Falcao's double powers Atletico over Granada

Radamel Falcao scored on each side of the interval Sunday as Atletico thrashed Granada by a 5-0 count at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico asserted its dominance in the match right from the outset as the club opened the scoring just three minutes into the contest through Diego Costa, who got his head to a cross from Koke and nodded it home for the first of many on the day.

Falcao collected his first tally of the afternoon three minutes before the half-hour mark when the star forward ran onto a through ball from Costa on the counter-attack and fired a left-footed strike into the top left corner for the 2-0 lead.

After the break, Atletico continued to boss the game and Falcao made it 3-0 for the hosts in the 47th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the Granada penalty area following a set-piece situation and knocked it home from in close.

Raul Garcia and Filipe Luis both scored after the hour mark to finish off a result for Atletico that was never really in doubt.

Barcelona 3, Real Zaragoza 0

Aragon, Spain - Even with Lionel Messi not in the squad on Sunday, Barcelona rolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Real Zaragoza at the Estadio La Romareda.

The Argentine superstar was injured in the first leg of Barcelona Champions League quarterfinal tie against Paris Saint-Germain. He returned to make an appearance in the second leg of the tie, but was held out on Sunday as the Catalans gear up for a semifinal showdown with German champions Bayern Munich.

Barcelona didn't break a sweat on Sunday as Thiago opened the scoring 20 minutes into the match and Cristian Tello added goals in the 39th and 53rd minutes to keep the Catalans atop La Liga by a 13-point margin.

Zaragoza, meanwhile, remains in the bottom three with 27 points from 31 matches after the setback.

Real Madrid 3, Athletic Bilbao 0

Bilbao, Spain - Cristiano Ronaldo scored on each side of the halftime interval on Sunday as Real Madrid eased past Athletic Bilbao by a 3-0 count at the San Mames.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for Madrid just two minute in when he unfurled some set-piece magic with a brilliant free kick into the top left corner of the net, leaving Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz with no chance for a save.

Ronaldo completed his brace in the 68th minute after getting his head on a free kick in the Bilbao penalty area and nodding it home for the two-goal advantage.

Madrid finished off its outstanding performance 14 minutes from time as Gonzalo Higuain ran onto a ball on the right side of the penalty area and slid it into the far corner with ease to cap the scoring.

Real Madrid strengthens its hold on second place on La Liga, improving to 68 points from 31 matches, while Bilbao stays in 14th on 35 points, well clear of the bottom three.

Real Sociedad 2, Rayo Vallecano 0

Madrid, Spain - Imanol Agirrexte bagged two goals in a span of seven minutes on Sunday, leading Real Sociedad to a comfortable 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas.

Sociedad grabbed the early lead just six minutes into the match when Agirrexte got on the end of a well-placed pass from Alberto De la Bella and slotted it into the bottom right corner.

Agirrexte found the back of the net again seven minutes later to put his side up 2-0 when he slipped one home from in close following a pass from Xabi Prieto.

The result lifts Sociedad into fourth place with 54 points from 31 matches, while Vallecano remains in ninth place on 44 points.