FC Barcelona edged closer to the La Liga title despite dropping two points on their 2-2 draw against fourth-placed Villarreal.

Barcelona’s point coupled with Atletico Madrid’s defeat away to Sporting Gijon saw them open their lead at the top of the table to nine points over their nearest rivals, on Sunday, reports Xinhua.

First-half goals from Ivan Rakitic and a controversial penalty scored by Neymar gave a 2-0 half time lead to the away team. The referee could have sent off Barcelona defender Gerard Pique for two handball offences, but instead expelled Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia for his protests.

The game changed in the second half when Barcelona coach Luis Enrique decided to substitute Pique for Jeremy Mathieu and Villarreal found new life through a goal by Cedric Bakambu and an unfortunate own goal from Mathieu.

Atletico Madrid’s title hopes seemed to evaporate on Saturday when Diego Simeone’s side lost 1-2 away to Sporting Gijon.

Atletico took the lead through a brilliant Antoine Griezmann free-kick.

Antonio Sanabria responded with 11 minutes left and Carlos Castro scored with a simple finish three minutes from time to give Sporting a vital win.

Real Madrid beat Sevilla 4-o thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jese in a game where both sides missed penalties and Madrid keeper Keylor Navas was the star.

Valencia coach Gary Neville’s future hangs by a threat after his side’s 0-2 home defeat to Celta Vigo, who took the points thanks to late goals from John Guidetti and Hugo Mallo.

Hosts Espanyol beat Athletic Club Bilbao 2-1 with second half goals from Pape Diop and Felipe Caicedo after Javier Eraso had put the visitors ahead before the break.

A William Jose goal gives Las Palmas an important 1-0 win away to Real Sociedad, while Granada and Rayo Vallecano were both still in trouble after a 2-2 draw.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    English Premier League 2017/18: Round Up – Round 17

    Total no.of goals scored Round 17 = 21 Tuesday (12/12/2017) Barnes’ late strike provided a home victory for Burnley Burnley 1 (Ashley Barnes 89’) – Stoke...

    Messi has done lot of damage to me, Mourinho, Ramos: Xabi Alonso

    Madrid, Dec 14: Former Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso recalled his time at Real Madrid and said Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi had caused a lot of...

    Ashes Test: Malan ton takes England to 305/4 on Day 1

    Perth, Dec 14: Dawid Malan's brilliant ton helped England score 305/4 in their first innings against Australia on the opening day of the Third Ashes...

    New Zealand’s Bracewell replaces Grandhomme in ODI squad against West Indies

    Wellington, Dec 14; New Zealand medium pacer Doug Bracewell replaced all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme for the three-match One-day International (ODI) series against West Indies starting...

    ISL: Dynamos defender Ralte likely to play against FC Goa

    New Delhi, Dec 14: Delhi Dynamos are likely to include left-back Sena Ralte in the squad for their forthcoming Indian Super League (ISL) season four...