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Spain Roundup: Barca-oh-no! Madrid clubs seize breathing room

Barcelona's Messi reacts during his team's Spanish first division soccer match against Valladolid in Valladolid

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi reacts during his team’s Spanish first division soccer match against Valladolid at Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid March 8, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Perez (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

REUTERS

Valladolid climbed out of the drop zone with a stunning home win over out-of-sorts Barcelona, leaving the Blaugrana to wonder whether they can chase down Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in the race for La Liga’s title.

Fausto Rossi played hero in the 17th minute with a goal for Valladolid, which then bore Barca’s attack for the remainder of the match. There were chances for Lionel Messi and company, who took 13 shots, but even a trio of substitutions that introduced Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello and Sergi Roberto to the match couldn’t propel Barca to an equalizer.

It was Valladolid’s first win over Barcelona since October 2012, and “boosted” their record in the rivalry to 4W-5D-23L.

Meanwhile, both Madrid squads cruised to victories. Real Madrid took a 2-0 lead on Levante with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo. Then Levante helped out with a red card for David Navarro and an own goal from Nikos Karabelas to reach full time at 3-0.

David Villa did everything Atletico Madrid needed to seize a 2-0 win at Celta de Vigo, scoring goals in the 62nd and 64th minutes.

So Barca may have the best goal differential in La Liga, but it’s staring up at its rivals after Sunday. Atletico is one point ahead of Barca, while Real Madrid has a four-point lead in the standings.

Wow.

Elsewhere


  • Granada 2-0 Villarreal – Two goals by the 33rd minute had Granada on cruise control at home. Fran Rico and Youssef El Arabi with the goals.
  • Real Betis 2-0 Getafe – Break up Betis! Four points in two weeks for the bottom dwellers, who still sit eight points away from safety.
  • Valencia 1-1 Bilbao – Aritz Aduriz’s penalty in the 53rd minute equalized in a match fit to divide the spoils.
  • Almeria 1-3 Sevilla – Kevin Gameiro struck again, this time an insurance goal, as Sevilla moved to within two points of sixth-place Sociedad and three points of Villarreal.
  • Espanyol 3-1 Elche – Three different goal scorers helped Espanyol keep its European dreams alive.
  • Real Sociedad vs. Rayo Vallecano – Monday
  • Osasuna vs. Malaga – Monday


Standings

TeamGPWDLGFGAGDHomeAwayPTS
Real Madrid27214276265012-0-19-4-167
Atlético Madrid27204363214211-3-09-1-364
Barcelona27203474225212-0-18-3-363
Athletic26155649301910-3-15-2-550
Villarreal2713594733147-4-36-1-644
Real Sociedad2612774636108-3-14-4-643
Sevilla271188474256-3-45-5-441
Espanyol27106113233-17-2-53-4-636
Levante279992634-85-5-34-4-636
Valencia2610511383717-2-43-3-735
Celta Vigo2786133239-73-6-55-0-830
Granada2793152436-125-1-84-2-730
Osasuna2685132439-155-2-53-3-829
Elche2778122440-165-4-52-4-729
Getafe2776142342-194-5-53-1-927
Málaga2668122435-115-2-61-6-626
Valladolid27511112944-154-6-31-5-826
Almería2775152649-234-4-53-1-1026
Rayo Vallecano2672172659-334-0-93-2-823
Betis2746172356-334-3-70-3-1018

Follow @nicholasmendola