and you can gather details of the referees, starting line ups, substitutes, goalscorers as well as yellow and red cards.

“It is great to have achieved this but I am happier still with the performance of my players and that even at 5-1 we continued to keep pressing and trying to score,” said Barca coach Tito Vilanova.

“There are still things we can improve on and we can still work harder.”

Gerard Pique put the Catalan side ahead after 22 minutes followed quickly by Messi’s first, which came off defender Fernando Amorebieta on the line, before Adriano Correia hit the third on the point of half-time.

Cesc Fabregas then added to the deluge of goals and Ibai Gomez got a consolation before Messi struck again.

Messi is now just one goal off Mueller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year set for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

The home side began at a high tempo but while they pushed Athletic back the visitors kept faith with coach Marcelo Bielsa’s attacking philosophy as they looked to bring the ball out from defence.

Barca had their first sight of goal with a low drive from Andres Iniesta after 12 minutes which keeper Gorka Iraizoz saved comfortably.

They got their breakthrough after a spell of pressure.

Athletic failed to clear their lines from a corner and although Iraizoz repelled Fabregas’ shot, Pique pounced on the rebound to knock it home.

Minutes later and Barca doubled their lead due in part to slack defending which has plagued Athletic’s season.

Fernando Amorebieta failed to keep tight to Messi who through on goal slipped the ball past the keeper and a despairing dive from the defender only served to help the ball over the line.

The Barca players were queuing up to score the third before the break with Fabregas having a shot saved and Messi hitting the post before Adriano burst in from the right and fired a Fabregas pass into the roof of the net.

There was no let up after the restart and Iraizoz did well to block Messi but could do nothing to stop Fabregas who fired home an Iniesta pass inside the area.

Barca were guilty of easing off as Gomez pulled a goal back but Messi had the final say with his second.

Atletico Madrid, riding high in second place, felt they had their best chance to beat Real Madrid since their last triumph in October 1999 but they rarely threatened as they failed to settle in a highly-charged atmosphere.

Argentine coach Diego Simeone has brought success based on solidity and the midfield of Gabi Fernandez and Mario Suarez were holding their own against their Madrid rivals and it was the visitors who had the first clear chance of the game.

Radamel Falcao got in front of Pepe to prod a Diego Costa pass goalwards but keeper Iker Casillas managed to palm the ball behind from close range.

Ronaldo has had a quiet run by his own high standards without a goal in three games but he responded on 15 minutes with a free-kick from fully 30 yards which nestled in the corner.

The referee tried to allow the game to flow but the game was mainly compressed into midfield. It was Madrid who tried to circulate the ball more and after the break they managed to gradually take charge of the game.

Ronaldo blazed wide from the edge of the area after 53 minutes and then he set up Mesut Ozil to volley home the second from 15 yards.

The Portuguese also hit the post twice in the closing stages as Atletico dropped the intensity of their play.

Mauricio Pellegrino was sacked as manager of Valencia following his side’s 5-2 defeat at home to Real Sociedad.

The game swung on the first half dismissal of Jonas Goncalves with Valencia ahead through Roberto Soldado.

Alberto De la Bella equalised before the break and further goals came from Mikel Gonzalez, Diego Ifran, Imanol Agirretxe and Carlos Vela from the penalty spot while Soldado also got a second.

Earlier, an Alberto Lopo header saw fourth-placed Malaga lose 1-0 away to Getafe.

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