Fri, 22 Oct 2021

MADRID, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman will sleep a bit easier after his side enjoyed a convincing 3-0 win at home over Levante on Sunday.

The win will ease the pressure on the coach after poor draws against Granada and Cadiz and a defeat to Bayern Munich, which appeared to have left Koeman on the verge of being sacked.

Barca got off to a dream start when Memphis Depay scored from the penalty shot in the eighth minute after he had been fouled inside the box and Luuk de Jong doubled that lead six minutes later as he slotted Sergino Dest's ball past Iker Fernandez.

Gerard Pique and 17-year-old Gavi both went close to adding to the lead before halftime while Fernandez did magnificently to deny Memphis.

Things changed very little in the second half with Fernandez against keeping Barca at bay, but there was still time for Ansu Fati to make a good day even better for Barca. The teenage striker made his return after almost a year out with a knee problem and needed just 10 minutes to make it 3-0.

Real Sociedad moved into second place after Mikel Oyarzabal's 81st-minute goal gave them a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Elche, while Radamel Falcao scored his third goal in three games to help newly promoted Rayo Vallecano move up to fifth, thanks to their 3-1 triumph at home over Cadiz.

Alvaro Garcia and Isi Palazon also got on the scoreboard and Rayo have taken 13 points from their last five games in an incredible return to the elite.

That's considerably better than near neighbors Getafe, who are stuck on the bottom with no points from seven matches after crashing to a 2-0 defeat to Betis thanks to two goals from Willian Jose.

Osasuna came out on top after a 3-2 thriller in Mallorca, which saw the lead change hands three times.

Jose Angel put Osasuna ahead in the 11th minute only for Dani Rodriguez and Fer Nino to turn the score around before the break.

Inigo Perez equalized for Osasuna in the 58th minute and Javi Martinez netted the winner with just two minutes left to play.

On Saturday, Real Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Villarreal as they struggled to break down Unai Emery's impressive and well-organized side.

Real Madrid didn't manage a single shot on target in the first half with Thibaut Courtois doing well to deny Villarreal forwards Arnaut Danjuma and Yeremi Pino.

The home side improved in the second half, but they failed to threaten the Villarreal goal despite late pressure seriously.

Atletico Madrid fell to a shock 1-0 defeat away to Alaves who had gone into the game bottom of the table with five defeats from five games.

Victor Laguardia headed Alaves ahead in the fourth minute and Atletico again failed to convince in front of goal.

Sevilla moved ahead of Atletico after goals from Youssef En-Nesyri's and Rafa Mir saw them claim a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Espanyol, despite having to play the last 30 minutes with 10 men after Thomas Delaney was sent off.

Marcos Andre's 95th-minute equalizer saved a point for Valencia at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, who had taken the lead through Inigo Martinez's powerful 69th-minute header.

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