Rival watch: Celta, Eibar both draw as Barça take over first place

Rival watch: Celta, Eibar both draw as Barça take over first place

We take a look at how Football Club Barcelona's main La Liga rivals fared in the third week of play and the effect it had on the standings

There’s no denying that FC Barcelona earned a day off following Saturday’s dramatic come-from-behind victory over La Liga rivals Atlético de Madrid at the Vicente Calderón Stadium in the Spanish capital.

The next stop on the Catalan Express is Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League opener at AS Roma (8.45pm CET). Since we have already taken a look at how Barça’s fellow Group E rivals fared over the weekend in their own domestic leagues, it’s now time to see how things turned out with FC Barcelona’s La Liga adversaries as play in the 2015/16 SpanishFirstDivision wraps up week three.

Celta, Eibar cede top spot

Luis Enrique's former team, Celta de Vigo drew 3–3 on Sunday evening with visiting Las Palmas despite running out to an early 2–0 lead on a penalty kick by midfielder FabiánOrellana and another goal from DanielWass. SergioAraujo got one right back for Las Palmas before Nolito stretched the Celta lead to 3–1 in the 48th minute. But Araujo struck again in the 61st and defender DavidSimón notched the equaliser in the 74th, sending both teams on to week four with a point. Celta are now in third place and are just one of four teams with seven points.

In the late game on Sunday night Eibar were also held to a point in a scoreless deadlock at Málaga and are now in fifth place, also with seven points.

Real Madrid win at Espanyol

FC Barcelona's cross-town rivals RCD Espanyol had a tough day on Saturday afternoon, surrendering six goals to Los Blancos, five of which came from the boot of CristianoRonaldo including three before the game was 20 minutes old. KarimBenzema added one for Madrid, who finish week three in second place, with seven points — and a sizeable goal differential as well — two behind leaders FC Barcelona but ahead of Celta and Eibar.

Also on Saturday Paco Alcácer scored in injury time as Valencia squeaked by at Sporting 1–0. Los Che are still undefeated but, with two draws in their first two games they've only managed to bag five points, good enough for seventh place.

Villarreal roll over Granada

On Sunday, Villarreal won 3–1 at Granada on second-half goals from Manu Trigueros, Cédric Bakambu and Samu García en route to a valuable three points that give the Yellow Submarine a total of seven and sole possession fourth place.

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