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Spain roundup: Anyone wanna win a title? Barca, Real, Atleti stumble

Charles, Gustavo Cabral

Celta’s Charles, right, celebrates with teammate Gustavo Cabral, left, after scoring the first goal against Real Madrid during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo, Spain, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Lalo R. Villar)

AP

Our editor Joe Prince-Wright asked if there was a punishment for winning La Liga, and that question seems even more relevant on Sunday after the big three collected two out of nine points for the second consecutive week.

Barcelona -- yes, Barcelona -- could not find a goal on the road at Elche. Despite the Blaugranas out-attempting the hosts 20-6, and holding Elche to zero shots on frame, the teams shared the points with a 0-0 score line.

Real Madrid seized that opportunity by... losing at Celta Vigo. Thirty-year-old Charles Dias de Oliveira scored on both sides of halftime as the hosts beat a Real side 2-0 who did not play Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo.

And so there was Atletico Madrid with an opportunity to clinch its first La Liga title since 1996 with a win at home against Malaga. This was a visiting side that had claimed two points from its last five matches against Atleti.

But they couldn’t find the goal after 45 minutes, and Samuel’s goal in the 65th minute had the home side on the ropes. Atletico was down 1-0, but managed an equalizer less than 10 minutes later when Jose Sosa’s cross was nodded home by Toby Alderweireld. It was the first La Liga goal of the season for the 25-year-old Belgian, and it was a big one.

The match ended 1-1, which means a draw next week at Barcelona will suffice for Atleti to win the league, but who’s betting against Barca now? With Atleti and Real still setting up for a UEFA Champions League final on May 24, Barca only has to focus on 90 minutes next weekend to win its fifth La Liga crown in six seasons.
ELSEWHERE


  • Real Betis 4-3 Valladolid -- Just when it looked Betis has licked the stamp on its miserable season, the condemned side scored in stoppage time to keep the visitors in relegation danger.
  • Villarreal 4-0 Rayo Vallecano — The ma
  • Levante 2-0 Valencia— Massive ro
  • Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Sociedad — Twenty-five total shots but just two goals as the sides share points.
  • Getafe 1-0 Sevilla — There’s no substitute for desparation; Getafe is three points safe after outshooting the No. 5 team in the table 14-4 en route to the win. Sergio Escudero picks up the lone goal in the 70th minute.
  • Espanyol 1-1 Osasuna – This draw coupled with Almeria’s win keeps Osasuna into the final relegation space heading into the final weekend.
  • Granada 0-2 Almeria– The visitors leapt over their No. 17 in the table hosts to join the ranks of the temporarily safe on goals from Verza and Aleix Vidal.


Standings

TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Atlético Madrid37285476255115-4-013-1-489
Barcelona37275599326716-1-111-4-486
Real Madrid372665101376415-1-211-5-384
Athletic37209866392713-4-27-5-669
Sevilla371791166511510-4-47-5-760
Real Sociedad371611106153811-4-35-7-759
Villarreal37168135843159-6-47-2-956
Celta Vigo37147164852-46-7-68-0-1049
Levante371212133542-77-6-65-6-748
Valencia371210154952-39-3-63-7-946
Rayo Vallecano37134204578-338-0-105-4-1043
Espanyol37119174048-87-5-74-4-1042
Málaga37119173846-87-2-94-7-842
Elche37913152947-186-8-53-5-1040
Almería37116204371-286-5-75-1-1339
Getafe37109183353-206-6-74-3-1139
Granada37115213156-257-1-114-4-1038
Osasuna3799193061-315-5-84-4-1136
Valladolid37715153859-216-9-31-6-1236
Betis3767243576-415-3-111-4-1325

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