Real go third after Bilbao battle

Real Madrid moved to third on the table with an exciting 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday. Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain scored twice to down Bilbao, who had come back to level at 2-2 through a Jose Exteberria strike and an Andoni Iraola penalty after Wesley Sneijder had put Real in front on 12 minutes.

Bilbao had Fernando Amorebieta sent off for a crude foul 14 minutes from time, while Real's Brazilian defender Marcelo was fortunate to escape a straight red for a harsh tackle at the end of the first half. Fernando Llorente hit the post for Bilbao late on but Real, beaten 2-1 by Juventus in their midweek UEFA Champions League match, snatched the points.

Real move above Villarreal into third but are below Barcelona on goal difference, while Valencia lead the standings after a 1-1 draw with Recreativo Huelva maintained their unbeaten start.