FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF remain split by just a point with one Liga game to go after both secured victories on a night of more twists in their already dramatic title race.
Barcelona won 3-2 at Sevilla FC despite a late fightback, while Madrid scored four late goals to beat Athletic Club 5-1. Next Sunday both play sides in relegation peril, Barcelona welcoming Real Valladolid CF and their rivals visiting Málaga CF.
Five minutes in at Sevilla, Lionel Messi claimed his 45th goal this season, latching on to Maxwell's clever ball and beating Andrés Palop. Before the half-hour, Daniel Alves and Xavi Hernández combined for Bojan Krkić to double the lead and Pedro Rodríguez made it three on 62 minutes. However, Frédéric Kanouté and Luis Fabiano reduced the arrears in quick succession and news from Madrid confirmed that the title was not secure.
Madrid led Athletic on 22 minutes when Fernando Amorebieta handled a Cristiano Ronaldo shot in the box, earning a red card and a penalty which was subsequently converted by the Portuguese international. However, Athletic levelled four minutes before half-time with a fine run and shot from Francisco Yeste. Madrid were being frustrated but the home fans sparked into life when news of Sevilla's fightback filtered through and Gonzalo Higuaín headed in with 17 minutes left before Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzama and Marceloa added further gloss.
While Valencia CF were assured of third place before today's 2-0 derby loss at nine-man Villarreal CF, Spain's fourth UEFA Champions League berth is still up for grabs as RCD Mallorca lost 1-0 to RC Deportivo La Coruña and remain a point behind Sevilla. Getafe CF overcame Málaga 2-1 to remain ahead of Villarreal on head to head in the race for sixth and UEFA Europa League entry, with Athletic now out of contention.
At the bottom, any three of five teams can still go down. Bottom club Xerez CD could escape after a thrilling 3-2 win against Real Zaragoza put them on 33 points and three behind four sides. CD Tenerife are one of that quartet after drawing 2-2 with UD Almería; Valladolid beat Real Racing Club 2-1 and both are also on 36, as are Málaga. In mid-table, RCD Espanyol beat CA Osasuna 2-1 and ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final, Club Atlético de Madrid drew 1-1 with Real Sporting de Gijón.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 04:32 CET|
|Venue: Palma de Mallorca|
Negredo 61, 84
Sendoa 40, Tiago Gomes 43
Adrián López 9, 40
Stuani 77, Nano 85