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La Liga, Week 15: Atlético Madrid pulls even with Barcelona, Espanyol have a bad day

Barcelona lose, Atlético and Real Madrid both win and suddenly the title race is tightening up again. Espanyol fell against Real Socieded in a most cruel fashion as well.

David Ramos

The big news of the week happened on Sunday evening as league leaders Barcelona suffered their first league loss of the season against Athletic Bilbao at the new San Mamés. Missing Lionel Messi, Barca's attack never looked organized or particularly dangerous as Cesc Fábregas was invisible and Neymar spent most of the day sliding on the pitch.

Atlético Madrid quite awhile to break down Elche's disciplined defense but attrition won out as Koke and Diego Costa both scored in the final half hour to keep Atéti on pace with Barcelona. Real Madrid remained three point behind with another dominate performance, this time against Real Valladolid. Gareth Bale scored his first hat trick with Los Blancos, picking up the slack nicely for the absent Ronaldo.

Real Betis' nightmare league season continued with another heartbreaking way to lose points. After Verdú put Betis in front with nine minutes to play, La Liga's last place team looked good to pick-up three big points but a stoppage time strike by Rayo's Alberto Bueno -- his second goal of the match -- ended those hopes.

Real Sociedad stages a second half comeback, defeating Espnayol thanks to a rather embarrassing miscue by Christian Stuani. The Espanyol midfielder's botched clearance that ended up in the back of his own net in the 88th minute gave La Real the victory.

Here's all the results from week 15 in Spain:

Getafe 1-0 Levante
Villarreal 1-1 Malaga
Elche 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo 3-1 Almeria
Real Madrid 4-0 Real Valladolid | Full match report here
Espanyol 1-2 Real Sociedad
Real Betis 2-2 Rayo Vallecano
Granada 1-2 Sevilla
Valencia 3-0 Osasuna
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona | Full match report here