Barcelona slip up in title race

Holders lose 1-0 to Granada while Real Madrid's 4-0 win over Almeria takes them into second, one above Barca.

    Messi was unable to inspire teammates in a crucial match for Barcelona [Reuters]
    Messi was unable to inspire teammates in a crucial match for Barcelona [Reuters]

    Barcelona's nightmare week hit a new low when they followed up their Champions League exit with a shock 1-0 defeat at Granada that left their bid for a fifth La Liga title in six years in serious jeopardy.

    La Liga top-scorers

    28 - C Ronaldo (R Madrid) 

    25 - D Costa (A Madrid)
           L Messi (Barcelona)

    17 - A Sanchez (Barcelona)
           K Benzema (R Madrid)

    After Atletico Madrid dumped them out of Europe's elite club competition on Wednesday, Barca sought a morale-boosting domestic win that would have put them two points clear at the top ahead of Atletico, who play at Getafe on Sunday.

    However, the Spanish champions again looked lethargic and short on ideas against a club with a fraction of their resources and surrendered second place to arch rivals Real Madrid, who thumped struggling Almeria 4-0 at the Bernabeu to draw level on 79 points with Atletico.

    Atletico can stretch their advantage at the top to three points with a win at Getafe. They play at Barca in their final match of the season and will already be assured of their first Spanish league title since 1996, when current coach Diego Simeone was in the side, if they win their next five matches.

    "The league is not in our own hands anymore," Barca coach Gerardo Martino told a news conference.

    "There is no reason to criticise the team, they gave it everything they had."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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