Atletico hand Real Madrid their second straight defeat; Barcelona win
Real Madrid dropped their second straight match in La Liga on Saturday, falling 2-1 to Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Atletico struck first through Tiago Cardoso's header in the 10th minute, but otherwise Madrid dictated the first half.
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It looked as if Real had equalised in the 23rd minute as Gareth Bale cracked a brilliant free-kick over the wall but saw Miguel Moya produce an improbable stop away to his left.
Cristiano Ronaldo then earned a penalty and scored from the spot to make it 1-1 in the 26th minute.
Moya made another brilliant save on Karim Benzema just before the break, going down low to his right to dig out a header that was going in the bottom corner.
The second half, however, was all Atletico as substitute Arda Turan came on and scored the 76th-minute winner, stroking in from 12 yards after Raul Garcia stepped over a Juanfran cross from the right.
Madrid, who also lost 4-2 away to Real Sociedad on Aug. 31, now sit four points behind the defending champions and six points adrift of Barcelona.
Two stunning pieces of skill by Lionel Messi and two languid finishes from substitute Neymar saw Barcelona beat a resilient Athletic Bilbao 2-0 to pick up a third consecutive win to stay top of the Primera Division.
Ernesto Valverde's side had produced a disciplined performance at Camp Nou and looked to be heading for a point until a moment of brilliance from Messi released Neymar, who broke the deadlock with nine minutes remaining.
The Argentina and Brazil captains then combined again for the second goal, with Messi cutting the ball back for his teammate to strike low into the bottom corner and deliver the final blow to Athletic, with Neymar revealing after the game that Messi is making him a "better player."
In Saturday's late kick-off, Real Sociedad pulled off an another extraordinary comeback to salvage a point from a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo, despite trailing the Galicians by two goals with little more than 20 minutes remaining.
Jagoba Arrasate's side gave themselves a mountain to climb at Balaidos, going down to a first half header from the in-form Fabian Orellana and then an unorthodox finish from Joaquin Larrivey at the start of the second period.
However, Imanol Agirretxe reduced the deficit in the 69th minute and a late onslaught from the Basques followed, with Jonny Castro diverting the ball into his own net in injury time to gift a point to the visitors.
Struggling Levante frustrated Malaga to a 0-0 draw at La Rosaleda.
The hosts came into the match having lost both of their opening games against Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao respectively, conceding a total of five goals, leaving coach Jose Luis Mendilibar under pressure.
However, defensive frailties in those encounters failed to be repeated on Saturday as Malaga failed to really test visiting stopper Jesus Fernandez.
And although Levante failed to find the net for the first time this season Mendilibar will take positives from keeping a clean sheet against a Malaga side who had beaten Atletic on the opening day of the season.