MADRID: Atletico Madrid marked the death of old hero Luis Aragones with a minute’s silence – and then honoured his memory in the best possible way by taking over at the top of the Spanish league.
Atletico dismissed Real Sociedad 4-0 in the Estadio Calderon to overtake Barcelona who had lost at home to Valencia on Saturday.
David Villa opened the scoring late in the first half and then dedicated his goal to the late coach, with whom he won Euro 2008 with Spain.
Diego Costa settled Atletico’s nerves by scoring the second goal with 18 minutes remaining, and then Joao Miranda and substitute Diego Ribas each scored later on to round off an emotional night.
Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off as 10-man Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
The World Player of the Year was sent off for reacting to a shove by Carlos Gurpegi and then a confrontation with Ander Iturraspe in the 75th minute.
Only a minute earlier Athletic had scored a brilliant equaliser through substitute Ibai with only his second touch after coming on, firing in a bouncing ball from the edge of the area.
Madrid held on for a point, having gone ahead after 65 minutes through striker Jese on his first league start, but the loss of Ronaldo now through suspension, for a possible three games, could well have an impact in the title race.