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Barça had laid down the gauntlet in the early kick off with a fantastic 7-1 win over Osasuna. Braces from Gomes, Messi and Alcácer and Mascherano’s first Barça goal sealed the win which put Barça three points ahead of Real Madrid before their match against Deportivo later in the evening.
Real Madrid respond in style
Even though Zinedine Zidane rested Critiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema his side went on to claim a 6-2 win over Deportivo La Coruña to close the gap on the Catalans. Álvaro Morata opened the scoring within a minute and James Rodríguez made it 2-0 by the 15th. Pepe Mel’s Deportivo, who are safe from the drop, responded through Florin Andone’s goal but Lucas Vazquez re-established the two-goal lead before the break.
The Colombian Rodríguez capped a fine performance with his second on the hour, followed by Isco’s strike 11 minutes later. Ex-Real Madrid B striker Joselu’s goal made little difference as Casemiro soon scored their sixth of the night to wrap up a win which leaves the title race neck and neck. Both team's are on 78 points, with Barça having the better head to head record while Real has a game in hand.
Finally, Atlético Madrid fell further behind the top two with a late Soriano goal condemning them to a 1-0 defeat to Villareal. This leaves them a full ten points behind Barça and Real Madrid at the head of the chasing pack on 68 points.
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