sport

Barca and Sevilla claim wins

Alexis Sanchez stepped up to the plate in the absence of star playmakers Lionel Messi and Neymar to power Barcelona back to the top of the Primera Division with a clinical hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Elche.

Barca were missing both Messi, who is recovering from injury, and Neymar, who started on the bench, but still boasted far too much firepower for lowly Elche, with Pedro adding to Alexis' first treble for the Catalan giants.

The hosts also had the luxury of missing a second-half penalty from Xavi as they reclaimed top spot from Atletico Madrid, who had moved three points clear with their win at Malaga on Saturday.

Sevilla hammered Getafe 3-0 at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to move sixth in the Primera Division.

Goals from Vitolo, Carlos Bacca and Ivan Rakitic rewarded the hosts' dominance as they moved six points ahead of their opponents in the race for a European place.

Real Sociedad edged their way past Athletic Bilbao to win the Basque derby at Anoeta with a goal at the end of either half, cutting the gap between themselves and their local rivals in fourth spot to just one point.

Antoine Griezmann put the hosts ahead in the closing stages of the first half and although Ernesto Valverde's side had significantly more possession, they were unable to carve together enough chances to equalise, and in injury time Ruben Pardo provided the finishing touch to a counter-attack to seal the points.

Elsewhere, Osasuna moved two points clear of the relegation zone with a vital but narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol at El Sadar.

Alvaro Cejudo scored the only goal of the game after 33 minutes as Osasuna edged the first half, but the hosts were also indebted to goalkeeper Andres Fernandez for a string of quality saves as Espanyol put up a fight in the second period.