Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao scored hattricks, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace and it was business as usual in Spain. Amongst the big guns, Valencia and Sevilla failed to capitalize against supposedly lesser oppositions and relegation threatened Villarreal are yet to play Gijon.

Barcelona visited Malaga and left La Rosaleda with all three points. Thanks to Victor Valdesai??i?? double save, the Catalans were still in the game before Leo Messi and Alexis Sanchez put it out of Malagaai??i??s reach. Apart from some breathtaking performances, the world also saw the fall of a once great striker ai??i?? Ruud Van Nistelrooy. At 35, the Dutchman is perhaps just a shadow of what he used to be at Manchester United and even Real Madrid. Malaga were dominated throughout, but later the introduction of highly rated Rondon and Seba Fernandez added venom to their offense. A fine Leo Messi hattrick, making him the first player after Cesar to score 22 goals in the first half of the season, and an Alexis Sanchez goal had only one answer from Rondon ai??i?? a top quality finish nonetheless. Rondon is perhaps the next big thing in La Liga.

After the Catalans cut short their deficit to two points, Real Madrid answered back in style. Not only did they take the lead, but Ronaldo too took his tally past Leo by converting two from the spot. Amidst reports of dressing-room bust up and hostility between Spanish and Portuguese players, Real Madrid answered back in style and decimated Athletic Bilbao, despite the visitors taking the lead at the Bernabeu. Marcelo brought the hosts on level terms from a Benzema-assist and Ronaldo converted from the spot, twice, to take the match beyond Bilbaoai??i??s reach. Jose Callejon made it 4, with a superb finish from a Higuain assist after a fast break. Realai??i??s 5-point lead was thereby restored.

Valenciaai??i??s effort to close in on the top two met with yet another road-block in Osasuna. In-form Spanish striker, Soldado, gave them the lead after a considerably insipid display. Soldado headed from the centre of the box to take his seasonai??i??s tally to 12. However, the visitors looked all set for three points until Lolo spoilt the party, two minutes into added time. Atletico Madridai??i??s Radamel is determined to justify his hefty price tag. A clinical penalty followed by an audacious chip from outside the box and one from within saw the Colombian bag his second hattrick in Atleti colours. Promising Spanish forward Adrian scored the other goal to bag his 6th of the season.

Sevilla and Betis battled it out for one point apiece. Pepe Melai??i??s side is anything but pushovers and last year, despite being in the second division, proved their caliber by beating the eventual Spain, Europe and World Champions ai??i?? FC Barcelona. To add to Betisai??i?? achievements, they are the first and only team to score at the Camp Nou in the 2011-12 season ai??i?? not once, but twice. Sevilla were pegged back after Benat converted from a free-kick. Marcelino GarcAi??a Toralai??i??s side looked uncomfortable till Alvaro Negredo restored parity before the break. Jesus Navas had a great game and created opportunities from his flank. With just two points in the last five matches, Sevilla isnai??i??t having the best of times and even the return of their prodigal son ai??i?? Jose Antonio Reyes, hasnai??i??t turned destiny in their favor.

Trivia: Spain just had the first game of the season. Well, technically at least!

Blunder Of The Week

Rafa Lopez (Getafe)

Steven Gerrard now has company. Getafe’s Rafa Lopez emulated the Liverpool legend’s blunder, much to the disdain of his team.

Miss Of The Week

Oscar de Marcos (Athletic Bilbao)

Bilbao’s Marcos should have put the ball into the open net to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. He chose otherwise.

Save Of The Week

Victor Valdes (FC Barcelona)

It’s high time the Catalan shot-stopper gets his due. His saves were extremely crucial in FC Barcelona’s attempt to get the maximum from La Rosaleda.

Goal Of The Week

Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

Let’s give Leo Messi a little break. Of course, Falcao scores a delightful goal from an audacious Messi-esque chip. Check his second goal of the match.

Team Of The WeekAi??

Manager: Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid)

Playing XI (4-3-3): Valdes (FC Barcelona); Alves (FC Barcelona), Ramos (Real Madrid), Ramis (Real Mallorca), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Navas (Sevilla), Benat (Real Betis), Adrian (Atletico Madrid); Messi (FC Barcelona), Falcao (Atletico Madrid), Negredo (Sevilla).

La Liga Standing (Top 5)

TeamPlayedWonAi??DrawnLostGSGCGDAi??Points
1Real Madrid19161267184949
2FC Barcelona19135159124744
3Valencia1910542920935
4Levante199462522331
5Espanyol198472121028

Legends: GS – Goals Scored; GC – Goals Conceded; GD – Goal Difference

Race To Pichichi (Top 5)

PlayerTeamGoalsPenalties
1Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid239
2Lionel MessiFC Barcelona222
3Radamel FalcaoAtletico Madrid145
4Gonzalo HiguainReal Madrid140
5Roberto SoldadoValencia120

Results

Racing Santander 1-2 Getafe

Espanyol 3-0 Granada

Real Sociedad 0-4 Atletico Madrid

Real Betis 1-1 Sevilla

Osasuna 1-1 Valencia

Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Mallorca

Malaga 1-4 Barcelona

Levante 0-0 Zaragoza

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