Battling wins for Barca, Real Madrid
Barcelona, December 23, 2013, Reuters: 22:55 IST
Barcelona came from behind to beat Getafe 5-2 thanks to a quickfire hat-trick from Pedro and Real Madrid needed a late goal from substitute Jese to overcome Valencia 3-2 on Sunday.
The signs looked ominous for Barcelona as they went 2-0 down within the first 15 minutes after Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez found the net for Getafe.
With Lionel Messi and Neymar missing through injury and suspension, Pedro took it upon himself to rescue Barcelona with three goals in eight blistering minutes.
He also crossed for Cesc Fabregas to volley in the fourth midway through the second half, and was then fouled in the box before Fabregas converted the penalty. Barcelona top the table on 46 points, level with Atletico Madrid, who beat Levante on Saturday, but with a healthier goal record.
Real Madrid were in danger of falling behind the leaders but came up trumps thanks a late Jese Rodriguez goal against Valencia. In a match which see-sawed right until the final whistle, Los Che twice came from behind before Rogriguez’s late goal. After Angel Di Maria opened the scoring, Pablo Piatti equalised before Cristiano Ronaldo gave Madrid the lead again. Jeremy Mathieu headed in to level proceedings just after the hour only for Madrid to snatch the winner eight minutes from time.