No Barca or Madrid in La Liga as Real Sociedad strengthen grip on third place

Real Sociedad consolidated their position in third place in La Liga with a 3-1 win over Athletic Club Bilbao.

The Basque derby was played in a great atmosphere in the Anoeta Stadium, with the home side causing Athletic a lot of problems with their high pressure, reports Xinhua news agency.

The pressure produced the first goal as Athletic failed to clear an attack and the ball fell kindly to Alexander Sorloth to control and score inside the area in the 24th minute.

Take Kubo doubled Real Sociedad’s lead before halftime after Mikel Vesga had been robbed trying to play the ball out of defense.

Oihan Sancet pulled a goal back for Athletic before halftime, but the game was over as a contest on the hour after the referee gifted Real Sociedad a penalty and harshly sent off Athletic defender Yeray Alvarez for the slightest of touches on Kubo.

Mikel Oyarzabal scored the penalty, and Real Sociedad are just three points behind Barcelona in La Liga.

Young forward Aimar Oroz scored the only goal of the game as Osasuna beat Mallorca 1-0 to move above Athletic Club in the table. The goal gave Osasuna their first home win of 2023.

In one of just two matches played on Sunday due to the Spanish Supercup, Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw away to Almeria, with both goals coming in the first half.

Atletico opened the scoring in the 17th minute thanks to Angel Correa, who was back in the starting line-up after the departures of Mateo Cunha and Joao Felix.

However, Almeria took advantage of Atletico’s injuries in defense, with El Bilal Toure timing his run perfectly to score at the far post.

Alvaro Morata had a decent chance to win the game for Atletico after the break but shot straight at the keeper, and Diego Simeone’s side ended with 10 men after Sergio Reguilon saw two late yellow cards.

Espanyol won 2-1 away to Getafe to claim just their third win of the season in a game that began with two outstanding goals. The first saw Espanyol striker Joselu score from just under 50 meters with Getafe keeper David Soria off his line before Enes Unal equalized a minute later with a thumping shot from the left.

Javi Puado won the game for Espanyol in the 61st minute after a powerful run from deep.

Isi Palazon’s 64th-minute goal gave Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 win away to Valladolid, who are in a mid-season crisis after losing their last four league matches.

Isi took advantage of the good work by Alvaro to give Rayo a well-deserved win after they controlled large portions of the match, and he had missed a first-half penalty.

Sevilla’s brief recovery came to a halt with a 2-1 defeat in Girona, despite Tanguy Nianzou putting them ahead in the first half.

Cristhian Stuani equalized at the start of the second half, and midfielder Yangel Herrera won the game with a chip over Sevilla keeper Bono after a bad defensive error.

On Friday night, Celta Vigo fought back for an important point at home to Villarreal.

A goal from the fit-again Gerard Moreno put Villarreal ahead in the first half, but Strand Larsen equalized for Celta just four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

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