Atletico Madrid’s Kevin Gameiro scored a quick-fire hat-trick to down Sporting Gijon as Sevilla provisionally moved into second with victory over Eibar.
Sporting Gijon 1-4 Atletico Madrid
Kevin Gameiro scored a five-minute hat-trick as Atletico Madrid won their third straight La Liga game, defeating Sporting Gijon 4-1 on Saturday.
In a game marred by early missed chances, Antoine Griezmann fired just wide, before Lacina Traore failed to hit the target from a couple of yards out.
Seconds after the restart, Yannick Carrasco broke the deadlock, mopping up a rebound, but Sergio Alvarez‘s volley drew Sporting level just three minutes later.
That prompted Diego Simeone to make the game-changing substitution of Gameiro for Fernando Torres as the Frenchman rounded Pichu Cuellar 10 minutes from time.
Gameiro then grabbed his second after he nicked the ball near the Asturians’ area, before springing offside and angling his finish past Cuellar for the match ball.
His hat-trick was timed at 4:45, making it the quickest in the Spanish top flight since Bebeto for Deportivo La Coruna 22 years ago.
Deportivo La Coruna 0-1 Alaves
In the battle of the Deportivos, it was Alaves who came out on top in a 1-0 win, plunging Depor into grave danger.
Gael Kakuta clipped Fernando Pacheco’s crossbar in the game’s only real chance until the 68th minute, when Manu Garcia was hauled down in the hosts’ box and drove the subsequent penalty down the middle of German Lux’s goal.
Manu was at it again not long after, his header forcing German Lux into a fingertip save, yet the Basques only prevailed through Zouhair Feddal, whose goal-line clearance denied fellow Moroccan Faycal Fajr.
Depor remain winless in 2017 and a mere three points above the relegation zone, unless Leganes can stage the shock of the season at Camp Nou this evening.
Sevilla 2-0 Eibar
Sevilla provisionally moved above Barcelona into second with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Eibar to wrap up Saturday’s La Liga action.
Pablo Sarabia got the ball rolling with a delicate volley into an empty net on 30 minutes, but the following 60 minutes were anything but comfortable for the Andalusians.
Ruben Pena broke clear from a long ball down the right, but his powerful shot was pushed away by Sergio Rico, who could only watch as Adrian Gonzalez’s low drive whistled inches wide.
Back at the other end, Sarabia’s beautiful chip pass sent through Vitolo, but the winger’s half-volley slammed the post.
Vitolo was in the midst of all Sevilla’s good attacking play, despite only appearing for the final half-hour, as his angled ball released Steven N’Zonzi, whose sliding finish couldn’t beat Yoel Rodriguez.
Rico then had to bat a cross-cum-shot off his line, before Steven Jovetic led a counterattack at the death, teeing up Vitolo for 2-0 and game over.