Barcelona, Real Madrid take La Liga race to final day

Spanish football league to be decided on the last day of the season as only one point separates leaders Barca from Real.

    Barcelona, Real Madrid take La Liga race to final day
    Ronaldo's brace ensured Real Madrid kept up the title chase [EPA]

    Barcelona closed in on the La Liga title by thrashing local rivals Espanyol 5-0 but Real Madrid stayed only one point behind the leaders after a nervy 3-2 win over Valencia.

    Atletico Madrid, however, dropped out of the race after losing 2-1 at Levante.

    Barca top the standings on 88 points, Real moved into second on 87 and Atletico have 85 with one game remaining.

    La Liga top scorers
    37 L Suarez (Barcelona)             
    33 C Ronaldo (Real Madrid)     
    26 L Messi (Barcelona)            
    24 Neymar (Barcelona)                  
         K Benzema (Real Madrid)

    Barcelona went ahead in the eighth minute when Lionel Messi curled a 22-yard free kick into the top corner with a magnificent shot.

    Luis Suarez stretched the hosts' lead with two goals in the second half before Rafinha and Neymar completed the rout.

    Elsewhere, Atletico took the lead at Levante in the first minute through Fernando Torres, but the relegated home side fought back, equalising through Victor Casadesus before Giuseppe Rossi grabbed the winner in stoppage time.

    Real were without goalkeeper Keylor Navas, defender Dani Carvajal, midfielder Luka Modric and winger Gareth Bale through injury, but went ahead thanks to a thunderous low finish from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 26th minute.

    Karim Benzema scored the second before the break but Rodrigo Moreno, who was later sent off, pulled one back for Valencia after half time.

    Ronaldo added his second a few minutes later before Andre Gomes scored a sumptuous consolation goal for Valencia.

    Results:

    Celta Vigo 1-0 Malaga

    Eibar 1-1 Real Betis

    Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol

    Getafe 1-1 Sporting Gijon

    Las Palmas 0-0 Athletic Club

    Levante 2-1 Atletico Madrid

    Real Madrid 3-2 Valencia

    Real Sociedad 2-1 Rayo Vallecano

    Sevilla 1-4 Granada CF

    Villarreal 0-2 Deportivo Coruna

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.