BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 03: Cesc Fabregas (2nd R) of FC Barcelona celebrates with team-mates Andres Iniesta (2nd L) and Lionel Messi after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on December 3, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

La Liga 2011, Week 14: Barcelona And Real Madrid Both Win; Sevilla Host Getafe On Monday

Barcelona put five goals past Levante at the Camp Nou, keeping pace with Real Madrid who ran out 3-0 winners against Gijon.

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Valencia Vs. Espanyol, 2011 La Liga: Roberto Soldado Cameo Ensures Valencia Win

When the going gets tough, the tough ask Roberto Soldado for help. The Valencia forward's been on an absolutely torrid run so far this season, notching 13 goals in 17 starts before today's match, and although Unai Emery left him out of Valencia's starting lineup in order to rest him for a key UEFA Champions League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Soldado still popped up just in time to deliver three points for the hosts at the Mestalla.

For a good while it didn't look like Valencia would need their star striker against an Espanyol side that doesn't travel well, what the home side going ahead in the sixth minute and all. The lead was handed to them on a platter, with Didac Vila fouling Angel Dealbert inside the box to give Alberto Costa a penalty kick (which was taken very well). The visitors, however, struck back in the second half, Hector Moreno taking advantage of chaos in the penalty box to tap home from close range.

Just when it looked like Valencia would give up a big two points, however, Soldado was introduced, and within five minutes of his introduction the 26-year-old had flicked a corner past Cristian Alvarez to earn his side a 2-1 win. The victory is big for Valencia, who now find themselves four points clear of fourth-place Levante. Now there's just the little matter of Chelsea to deal with...

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Barcelona Vs. Levante, 2011 La Liga: Hosts Crush Levante In 5-0 Rout

Rumours of Barcelona's demise appear to have been greatly overstated. While the La Liga/European/everything champions have dropped eleven points so far this season (they only dropped eighteen all of last year), they're still a side capable of demolishing anyone unfortunate enough to stand in their path. Such a fate befell Levante at the Camp Nou.

Cesc Fabregas struck with two fantastic first half goals (one a very respectable flashing header from a Xavi free kick) and Isaac Cuenca added a third when he finished off a brilliant team move that saw the visiting. Levante looked somewhat capable going forward, but the more players they committed to the attack the easier it was for the hosts to break into the space behind them. Lionel Messi grabbed a forth goal shortly after the break, and the victory was capped off with what would have been the world's cheekiest finish had he actually meant the ball to deflect off Sergio Ballesteros's head, clip the crossbar, and fall in to make it 5-0.

Barcelona could and should have had more, with Andres Iniesta having a legitimate goal ruled out for no reason whatsoever very late in the match, but you don't protest disallowed goals too much when you're beating a team by five, and the hosts will be perfectly content with the results. They're still three points off the top, but that was a strong message sent to Jose Mourinho and company.

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Sporting Gijon Vs. Real Madrid, 2011 La Liga: Full Time, Los Merengues Grab Easy Win

Real Madrid have grabbed yet another league win ahead of El Clasico against FC Barcelona with a 3-0 victory over Sporting Gijon. Referee Eduardo Iturralde González did his best to try and ruin the game by giving out yellow cards for literally every imaginable offense, eventually sending off a Sporting player, but Real Madrid had the win well in hand before that sending off and it did not ultimately affect the outcome.

Angel di Maria scored the opener in the 34th minute after plenty of Madrid dominance. It was a fantastic bad angle left-footed shot by the in-form Argentinian, who has emerged as one of Madrid's most important players this season. The game felt over at that point, but Madrid added two more for good measure.

The clincher was scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, also with a great finish at a very narrow angle. Di Maria's through ball into the box was spectacular and just as impressive as the finish. Marcelo added a necessary third goal in stoppage time for good measure, sending Madrid into the Clasico with some great momentum.

For more on this week's La Liga action, including live coverage, check out our La Liga Week 14 StoryStream. For more on the Blaugranas, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid. For more around the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer.

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Barcelona Vs. Levante, 2011 La Liga: Lineups

Levante are sitting in fourth place in La Liga, but FC Barcelona apparently feel that they're performing a bit above their talent level. Of course, they would be correct, but it's still mildly arrogant of Barcelona to throw youngster Isaac Cuenca into a La Liga match against a team in decent form. Daniel Alves, Pedro and Thiago have all been left out of the first XI and will start on the bench. Here are the lineups.

Barcelona lineup (4-3-3): Valdés; Mascherano, Puyol, Abidal, Sergio Busquets; Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta; Alexis, Cuenca, Messi

Levante lineup (4-4-2): Munúa; Venta, Ballesteros, Del Horno, Juanfran; Torres, Farinós, Iborra, Valdo; Koné; Pedro Lopez

The game kicks off at 2:00 pm ET, 7:00 pm GMT and 8:00 pm local time from Camp Nou. You can catch the game on GolTV in both the USA and Canada, as well as on Sky Sports 2 in the UK.

For more on this week's La Liga action, including live coverage, check out our La Liga Week 14 StoryStream. For more on the Blaugranas, check out FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. For more around the entire world of football, check out SB Nation Soccer.

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Barcelona Vs. Levante, 2011 La Liga Week 14: Barca Need Win Before El Clasico

FC Barcelona will be looking for an emphatic win over Levante ahead of El Clasico against Real Madrid.

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