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Six teams, 11 hours, nine goals, and the ghost haunting a Saturday in Madrid


Barcelona finally shrugged off the ghost of Butarque but Atlético and Real had their own battles as La Liga’s threads all came together in Madrid

“The Ghost of Butarque: that’s a good name for a novel,” Ernesto Valverde said. It was coming up to midnight three days after Halloween and, Barcelona’s manager admitted, “everywhere we turned the Ghost of Butarque appeared.” His team were back in Madrid for the first time since September, the final leg of a Grand Day Out in the capital – Leganés v Atlético at 1pm, Real Madrid v Valladolid at 4.15pm, Rayo v Barcelona at 8.45pm – and it was happening again: the same feelings, the same fears. Back then, Barcelona lost at bottom-placed Leganés, their only defeat to date; five weeks on and 15km east, they were losing to second-bottom Rayo Vallecano.

Twice The Final Countdown had boomed out – the song, made all the more brilliant by not being Seven Nation Army, that celebrates every Rayo goal – and now they really were counting down. 2-1 up, Rayo were four minutes from their first home win all season; Barcelona were minutes from another defeat in Madrid, the team at the top beaten only by the bottom two.

Related: All square at the Emirates, young debutants and bollards – Football Weekly

It finishes level with both goals coming from set pieces. Carillo, on loan from Southampton makes it a day to forget for Atleti.
Leganes 1-1 Atletico Madrid

What a comeback! Barca managed to bring it back in the last 10 minutes of the game to take home the 3 points
Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Barcelona

Related: High-flying Frankfurt take out their frustration on lowly Stuttgart | Andy Brassell

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Sergio Canales netted a near-perfect free-kick to salvage a point for Real Betis in #LaLiga last night. #PureFootball

Related: The reinvention of João Mário and how Inter have found a new spirit | Paolo Bandini

La Liga results

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