The Real Madrid players took advantage of Barcelona’s mistake, and they escaped the Catalan giants by two points with a minimal 1-0 victory against Espanyol.

The “Royal Club” is much harder than expected to beat ‘lantern player Espanyol, who on Saturday was replacing the third coach this season.

Abelardo Fernandez was fired before the match against Barcelona, following David Gallego and Pablo Machino.

Espanyol offered great resistance against Real Madrid, and Carlos Casemir ‘s goal solved the winner’s question in the 44th minute after Karim Benzema ‘s fifth big assist.

Villarreal celebrated with 2-0 at home against Valencia in an earlier match, and thus continued their excellent form after the crown break, posting four wins and a draw.

Paco Alcácer (14) and Gerard Moreno (44) were the scorers for Villarreal, each of whom scored goals with a volley. Currently, Villarreal is just three points away from the fourth-placed Seville, or Champions League.

Levante beat Betis 4-2 at home on Sunday, in a duel of teams who do not have to fight for survival but are not even close to the position leading to Europe.

The scorers were Borja Mayoral (21), Enis Bardhi (35), José Luis Morales (50), and Rubén Rochina (59) for the hosts, and Sergio Canales (70) and Juanmi (87) scored consolation goals for the guests.

Real Madrid took the top of the table with 71 points, two more than Barcelona, who stumbled at Celta Vigo 2-2 on Saturday, playing away. With 58 points, Atletico Madrid is third.

Mallorca (26), Leganes (25), and Espanyol (24) occupy the last three positions leading to the lower tier of the competition. Celta has 34 points in 17th position, last to ensure salvation.

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