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LA LIGA: Real Madrid and Barcelona pick up crushing wins

VALENCIA 1 - 4 FC BARCELONA


Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona picked up an easy 4-1 win against Valencia away at the Mestalla to strengthen their place in the top four. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started his first game in La Liga and marked it with a hattrick to prove that he has still got it after a few eyebrows were raised when Barca signed the striker.


The Blaugrana raced to a 3-0 lead inside the first 40 minutes as Aubameyang scored either side of a goal from Frenkie de Jong. The first goal was classic Aubameyang as he controlled the long ball from Jordi Alba and blasted it past the goalkeeper.


Valencia thought they equalized after Ter Stegen made a mess of a harmless shot from Jose Gaya but it was ruled out for off-side. The second goal arrived shortly after for Barca as De Jong tapped in a low cross from Dembele.


While the first goal was classic Aubameyang, the third was classic Barcelona as they played some fluid football to carve open Valencia once again. Dembele was once again involved as his defence-splitting pass was crossed in by Gavi and Aubameyang did the rest.


Valencia put the ball in the back of the net for the second time on the night but once again the goal was ruled out as the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. But they got their reward after halftime as Carlos Soler's diving header beat Ter Stegen. The Los Che threatened to make a comeback but their hopes were quashed by a fourth from Barca as a long-range effort from Pedri was deflected by Aubameyang into the net to complete his hattrick.


Aubameyang also became the first player to score a hattrick for the Blaugrana after Lionel Messi scored 4 against Eibar last season. It was a resounding win for Barca after a disappointing performance against Napoli in midweek and now travel to Italy for a winner-takes-all contest in the Europa League.


REAL MADRID 3 - 0 DEPORTIVO ALAVES


Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid completed a tough 3-0 victory against relegation-threatened Deportivo Alaves at the Bernabeau. Marco Asensio, Vinicious Jr and Karim Benzema got on the scoresheet for Real who move six points clear at the top of La Liga.


It was a flat performance by Ancelotti's men in the first half with little to no threat at Alaves' goal. This resulted in a show of anger by the Bernabeau supporters who jeered their team off at half-time. The visitors defended well but Madrid were simply unable to challenge them in the slightest.


No changes were made by Ancelotti at half-time and evidently, Real did not look any better than the first half. They required a golazo from Marco Asensio to break the deadlock. This opened up the game and Madrid found spaces between the Alaves defence which were used well for the second goal when Benzema and Asensio linked up to feed Vinicius.


Karim Benzema soon added a third through a penalty to get a goal and two assists from the game. After the midweek loss to PSG in the Champions League, Ancelotti needed a reaction from his players which he got. It wasn't pretty from Real but they got the job done to avoid any hiccups in the title race.




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