La Liga 2013: Atletico Madrid holds on against Real Sociedad

Michael Regan

Atletico Madrid held off a late charge by Real Sociedad while Sevilla and Malaga traded goals twice and ended in a draw. Espnayol and Real Betis meanwhile put everyone to sleep.

Two excellent games and a dud isn't two bad for slate of games on Sunday.

Here's a recap of the action in La Liga.

Espnayol 0-0 Real Betis

What to say about a match that featured only one really good chance on goal for either team...not much. Real Betis will probably take the point -- their first of the season -- and be happy to be out of the drop zone for the moment. Espanyol will be left feeling they should have done better, especially considering their strong start to the season.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Atletico Madrid

The battle between two of the league's better teams took awhile to really getting going as Atletico Madrid withstood a late surge by La Real to hold on for the win. David Villa had a goal and an assist as Los Colchoneros kept pace with Villarreal and Real Madrid at the top of the table, staying perfect on the season.

Atleti's first goal came in the 27th minute thanks to a bit of skill and a bit of luck. Villa played a one-two with Arda Turan but La Real's Jon Ansotegui misplayed Turan's overlong pass, bouncing it right off the charging Villa who took a quick touch and beat Claudio Bravo.

The lead doubled in the 56th minute with Villa again involved as he made an overlapping run on the left side before finding Koke with space in the Real Sociedad box. Koke directed Villa's pass into the bottom left corner with a sliding shot.

La Real finally woke up in the 69th minute when Xabi Prieto broke behind the defense on a quickly taken free kick and fired a shot past Thibaut Courtois to make it 2-1.

While Atletico's offense put them ahead, it was their superb goalkeeper Courtois who secured the full points for his side. The Belgian keeper was massive down the stretch making two tremendous saves to deny La Real a late equalizer.

Sevilla 2-2 Malaga

Sevilla and Malaga traded blows and ended up essentially where they began, finishing in a 2-2 deadlock at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

Pedro Morales gave Malaga a lead five minutes from the halftime break but Kevin Gameiro answered for minutes later for Sevilla. Roque Santa Cruz pushed Malaga back in front with a goal in the 68th minute but just as before it only took a couple minutes for Sevilla to answer.

Gameiro second goal of the game came just three minutes after Malaga retook the lead as the French striker scored from close range.

Real Madrid 3-1 Athletic Bilbao

Valencia 2-3 Barcelona

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