Rival Watch: Big wins for the top three in La Liga and Arsenal held to draw at Stoke

Rival Watch: Big wins for the top three in La Liga and Arsenal held to draw at Stoke

The leading trio in La Liga all collect three points on Sunday, so FC Barcelona remain two points behind Atlético and two ahead of Real Madrid

FC Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 6-0 on Sunday night, but Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid had also recorded healthy wins earlier on in the day, meaning the top three positions in La Liga remain the same.

Atlético took 17 minutes to break the deadlock in Las Palmas through Filipe Luis, and Griezmann added a couple more after the break to make it 3-0. The result ensures that the red-and-whites stay two points clear of Barça, although the Catalans still have a game in hand.

Earlier on in the day, Real Madrid had cruised to 5-1 victory over Sporting Gijón. Four of those goals came in the first 18 minutes, one from Gareth Bale, one from Karim Benzema and two from Cristiano Ronaldo. Benzema added his second just before the break, but would later suffer an ankle injury. To make matters worse for the all-whites, Bale was also injured in the game.

Next up for Barça in the league is a trip to twelfth placed Málaga, who lost 2-1 at fellow Andalusian club Sevilla on Saturday. Two goals in a minute from Kevin Gameiro looked to have the home side well in control, but Málaga were much stronger in the second half and pulled one goal back through Charles and very nearly came away from the Sánchez Pizjuán with a point.

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Arsenal held by Stoke

In England, Barça’s Champions League opponents Arsenal failed to capitalise on Leicester City’s draw with Aston Villa on Saturday. Victory at Stoke City would have restored the two-point lead that they had lost in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday, but in Sunday’s game they could only draw 0-0.

Although the Gunners were clearly missing the injured Mesut Ozil, they had plenty of chances to win the game but came up time and time against an inspired Jack Butland in the Stoke goal.

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