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The three Real stars shone as Carlo Ancelotti's side thrashed Betis 5-0 in Seville to move to within a point of Barcelona and Atletico at the top of the table

It's close at the top. The second half of the Spanish season started at the weekend with some frustration for both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, with the Catalans held at Levante and Diego Simeone's side unable to take advantage as they could only draw at home to Sevilla.

Real Madrid, who beat Betis in emphatic fashion with a 5-0 success on Saturday, were the big winners as they closed to within a point of the top two, while there were also wins for Elche, Espanyol and Athletic in a weekend which saw five games end in draws.

Here, Goal looks at the standout performers following the latest action in La Liga.

In goal, Keylor Navas produced a heroic display as the last line of defence for a Levante side that frustrated Barca in Valencia. The Costa Rica goalkeeper made a number of fine saves to deny the Catalans, including one late effort to push a Cristian Tello shot around the post.

In front of him, Greece defender Loukas Vyntra was part of that impressive rearguard and also headed the opening goal of the game as Joaquin Caparros' men claimed a hard-earned point. Elsewhere, Marcelo impressed in both defence and attack for Madrid at Betis, while Mateo Musacchio was excellent again as Villarreal beat Almeria 2-0.

In midfield, Luka Modric was everywhere for Madrid, tracking back to tackle and defend, pulling the strings from deep and assisting for Karim Benzema to score the side's third in an impressive all-round showing. Team-mate Angel Di Maria also shone with a dynamic display that included a brilliant goal from long range, while Ander Herrera (with a goal and a dominant performance) and Ibai Gomez (who netted twice) both stood out as Athletic Bilbao continued their fantastic form at the new San Mames with a 4-2 win over Valladolid.

Further forward, Cristiano Ronaldo is in again this week after he opened the scoring with a stunning strike at Betis and also added a late assist for Alvaro Morata. The Portuguese is joined by Sergio Garcia, who hit a late winner to give Espanyol all three points in the match at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday, and Imanol Agirretxe, who struck a double for Real Sociedad in their 2-2 draw at Getafe.

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