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La Liga: Barcelona, Real Madrid pull off 2nd-half comebacks

A roundup of the weekend’s results in La Liga, where Barcelona and Real Madrid each came from behind in the second half, with leaders Atletico Madrid, who now have two games in hand, idle until Monday…

[ MORE: 10 things we learned in the Premier League - Matchweek 23 ]

Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona

Barcelona managed to hold onto second place by coming back from a goal down to 7th-place Real Betis on Sunday, inspired by the introduction of Lionel Messi just before the hour mark. Messi entered with Barcelona 1-0 behind in the 57th minute, and in the 59th minute he hit a low laser into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

Betis’s Victor Ruiz scored at both ends of the field in the 68th and 75th minute — first for Barcelona, then for Betis — to make it 2-2. That set the stage for Francisco Trincao to save the day in the 87th minute. The 21-year-old Portuguese winger picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and curled a stunning, left-footed finish inside the far post just when it was looking like Barcelona would drop needless points.

Barcelona and Real Madrid remain level on points (43), in second and third respectively, seven behind La Liga leaders Atleti.

Huesca 1-2 Real Madrid

Likewise, Real Madrid were anything but impressive in beating bottom-of-the-table Huesca on Saturday. Los Blancos found themselves 1-0 down after 48 minutes, before Raphael Varane — yes, Raphael Varane — bagged a braced — yes, a brace — in the 55th and 84th minutes.

The hulking center back hadn’t score a goal yet in the 2020-21 season, but his two goals on Saturday kept alive the faint hope that Zinedine Zidane’s side could yet remain in the La Liga title race.

Other La Liga results

Sevilla 3-0 Getafe
Real Sociedad 4-1 Cadiz
Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Valencia
Levante 2-2 Granada
Elche 2-2 Villarreal
Alaves 1-0 Real Valladolid
Osasuna 2-1 Eibar

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