La Liga: Barca scrape home, Atletico Madrid romp past Rayo

Madrid, Aug 26 (IANS) FC Barcelona remain top of the Spanish Primera Liga after a 1-0 win against Malaga while Atletico Madrid moved into second place with a 5-0 drubbing of Rayo Vallecano.

Adriano's goal on the stroke of halftime was enough to give Barca a win on a difficult night in the La Rosaleda Stadium Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Barca coach Tata Martino introduced made changes to his side, such as Alex Song for Sergio Busquets, Adriano for Dani Alves and Cesc Fabregas for the injured Lionel Messi, but there was no starting place for Neymar, who again began the match on the bench.

Adriano once again showed his talent as a player to score excellent goals on the stroke of halftime with a shot from outside of the Malaga penalty area.

Meanwhile the second half saw both sides hit the woodwork and Barca keeper, Victor Valdes make a fine save from Malaga's Seba Fernandez in the last minute of the game as the home side worked hard to take a point against a Barca side which lacked spark without Messi and with Neymar coming into the game after more than an hour.

Atletico showed they can again challenge for a top four position as Diego Simeone' s side warmed up for the return leg of the Spanish Supercup with a 5-0 thrashing of Rayo.

The loss of Radamel Falcao to Monaco doesn't appear to have harmed Atletico at all, in fact they looked a more compact side.

Raul Garcia opened the scoring after six minutes and the game was virtually over as a contest after 34 minutes, but Diego Costa and Arda Turan had added two more goals to complete the rout.

Meanwhile Levante, who last week lost 0-7 to Barca, recovered to draw 0-0 to Sevilla in a game that will not live long in the memory of those who watched it.

Real Madrid travel to Granada to play Monday night.

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