FC Barcelona entered Matchday 13 as La Liga leaders. They sat on top of archrivals Real Madrid CF in second place, thanks only to a superior goal difference. After both teams cruised to victory this weekend, they remain at status quo with 25 points each. After briefly swapping positions, Barca reclaimed the top spot with a two-point goal difference advantage.
Real Madrid briefly took the lead in the league table after dominating in their match away against Eibar on Saturday afternoon. Karim Benzema opened his account in the 17th minute before captain Sergio Ramos made it 2-0 after converting a penalty in the 20th minute.
The home team played a rough game but they were duly punished with two penalty kicks in favor of the visitors. The Ramos penalty was won after a tackle on Eden Hazard. Benzema's second goal of the evening came through a penalty awarded on account of a foul on Lucas Vazquez. Promising young star Fede Valverde completed Real Madrid's 4-goal tally of the evening, while Eibar failed to find the back of the net. The 4-0 win comes at the heels of a 6-0 thrashing of Galatasaray in a mid-week UEFA Champions League fixture.
What was thought to be a "struggling" Real Madrid has been proving critics wrong in the past few weeks. However, they could not keep the top spot for more than a few hours The "Lionel Messi Show" at the Camp Nou later in the evening made sure that Barcelona stayed level on points.
The defending La Liga champions hosted Celta Vigo and posted a dominating 4-1 victory. Messi proved that he is well and truly back to full fitness by scoring a hat-trick. Sergio Busquets also made a late contribution for the home team. Meanwhile, Celta could only manage a consolation goal thanks to an impressive free-kick by Lucas Olaza.
Just like their rivals, Barca also scored from the spot. Messi scored the first goal of the match after the ball hit Joseph Aidoo's arm from a cross. The Argentine didn't need any help to score two more goals from long-distance at 45+1 and again just after the restart.
It's a tight race between the two bitter rivals but the rest of La Liga is also very competitive. At the moment, Real Sociedad sits in 3rd place with 23 points, albeit with one extra match played. Atletico Madrid (4th) and Sevilla (5th) both have 21 points while Granada (6th) and Valencia (7th) have 20 points each.