Atletico out of title race- La Liga Roundup
The La Liga title race has taken a dramatic twist today as Atletico Madrid lost away to already relegated Levante, a result which rules them out of the title race. Wins for both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid sees a one point gap separate the sides heading into the final weekend.
FC Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
FC Barcelona brushed aside cross-city rivals Espanyol today with a 5-0 victory. The home side took the led via a inch perfect Lionel Messi free kick with just 7 minutes played. Despite picking up numerous yellow cards Espanyol kept the defect at just one goal by half-time. However a second half masterclass saw the Blaugrana inflict humiliation on their rivals. Luis Suarez scored a brace firing home in the 52nd minute before heading home with half an hour to play. Substitute Rafinha made it 4-0 soon after his introduction benefiting from goalkeeper Pau Lopez’s handling error. Seven minutes from time Neymar completed the goal scoring thanks to an assist from Suarez.
Levante 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid were stunned today by already relegated Levante. The visitors went ahead inside the opening 60 seconds when Fernando Torres’ lob found the back of the net. However a Levante side playing for pride produced one of the biggest upsets of the season.Just after the half hour mark Victor Casadesus scored Levante’s equalizer. Diego Simeone brought on Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann as he looked for a win that would keep Atletico on the heels of Barca. As Simeone’s men pressed for a winner they were caught by a Levante counter-attack in injury time which saw Giuseppe Rossi fire past Jan Oblak. Atletico can now only finish in second.
Real Madrid 3-2 Valencia
Real Madrid were forced to work all afternoon as they hosted a fiery Valencia side. Madrid took the lead with 26 minutes played when Cristiano Ronaldo beat Diego Alves in the Valencia goal. Madrid’s second came in controversial circumstances. As the ball pinged around the box from an number of strikes Karim Benzema found the ball at his feet. He calmly slotted it home despite appeals from the Valencia players that the Frenchman was offside. Replays showed he was offside but the ball glanced off a Valencia player meaning the goal stood. Valencia were given a lifeline in the second half when Rodrigo beat Kiko Casilla in the Madrid net. However with 59 minutes gone Ronaldo had his second of the game. The game was poised on a knife edge with nine minutes to play when Andre Gomes’ superb effort made it 3-2. A draw would have seen Barcelona crowned champions. Madrid held on to the win helped by Rodrigo’s dismissal in the dying minutes.
It’s a two horse race heading into the final round of games. FC Barcelona travel away to the already safe Granada while Real make the trip to La Coruna to face Deportivo La Coruña. A win will see Barcelona crowned La Liga winners once more. Real fans will hope Granda can cause an upset.