Real go top of La Liga, Athletico falter

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Updated: February 9, 2014

bale

Real Madrid brushed aside Villarreal to go top of La Liga on goal difference while Athletico stumbled to a loss against Almeria.

Real Madrid without the suspended Ronaldo proved too strong for a spirited Villarreal whnen they came out comfortable 4-2 winners at the Bernabeu. Gareth Bale returned to action following another niggle and opened the scoring in the 7th minute and then provided the assist for Benzema to find the back of the net to give the home team a comfortable lead.

Jesse and Benzema scored the remaining goals to keep a 2 goal cushion intact and deliver the win.

Bale has come in for much criticism since his big money move however more out of frustration by the fans due to his lack of appearances because of injury. The former Spurs flyer has produced whenever fit and last night saw the Welshman score his 11th goal in 15 games including 8 assists, certainly not a bad return.

Athletico missed the opportunity to remain top when they faltered 2-0 at Almeria.

The result leaves the 2 Madrid clubs on 57, a win for Barca today will see them go top on goal difference.

In other action Rayo Vallecano defeated Malaga 4-1 and Valencia demolished Real Betis 5-0.