MADRID, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid returned to the top of La Liga after a hiatus of less than 24 hours after a dramatic 2-1 win away to Alaves in a cold Mendizorroza stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Snow had to be cleared off the pitch in the hours prior to the game, but once again Atletico didn't allow anything to upset their pragmatic approach to the game and they opened the scoring after Manuel Llorente's deflected shot beat Fernando Pacheco after 41 minutes.
Atletico's task was made easier after Alaves defender Victor Laguardia was shown a red card after VAR decreed he had committed a professional foul.
Alaves reacted well to adversity and it looked as if they would take a point after Felipe deflected Joselu's cross into his own net six minutes from time, but Luis Suarez's striker's instinct saw him pop up at the far post to net a simple finish after an impressive move in the last minute of the game.
Frenkie de Jong's first-half finish from a Lionel Messi cross was enough to give FC Barcelona a 1-0 win away to bottom side Huesca.
Barca impressed in the first half with Pedri and Ousmane Dembele the standout players, but although they were clearly the better side and controled most of the second half, they failed to add to their score meaning the result was in doubt until the whistle.
Real Sociedad remain third after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna, where the visitors produced a spirited display and took the lead in the 20th minute through striker Jonathan Calleri. only for young winger Ander Barrenetxea to level the game a minute into the second half.
Athletic Bilbao coach Gaizka Garitano looked to have saved another 'match-ball' over his future after Iker Muniain's first-half goal gave his side a 1-0 win at home to Elche on Sunday lunchtime.
Athletic were guilty of wasting chances in the second half and had to suffer a nervous final five minutes as Elche threw players forward looking for an equalizer, and the club announced a couple of hours later that Garitano had been sacked despite the victory.
Eibar claimed their first home win of the season after two goals from Bryan Gil took them to a 2-0 victory over Granada. Gil scored in the 54th and 75th minute of the game to lift Eibar up to 11th in the league.
Real Madrid remain second after a 2-0 home win against Celta Vigo on Saturday night.
A Lucas Vazquez header at the far post after just six minutes put Madrid on their way against a rival that had won five of their last six games, before Marco Asensio's powerful 53rd minute shot from the middle of the area assured them of the points.
Villarreal looked comfortable but ended up asking for the whistle in their 2-1 win at home to Levante.
The Yellow Submarine were cruising by the 54th minute after goals from Fernando Nino and Gerard Lopez, but after Sergio Leon pulled a goal back for Levante with a 74th minute header everything changed, and the home side were reduced to some desperate defending to hold on.
Real Betis and Sevilla shared the points in the Seville derby with Suso putting Sevilla ahead in the 48th minute, only for Sergio Canales to level from the penalty spot five minutes later.
Nabil Fekir should have won the game for Betis with another penalty 15 minutes from time, but his spot-kick was well saved by Bono in the Sevilla goal, and Fekir put the rebound wide of an empty net.
Finally, Sean Weissman's goal gave Real Valladolid a 1-0 win away to Getafe to lift his side out of the bottom three and leave Getafe just two points above the relegation zone. Enditem