Real Madrid top La Liga table as Barcelona slip

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Real Madrid beat Getafe 4-2 to take an early two point advantage over Barcelona at the top of the Spanish La Liga on Saturday, after the Catalan side dropped points drawing 2-2 away to Real Sociedad.

After a difficult start for La Liga season with a players strike and disputes over new kick off times and TV and radio revenues, football finally took centre stage again.

And in an exciting line up of games on Saturday, Valencia beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 to join Real Madrid at the top after two matches while Villarreal and Sevilla drew 2-2 in El Madrigal.

For Madrid two goals for Karim Benzema, a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty and a late strike by substitute Gonzalo Higuain edged out a battling Getafe for whom Miku scored twice.

Madrid were fortunate when Ronaldo put them 2-1 ahead with a penalty on 60 minutes after he appeared to be tripped by Cata Diaz outside the penalty area.

However, it was the performance of a rejuvenated Benzema that Madrid fans will take from this derby match.

The French international put Madrid ahead on 13 minutes with a well placed right footed shot from the edge of the area and converted a superb cross field pass from Ronaldo on 69 minutes to make the score 3-1.

Miku had levelled at 1-1 for Getafe before half time and pulled a goal back for the team from the south of Madrid on 73 minutes before Higuain wrapped the game up with three minutes remaining.

The victory was important for Madrid in a season that is almost certain to become a head to head battle with Barcelona.

However, coach Jose Mourinho was not entirely happy afterwards.

“I’m not happy with my team, we won and we deserved to with four goals but our opponents scored twice and could have had more,” he said.

“It was a difficult match but we have not played well, I have to understand why and take some conclusions from it.”

On Benzema he commented: “He is doing well, he has turned it around, and that’s down mainly to himself, with a bit of help from me, from (Zinedine) Zidane and (French coach Laurent) Blanc. His attitude is good and the quality was always there.”

Earlier, a promising Real Sociedad side matched Barcelona in San Sebastian to earn a 2-2 draw in an exciting game.

The home team pegged back a two goal deficit to share the points and provide the first challenge of the season to Barcelona’s domination of La Liga.

Barca seemed to have the game wrapped up with two early goals within a minute from Xavi Hernandez and Cesc Fabregas.

However, a sterling second half performance saw Sociedad level with headers on 57 and 59 minutes from Imanol Agirretxe and Antoine Griezmann.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said: “For us its a good lesson for the future, Real’s goals came when we were on top but it proves that in football you always have to be on your game.

Roberto Soldado’s 52nd minute header won a tight game for Valencia over Atletico Madrid, to give them two wins from two and put them level at the top with Madrid.

For Soldado it helped push his claim for a return to the full Spanish national team and put him level with Ronaldo as La Liga’s top scorer with 4 goals.

Earlier Saturday, Villarreal put up a brave performance, after losing goalkeeper Diego Lopez to a first half red card, to draw 2-2 with Sevilla.

After first half penalties for both sides were converted by Giuseppi Rossi and Alvaro Negredo, Villarreal substitute Marco Ruben put the home team ahead on 72 minutes before Alexis Ruano earned Sevilla a point with five minutes remaining.

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