Barcelona back on top after weekend's La Liga action

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MADRID, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona returned to the top of the La Liga table in Spain at the end of match-day 14 thanks to a 2-0 home win against Villarreal and the fact that Sevilla dropped two points in their visit to Alaves.

Barcelona were lucky not to go behind to Villarreal after 8 minutes when Gerard Moreno hit the post, but Gerard Pique opened the scoring for them 10 minutes from time following a fine cross from the impressive Ousmane Dembele.

Villarreal keeper Segio Asenjo made several good saves to keep the visitors in the game. With 20 minutes remaining, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde replaced Arturo Vidal with youngster Carles Alena.

Some fans in the Nou Camp Stadium booed the change, but they were cheering 15 minutes later when Alena scored Barcelona's second goal following a neat pass from Lionel Messi.

Sevilla surrendered their leadership but will be content with a battling performance to share a point with a 1-1 draw away to fourth place Alaves. Alaves opened the scoring with a Jony Rodriguez goal which could have been ruled out for offside in the 37th minute, but Wissam Ben Yedder equalized with a smart finish following a pass from substitute Pablo Sarabia with 12 minutes left to play.

Atletico Madrid dropped two points with a 1-1 draw away to Girona in a game characterized by both sides missing chances. Girona took the lead on the stroke of halftime from a Cristhian Stauni penalty and after struggling to get back on level terms, Atletico finally got a goal after a move between Diego Costa and Angel Correa which ended with Jonas Ramalho deflecting the ball into his own net.

Junior Firpo's goal five minutes from the end of the first half gave Real Betis a 1-0 win at home to Real Sociedad, who didn't do enough to take anything from the Benito Villamarin Stadium on Sunday.

On Saturday, Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 to move up to fifth thanks to an own goal from Valencia midfielder Daniel Wass before Lucas Vazquez ensured the win with a goal seven minutes from time. Valencia had chances to draw level before Madrid's second goal, but poor finishing from their strikers combined with some good saves from Thibaut Courtois ensured a clean sheet.

Espanyol crashed to their third defeat in three games as they lost 3-0 away to a solid Getafe, who scored three second half goals from Jorge Molina, Jaime Mata and a deflected long-range shot from Vitorino Antunes.

Leganes climbed away from the relegation zone with an impressive 4-2 win away to Valladolid, thanks partly to two second half goals from Guido Carrillo in the 66th and 75th minute.

Iago Aspas scored twice on Saturday as Celta Vigo beat bottom of the table Huesca 2-0 to give new Celta coach Manuel Cardoso his first win in charge.

The round of games began on Friday night as Adrian Embarba's 53rd minute goal gave Rayo Vallecano their first home win of the campaign as they beat Eibar 1-0 in the Vallecas stadium. Enditem

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