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LA LIGA: Bale nets on debut, but Real held

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Reuters, MADRID

Atletico Madrid had far too much quality for UD Almeria on a festive afternoon for their fans packing a sun-bathed Vicente Calderon.

David Villa, who joined from Barca in the summer, struck with a superb left-foot volley after a quarter of an hour and Diego Costa scored from the penalty spot, his fourth goal of the campaign, in the 37th minute to make it 2-0.

Rodri pulled one back for the visitors three minutes later, before Tiago scored from a well-worked free-kick in the 64th minute and Koke killed the game off in the 67th minute when he cleverly flicked the ball into the net from close range.

Atletico took their foot off the gas in the final minutes and Almeria winger Alex Vidal swept into the penalty area and beat Thibaut Courtois with a clinical shot in the 90th minute.

Atletico have won their opening four La Liga games for the first time since they last claimed the title in the 1995-1996 season.

Real Sociedad, who like Barca, Real Madrid and Atletico kick off their Champions League campaign this week, drew 0-0 at Levante UD.

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