Atletico 7-1 Granada
Nowhere better to start than at the home of the leaders Atletico Madrid. Visitors Granada, who’d never won at the Vicente Calderon, couldn’t do so on their last-ever visit but did at least have the cheek to take the lead through ex-Barca man Isaac Cuenca.
Yannick Carrasco’s double gave the Rojiblancos a half-time lead, but the second 45 was one-way traffic. Carrasco completed his hat-trick, Nico Gaitan scored within a minute of coming on and added another before Angel Correa and Tiago completed a magnificent seven for Diego Simeone’s side.
Real Betis 1-6 Real Madrid
Neighbours Real were tipped to struggle against Real Betis, a team they’ve beaten at the Benito Villamarin just six times in the past two decades in all competitions.
The doom-mongers needn’t have worried because the game was over by the break. A delightful Toni Kroos free kick on four minutes was headed in by Raphael Varane for his first of the campaign and the German was on hand again to set up Karim Benzema just after the half hour. Marcelo and Isco took the game beyond the hosts by half time but the best was yet to come.
Joaquin’s consolation preceeded a stunner from Isco, bent right into the top corner from just inside the box. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is struggling in front of goal this season, scored just his third in the league to make the final score 6-1 to Los Blancos.
Barcelona 4-0 deportivo La Coruna
Barcelona couldn’t quite hit those heights but their own 4-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna was notable for the performance of Rafinha, the return of Lionel Messi and the rapier-like finishing of Luis Suarez.
Depor were hugely disappointing. Not a single shot on goal – Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen having just 19 touches of the ball during the 90 minutes.
Rafinha’s double has taken his season’s tally to four, matching his best-ever for an entire season and clearly he flourishes when Luis Enrique reverts to a 3-4-3 formation as he did against the Galicians.
Suarez’s super finish and Messi’s customary goal gave the Catalans a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Leganes 2-3 Sevilla
Sevilla finally won an away game after a year of waiting but Pablo Sarabia left it late (85) to send the Andalusians into ecstasy.
Franco Vazquez and Samir Nasri, who is enjoying a career renaissance under Jorge Sampaoli, gave the visitors a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead at Leganes, but they were pegged back by two in a minute from David Timor and Alexander Szymanowski. Step forward Sarabia to keep Sevilla right in the hunt and third in the table.