Real Sociedad extend La Liga lead as Barca’s problems deepen

Alexander Isak’s 65th-minute goal gifted Real Sociedad a 1-0 win away to Cadiz and extended their lead at the top of La Liga to three points over Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

The goal from the Swedish international striker gave the San Sebastian side a deserved win against a rival that defended well but was outplayed over the entire 90 minutes.

FC Barcelona’s crisis deepened when they lost 1-0 away to Atletico Madrid and also lost Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto to injury.

Yannick Carrasco’s goal on the stroke of half-time was enough to give Atletico all three points and move them nine points ahead of an impotent Barcelona side that hardly threatened.

Carrasco took advantage of a rush of blood from Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who had raced out of his area to try to cover a defense that was well out of position.

Pique went down clutching his knee after a collision with Angel Correa and could be out for over three months, while Sergi Roberto suffered a muscle injury attempting a shot at goal.

Gerard Moreno’s 75th minute penalty canceled out Mariano Diaz’s second-minute opener for Real Madrid to give Villarreal a point in a largely forgettable game in the El Madrigal Stadium.

Mariano made his first start in over 560 days due to Madrid’s long injury list, scoring with a good header from Dani Carvajal’s cross. That was Madrid’s only effort on target all game and Villarreal took a point from the penalty sport after Samuel Chukwueze was brought down by Thibaut Courtois when through on goal.

New Celta coach Eduardo Coudet began his reign with a 4-2 defeat away to Sevilla that leaves his team bottom of the table.

Jules Kounde put Sevilla in front after just four minutes, but Iago Aspas leveled for Celta just five minutes later after a bad mistake from Sevilla keeper Tomas Vaclik.

Nolito then put Celta in front in the 35th minute, but Youssef En Neysri’s powerful header made it 2-2 on the verge of half-time.

Celta almost clung on for a point, but Sergio Escudero’s deflected shot put Sevilla in front with six minutes left to play and Munir El Haddadi sealed the win two minutes later on the break.

Valencia fought back from 2-0 down to claim a point away to Alaves with an improved second-half performance.

The home side took the lead in the first minute thanks to Ximo Navarro’s header, and the defender then won a penalty which Lucas Perez converted to make it 2-0 after just 15 minutes.

Substitute Hugo Vallejo gave Valencia a lifeline in the 71st minute and defender Hugo Guillamon equalized six minutes later, and Valencia had Alaves pinned back in their area until the final whistle, although they lost Jose Luis Gaya with a muscle injury in the closing moments.

Real Valladolid appear to be recovering after goals from Oscar Plano, Marcos de Sousa and Joao Felipe gave them a 3-1 win away to Granada, whose goal was scored by Domingos Duarte.

Levante drew 1-1 at home to Elche, with Tete Moriente’s 64th minute equalizer canceling out Gonzalo Melero’s 12th minute opener for the home side, while Eibar and Getafe failed to produce any goals in a game that ended with Eibar striker Kike Garcia being sent off for two yellow cards.

The round of matches began on Friday night with Osasuna drawing 1-1 at home to Huesca, and will end with Athletic Bilbao entertaining Real Betis on Monday.