La Liga Recap:  Week 17

Week 17 of La Liga passed with several exciting matches getting played. 

Real get Madrid bragging rights after blanking Atleti 

Real Madrid took firm hold of the top spot at La Liga with a 2-0 win over city rivals and reigning champions Atlético at the Bernabéu. 

The first encounter between the two recent league titleholders saw Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos finding the net in both halves for their 90th league win in the 169th edition of the Madrid derby. They stretched their unbeaten run in the league to nine matches and moved to 42 points on top of the pile. 

Midfielder Vini Jr played a pivotal role as he supplied the assists to Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio. Former Atleti custodian Thibaut Courtois picked up his sixth clean sheet of the season. 

The French striker slotted home the volley from the Brazilian to put the home side ahead at the 16th minute. Asensio then ensured all three points at the 57th with a sublime left-footed finish. 

Atlético Madrid suffered back-to-back defeats after a six-match unbeaten run, getting stuck at fourth with 29 points with a game on hand. They will have a four-day away trip next as they head to Sevilla on December 19 and Granada on December 23. 

For Real, they will host Cádiz on December 20 before going to San Mamés three days later to face Athletic Bilbao in a rescheduled fixture that was put forward a month owing to their participation at the Supercopa de España. 

Avila saves Osasuna to draw Barcelona 

Chimy Ávila netted a late equalizer as Osasuna and FC Barcelona shared points after a nervy four-goal stalemate at El Sadar. 

The Argentine forward scored the leveler at the 86th minute as Xavi’s woes were compounded after their Champions League quest ended last week in Munich. 

It was a cagey affair in which 32 fouls were whistled equally between the pair, in which the home side had more players booked than Barcelona. 

The draw meant that Barça fell to eighth with 24 points, one behind Valencia. 

Nico put the Catalans ahead at the 12th minute, but it was canceled out by David García two minutes later by heading home a Jon Moncayola free kick. 

Ez Abde regained the lead for Barcelona four minutes after the restart. The Blaugrana were on course to take all three points until Avila took a low shot on the first touch past Marc-André ter Stegen. 

Granada snatch vital point against Cádiz 

Jorge Molina scored a pivotal equalizer as Granada denied ten-man Cádiz their first home win of the season after a 1-1 draw. 

The centre-forward silenced the Nuevo Mirandilla as he leveled the match two minutes before full time. 

Paraguayan defender Santiago Arzamendia scored a spectacular left-footed strike at the 32nd minute, but their defensive miscues from dead ball situations allowed the visitors to have a chance to share the points. 

Molina was picked out inside the box by Ángel Montoro, and the former made no mistake with his right-footed poke that deflected off Álex and into the bottom right corner. 

Cádiz even went a man down when Salvi was sent off by referee Miguel Ángel Ortiz deep into stoppage time for his second bookable offence, their quest to get maximum points at home having to wait even further.