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Real Madrid pay heavy price as title race remains tight

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Madrid, April 20: The gap between leaders FC Barcelo and second-placed Real Madrid at the top of La Liga remains just two points after the 32nd round of matches.

But Barcelo will be the happier side as they negotiated one of their most complicated matches between now and the end of the season, as they beat Valencia 2-0 with a large dose of good fortune, reports Xinhua.

A goal from striker Luis Suarez in the opening minute of the game and Lionel Messi’s 400th career goal in injury time were enough to give Barcelo the full points, but the fact is they had to struggle, especially in the first half by a rival who should have taken a point from the game.

Valencia’s high pressing game pinned Barcelo back and they forced a host of first half chances, the best of which was a Dani Parejo pelty which was saved by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, while midfielder Paco Alcacer hit the post with a shot.

Valencia’s efforts tired them out and Barcelo were more comfortable after the break but it was not until the last kick of the game that Messi made the points safe.

Real Madrid beat Malaga 3-1, but lost Gareth Bale and key playmaker, Luka Modric, who could be out for five or six weeks with a knee injury during the game.

Defender Sergio Ramos opened the scoring after 24 minutes with a diving header and forward James Rodriguez doubled Madrid’s lead 25 minutes after halftime after superstar Cristiano Roldo had hit a pelty against the Malaga post.

Roldo scored the third in injury time with a close range tap in after good work from substitute Javier Herndez.

Atletico Madrid won 2-1 away to struggling Deportivo la Coru, thanks to two further goals from striker Antoine Griezmann, (his 19th and 20th of the season) in the fifth and 22nd minute of the game.

Oriol Riera gave the home side a lifeline with a 78th minute header, although it was too little too late for Deportivo, who remain in the relegation zone, although Deportivo got some relief when Almeria lost 2-0 away to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Antonio Amaya and Miku scored the goals which allowed Rayo to assure their La Liga future, while Almeria are still in deep trouble with a difficult calendar until the end of the campaign.

Grada defender, Diego Mainz got his me on the score-sheet twice in his side’s game at home to Sevilla. But unfortutely he scored for each side with a second half own goal cancelling out his 15th minute opener for the La Liga strugglers.

Meanwhile Villarreal had over 25 shots, but were uble to score in their 0-0 draw at home to bottom club Cordoba while Nolito’s 40th minute pelty gave Celta all three points on their visit to Eibar.

Athletic Club Bilbao moved closer to Malaga as striker Aritz Aduriz scored twice in the Basque side’s 4-0 romp over Getafe. Ibai Gomez and Markel Susaeta netted the other gals against a rival who had to play the second half with just 10 men, while the round of games ends on Monday when Elche face Real Sociedad. IANS

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