Goal takes a look at the standout performers from the 22nd round of Primera Division action, as Atletico Madrid moved to the top of the table for the first time in 18 years
Atletico Madrid moved to the top of La Liga for the first time in 18 years on Sunday as both Barcelona and Real Madrid dropped points in the 22nd round of Primera Division action.
Diego Simeone’s side thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0 to capitalise on Barca’s shock 3-2 loss at home to Valencia the previous day, and Atletico’s lead over Madrid also stands at three points as Carlo Ancelotti’s men were held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao.
Elsewhere, there were wins for Celta Vigo, Elche, Malaga and Villareal. Here, Goal takes a look at the standout performers from the 22nd round of Liga action.
Both Ruben and Keylor Navas were excellent as Rayo Vallecano claimed a point at Levante, but the visiting goalkeeper had more work to do and made a number of key interventions to ensure his side left Valencia with a clean sheet and, more importantly, a creditable draw.
Although a defensive midfielder by trade, Alfred N’Diaye made his debut as a centre-back for Betis at the weekend and was excellent as the Andalusians secured a much-needed 2-0 win at home to Espanyol. The Senegalese is joined by Malaga’s Antunes, who who outstanding both in defence and attack as Malaga edged out Sevilla 3-2 in a regional derby clash, and Celta’s Gustavo Cabral, who was on target in the Galicians’ 2-1 success at Granada.
Central midfield is dominated by Valencia, with both Sofiane Feghouli and Dani Parejo oustanding in their side’s shock win at Camp Nou. Those two are joined by Ibai Gomez, who scored a stunner for Athletic against Madrid, and Duda, who netted twice for Malaga in an all-Andalusian clash at home to his former side Sevilla.
In attack, Ruben Castro gave Betis a lifeline with both goals in the 2-0 win over Espanyol, while Jeremy Perbet is impressing at Villarreal and was on target twice as the Yellow Submarine beat Osasuna 3-1. And lastly, Diego Costa returned to form as he scored his first league goal since December in Atletico’s 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad.