Villarreal. The club with the lowest budget in the competition is a point clear at the top of La Liga.
Llevant’s great start contrasted starkly with last year’s Champions League qualifiers Villarreal, whose defeat was their fourth of the season, leaving them struggling fifth from the bottom, with only Getafe, Granada, Sporting and Racing below them. Real Madrid’s spell at the top lasted for just over 24 hours after their win in Malaga, whilst Seville stay fourth after their draw at the Camp Nou, with Valencia, who could only get a point at home to Bilbao, a point behind them in fifth.
Sixth straight win for new leaders
Two first half goals from Juanlu and a third from Koné after the break gave Llevant a convincing 0-3 win over Villarreal - their sixth on the run – which leaves them together with Seville and Barça as the only unbeaten teams in the league. Madrid’s 0-4 win over Malaga on Saturday came courtesy of a Higuain goal and a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick and leaves them second, a point behind Llevant.
Valencia held by Bilbao
With Seville fourth on 16, two points behind Barça, Valencia are fifth, a further point behind after failing to take advantage against Bilbao at the Mestalla on Sunday. Soldado saved a point for Emery’s team with an 88th minute equaliser after Munuain had scored a great opener for the Basques. Bad news for both teams was the serious looking injuries suffered by Canales and Guirpegi.
Betis go down again
Betis’ fall from grace continues - their 0-1 home defeat to Rayo on Saturday was their fourth straight loss, following their opening four wins and although they maintain their seventh spot, they are equal on points with the team they play in midweek, Espanyol who beat Racing 0-1 for their second straight away win with a Sergio Garcia goal. Racing are now bottom and are the only team without a win after Sporting overcame Granada 2-0. Both Racing and Sporting are on four points, with Granada on five and Getafe, who drew 0-0 against Real Sociedad, on six.
Atletico disappoint again
Behind Betis and Espanyol are Atletico Madrid and Osasuna on 10 points. The Madrid team again disappointed their fans and were only able to draw with Mallorca thanks to a Falcao penalty, equalling one scored in the second minute by Mallorca. Osasuna for their part, brushed aside Zaragoza 3-0, with ex-Atletico man Raul Garcia leading the rout and scoring the first of the Pamplona outfit’s three first half goals.