FC Barcelona was unable to maintain their two-point advantage at the top of the La Liga table in their first fixture after the New Year. They were held to a 2-2 draw at Espanyol, allowing Real Madrid CF to go level on points once again. Los Blancos meanwhile, showed an impressive display away at Getafe, winning 3-0.

Real Madrid travelled just a few kilometres to visit neighbours Getafe. The smaller club has been playing some impressive football this season, and have managed to keep themselves within striking distance of the Europa League spots.

It was never going to be an easy match and Getafe really challenged Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with 15 shots. Luckily, he was able to prove his worth between the sticks. Up in front, Raphael Varane drew first blood in the 34th minute, thanks to an awkward deflection by the opposing keeper. His second header of the evening came in the 53rd minute, but needed a lengthy VAR review before finally being given.

Luka Modric sealed the deal with a stumbling goal in stoppage time, thanks to a combined approach from Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic.

Later in the evening, FC Barcelona visited city rivals Espanyol. The Catalan Derby was full of action as Espanyol's David Lopez opened the scoring. Luis Suarez quickly cancelled it out with a equaliser and it looked like Barcelona was back in control of the match. The Blaugrana took the lead thanks to Arturo Vidal but things took a turn with 16 minutes left to play. Frenkie de Jong picked up a red card and with Barcelona left with only 10 men, Espanyol's Chinese forward Wu Lei was able to score an equaliser.

Barcelona and Real Madrid each have 40 points from 19 games. They are closely being chased by Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, who both have 35 points. The La Liga title is still wide open and is proving to be extremely competitive this season.

Raphael Varane
French defender Raphael Varane led the way for Real Madrid AFP / OSCAR DEL POZO 01/04/2020 5:48:08