Club Atlético de Madrid, Valencia CF and UD Almería were all victorious in their clashes on Saturday's Liga BBVA matchday 18, in which Real Betis Balompié and Real Valladolid CF provided a goalless draw.
The rojiblancos were not given an easy ride on their visit to the Estadio de La Rosaleda on what was Diego Simeone's return to the place where he made his debut as the Madrid team's coach two years ago. Thanks to a goal from Koke in the 70th minute, Atlético sealed an important victory over Málaga CF to sit atop the Liga BBVA table on its own, at least until FC Barcelona's match against Elche CF. The Andalusians, for their part, are still middle of the table.
Equality reigned in Saturday's second match in the Liga BBVA, where Valladolid and Betis drew 0-0. Neither team was satisfied with having to share the points, as the team from Castile and Leon failed to make up any ground and the Andalusians are still propping up the table after eleven games without a win.
Valencia and Levante UD put on a passionate display in a derby in which the home team took the three points thanks to goals from Pablo Piatti and Sofiane Feghouli, one in each half. The Algerian midfielder was the star of a match where Juan Antonio Pizzi was making his debut as manager of the ché. In the final game of the day, two first-half goals from Sebastián Dubarbier and Verza set Almería on the road to victory over a Granada CF who failed to respond. The win gives Almería breathing space as the team momentarily moves away from the bottom, while Granada stay mid-table.
* Click on the matches to read the report