La Liga Round-Up: Real Madrid lose pace as Atletico consolidate first place


Real Madrid missed a chance to cut down the lead enjoyed by their city rivals, Atletico at the summit of the La Liga as they were forced by Real Sociedad to a 1-1 draw on Monday night.

Zinedine Zidane’s men were actually heading towards another shock home defeat before Vinicius Junior rescued the situation with his 89th-minute equaliser off an assist from Lucas Vazquez.

The solitary point sees Real Madrid drop to third with 53 points after 25 games.

Sociedad are in fifth place and have a huge chance of a top-four finish and a return to the Champions League they were last in 2013/14.

In Monday’s game, Sociedad took the lead via a Portu header on 55 minutes only for Vinicius Junior to rescue a point for the home side with barely a minute left in the second half.

Indeed, the two points dropped by Zidane’s side have put a big dent on their title hopes.

However, while Real were struggling to get a point at home, Atletico got their title push back on track with a 2-0 away win against Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal.

Chukwueze , who is gradually returning to full fitness after a spell on the sidelines occasioned by a thigh injury, featured for the entire 90 minutes but none of his dashing runs could help the Yellow Submarines get a goal let alone a point from the home tie.

Instead, Savic scored a header in the first half and Joao Felix scored with a great finish on the edge of the box in the second half to give Diego Simeone’s side the maximum points.

The weekend results saw Atletico consolidate top spot with a five-point gap at the top of the table which makes next Sunday’s Madrid Derby at the Wanda Metropolitano a must-win game for Real if they want to have any chance of retaining the La Liga title.

Valladolid were heading for only their third away victory of the season as they were 0-1 up going into injury time via a goal from Fabian Orellana on 70 minutes before Celta’s Jeison Murillo broke Valladolid’s hearts with a 94th-minute header to take a share of the points.

Elche went down 2-1 to Granada with Domingos Quina on target for his second goal in as many games for Granada.

Barcelona came away with 2-0 win over Sevilla with goals from Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi and they are second with 53 points from 24 matches.

Messi leads the Pichichi race with 19 goals followed by former Barcelona forward, Luis Suarez, with 16 goals.

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