Barcelona: Atletico Madrid took advantage of Barcelona’s slip-up to go top of La Liga with a 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad as Real Madrid drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao and Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off on Sunday.
Ronaldo was dismissed with 15 minutes left in a hard-fought clash with Bilbao for pushing Carlos Gurpegui in the face and getting involved in a confrontation with Ander Iturraspe.
Real were looking to move up to second with their sixth successive league win and Jese put them ahead after 65 minutes before substitute Ibai Gomez responded for the Basque side.
“It is difficult to judge, the pictures suggest it was all a bit exaggerated,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference of the Ronaldo red card.
“It was a good game played at a high tempo and we did well in the second half. It could have been different after we went ahead but then they scored a great equaliser. Overall I am happy.”
Atletico moved three points clear of Barcelona with victory over Sociedad at the Calderon where fans gave an emotional send-off to former coach and player Luis Aragones who died on Saturday.
Real remained third, behind Barca, who lost at home to Valencia on Saturday, on goal difference.
After a cagey opening David Villa put Atletico ahead in the 38th minute before going off injured and second-half goals by Diego Costa, Joao Miranda and Diego sealed the win.
There was a poignant minute’s silence before kick-off for Aragones, the coach of Spain’s Euro-2008 winning side, and who put in place the tactics and mentality that helped them win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Aragones, who died on Saturday, played for Atletico for over a decade during the 1960s and early 1970s as well as coaching the side on four separate occasions.
“From above he will be wearing the red and white and be happy with our effort,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone told a news conference.
“It was a difficult game despite the result and the goals at the end.
“Real Sociedad caused problems for us despite not having good chances to score.
“It doesn’t bother me to defend but we were finding it tough to attack and create openings.”
Mario Suarez was fit to play his first game after almost three months out for Atletico who were frustrated by a Sociedad side that packed the midfield and gave them little room to build play.