Real Madrid CF stand one point clear at the Liga summit after their entertaining 2-2 derby draw at title rivals Club Atlético de Madrid was followed up by a comfortable victory for FC Barcelona.
Having won at the Santiago Bernabéu back in September, Atlético were looking to complete the double over the neighbours but fell behind inside three minutes when Karim Benzema turned in Ángel Di María's cross from close range. The hosts responded well, however, with Koke drilling a low shot into the far corner close to the half-hour mark and Gabi unleashing a superb effort from distance in first-half added time.
Facing a damaging defeat, Madrid refused to wilt and levelled matters with eight minutes remaining through Cristiano Ronaldo, who found the net after a Daniel Carvajal cross had been only partially cleared. That result kept Carlo Ancelotti's side at the head of the standings, though their cushion was reduced when Barcelona downed UD Almería 4-1, Alexis Sánchez, Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández weighing in with goals.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Villarreal CF were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Real Betis Balompié, who equalised late on via Rubén Castro after the hosts had lost Ikechukwu Uche to a red card. In the day's other games, Sevilla FC defeated Real Sociedad de Fútbol 1-0 and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid overcame Valencia CF by the same margin.
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|Last updated: 02/03/2014 22:51 CET|
Bruno Soriano 71 (P)
Rubén Castro 85
Carles Gil 84
Santa Cruz 13
|1||Real Madrid CF||26||64|
|3||Club Atlético de Madrid||26||61|
|6||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||26||43|
|11||RC Celta de Vigo||26||30|
|18||Real Valladolid CF||26||23|
|19||Rayo Vallecano de Madrid||26||23|
|20||Real Betis Balompié||26||15|