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Spain roundup: Atletico now three wins away, but Barcelona keeps pace

Lionel Messi, Gorka Iraizoz

FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, from Argentina, gestures after scoring against Athletic Bilbao during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

AP

Atletico Madrid is now three wins away from its first La Liga title since 1996, but Barcelona is doing what it can to prolong the race. Meanwhile, idle Real Madrid could only watch as it fell to third.

After 70 minutes of scoreless play, Miranda put Atletico on the scoreboard before a Diego Costa penalty in the 90th minute ensured that the hosts wouldn’t give any ground to Barca before the Blaugranas kicked off.

And there were concerns at Camp Nou thanks to a brilliant goal by Aritz Aduriz in the 50th minute, but Pedro equalized in the 72nd minute before -- who else? -- Lionel Messi netted his 26th La Liga goal of the season.

Celta Vigo is feeling much better about its La Liga life after a three-goal second half propelled it to a 4-2 win in a 6-point relegation scrap against Almeria. Nolito scored his 9th and 10th goals, one in each half, as the visitors spoiled the scene -- and maybe season -- of the hosts.
Elsewhere


  • Rayo Vallecano 3-1 Real Betis — The hosts led 3-0 by the 51st minute, coasting to make safety a near-certainty after a brutal start to the season.
  • Osasuna 1-1 Valencia — Jonas canceled out Riera’s early goal with an 82nd minute goal.
  • Sevilla 4-0 Granada — Three different goal scorers were aided by an own-goal, as Kevin Gameiro kept up his fine form with his 14th goal of the season and fifth in three matches.
  • Real Sociedad 2-1 Espanyol— Barcelona’s “other” team continues to tumble as Sociedad rises, at least for a day, to sixth.
  • Levante 0-0 Getafe – Goal differential keeps Getafe in the drop zone despite point.
  • Malaga vs. Villarreal – Monday


Standings

TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Atlético Madrid34274374225215-3-012-1-385
Barcelona34263594286616-0-110-3-481
Real Madrid33254494326214-0-211-4-279
Athletic34188859372212-3-26-5-662
Sevilla34178965471810-3-47-5-559
Real Sociedad34159105851711-3-34-6-754
Villarreal33157115238148-6-37-1-852
Valencia3412913474709-3-53-6-845
Levante341011133041-115-6-65-5-741
Espanyol34118153844-67-4-64-4-941
Rayo Vallecano34124184271-298-0-94-4-940
Celta Vigo34117164051-114-7-67-0-1040
Málaga33108153543-86-2-84-6-738
Granada34114193050-207-1-94-3-1037
Osasuna3498172954-255-5-74-3-1035
Elche34811152746-196-6-52-5-1035
Valladolid33614133250-185-8-31-6-1032
Getafe3488182951-224-6-74-2-1132
Almería3486203668-325-5-73-1-1330
Betis3457222969-404-3-101-4-1222

Follow @nicholasmendola