Antoine Griezmann delivered a resounding message to Barcelona by scoring four goals against Leganes ahead of Atletico Madrid’s match at the Nou Camp on Sunday.
Atletico will head to Catalonia brimming with confidence after subjecting lowly Leganes to a 4-0 demolition, with Griezmann again the star of the show.
His quadruple, scored in 32 minutes either side of half-time, means he now has seven goals in two games, and 12 in his last nine. For comparison, Lionel Messi has hit five goals in the same period.
Valencia missed the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid into third, despite Geoffrey Kondogbia’s 23rd-minute strike putting them ahead at Athletic Bilbao.
Los Che took the lead in style thanks to Kondogbia’s strike from outside the box, and Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz saw his penalty saved by Neto before half-time.
But they made no mistake after the restart, levelling thanks to Oscar de Marcos six minutes into the second period.
Joaquin Correa’s 15th-minute strike helped Sevilla into fifth place and erase any memory of their weekend humbling by Atletico Madrid as they overcame bottom side Malaga 1-0.
Malaga are seven points from safety in La Liga and have now lost their last five games in the division, picking up their last league win on November 19.
Things aren’t much better for Deportivo La Coruna, with boss Clarence Seedorf is still looking for his first win following a 3-0 defeat to Getafe, who are within five points of a guaranteed European spot.
Two goals late in the first half from Angel and Eneko Boveda, the latter an own-goal, put Getafe in the driving seat and they wrapped up victory through Jorge Vidal with eight minutes to go.
Eibar are looking even better than Getafe in the race for Europe, though, and strengthened their credentials as they shook off back-to-back defeats with a 1-0 win over Villarreal.
Kike’s 16th-minute goal was enough for the league minnows to go seventh in the table, and three points off their opponents who sit sixth.