La Liga

Villa Rescues Barca While Ronaldo Leads Madrid To Victory

FC Barcelona recovered from being two down to come back and beat ten-man Sevilla 3-2 thanks to substitute David Villa’s last-gasp strike, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, including two penalties, as Real Madrid’s return to form continued against Deportivo La Coruña.

In the big Saturday game, Sevilla looked to be well on their way to an early season double over both Real Madrid and Barcelona when then Piotr Trochowski and Álvaro Negredo gave the home side the 2-0 advantage early in the second half. Even after Cesc Fàbregas cut the lead to one with a low drive and then Sevilla’s Gary Medel was shown a straight red card, they seemed set to hold on.

Fàbregas, however, dashed the home fans’ hopes with a neat finish and, with Sevilla still reeling, Villa scored deep into added team to cap another impressive comeback.

Real Madrid’s mini-revival continued as Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick in an emphatic 5-1 victory against Deportivo La Coruña despite falling behind to Riki’s 16th-minute effort. Ronaldo lifted the gloom seven minutes later with a stylish spot kick, before Ángel Di María headed in after his original effort had come back off a post. A similarly scrappy third arrived just before the break, Ronaldo scrambling the ball in from close range.

The home side refused to relent in the second half and Pepe made it four by converting Xabi Alonso’s sumptuous centre. The rout was complete six minutes from time when Ronaldo squeezed the ball in off a post from the penalty spot after Evaldo had handled in the area.

It was also a good weekend for Spain’s two other Champions League participants, Málaga CF and Valencia CF.

Málaga capitalised on the early dismissal of Real Betis Balompié goalkeeper Casto to defeat their Andalusian rivals 4-0, the goalkeeper receiving a red card for fouling Eliseu. Valencia, meanwhile, had goalscorer Sofiane Feghouli sent off in their 2-0 defeat of Real Zaragoza.

Meanwhile, Atlético Madrid maintained their excellent start to the season by battling to victory at bottom of the table Espanyol. Raúl García got the only goal of the game half an hour in to make sure the undefeated Rojiblancos remain just two points behind Barcelona at the top.

Real Valladolid also posted an eye-catching triumph, sweeping aside Rayo Vallecano 6-1, thanks in part to a pair of goals from Óscar González. Elsewhere, Granada won for the first time this season, overcoming Celta Vigo 2-1, as did Osasuna, who beat Levante 4-0.