Barca title joy delayed

A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Liga, as Barcelona's title triumph is delayed.

Last Updated: 28/04/13 at 22:59 Post Comment

Cesc Fabregas is left frustrated for Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas is left frustrated for Barcelona

A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Liga.

Barcelona will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the Primera Division title after a last-minute strike from Ander Herrera saw them held to a 2-2 draw by Athletic Bilbao.

The visitors were out of sorts for an hour at San Mames and deservedly trailed to Markel Susaeta's first-half goal, but the introduction of substitute Lionel Messi swung the match as he scored one and teed up another for Alexis Sanchez.

And it looked like the points would go back to Barcelona until Herrera popped up to snatch a point for Bilbao.

Although Barca remain the runaway leaders, this result means they cannot seal the title this weekend.

Real Madrid came from behind to beat local rivals Atletico 2-1 and maintain their dominance over Los Rojiblancos in the 21st century.

Jose Mourinho's depleted side produced an uninspiring performance and struggled for large parts of the game, but they made the most of their chances.

Radamel Falcao gave the hosts an early lead but an own goal by Juanfran levelled things up a few minutes later, and Angel Di Maria hit the winning goal midway through the second half.

The result sees Real cut the gap on leaders Barcelona to 11 points with five games remaining, while they are now six points clear of Atletico in the battle for second place.

On Sunday, Real Sociedad took a huge step towards Champions League qualification by seeing off Valencia, their closest rivals for the position, 4-2 in an enthralling game at Anoeta.

Roberto Soldado gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half but Inigo Martinez's volleyed goal put Philippe Montanier's side back on level terms.

Goals from Chory Castro and Imanol Agirretxe late in the second half appeared to have sealed the win for the Basques. However, Jonas pulled one back for Valencia just as injury time approached to set up a tense finish, before Agirretxe scored again to put the result beyond doubt.

Malaga boosted their hopes of a top-four finish with a narrow 2-1 victory over mid-table Getafe at La Rosaleda.

Goals either side of half-time by Roque Santa Cruz and Weligton put the hosts in control, before Juan Valera grabbed a consolation for Getafe with 15 minutes left.

Malaga - banned from Europe for next season over unpaid bills - headed into the game on the back of last weekend's thumping 5-1 defeat at Valencia.

Sevilla look consigned to a mid-table finish after playing out a 1-1 draw at Valladolid.

Unai Emery's men went into the game knowing a win could have left them with an outside but fighting chance of making Europe next season.

But they left Jose Zorrilla with a point that leaves them off the pace - Alvaro Negredo's second-half penalty getting them a share of the spoils after Javi Guerra's opener.

Granada pulled themselves clear of the relegation zone after holding out for a narrow 1-0 victory at Espanyol.

A superb free-kick by Nolito was enough to see off Javier Aguirre's side, who were the better team throughout the match but were unable to take their chances.

The game took a while to get going, with neither side able to create many openings. Javi Lopez had the first real opportunity of the game when he burst into the box down the right hand side, but his cross-shot went wide.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Celta Vigo temporarily moved out of the Primera Division relegation zone after a solitary Augusto Fernandez goal helped them to a vital win away to Levante.

The Argentinian headed home midway through the first half, making his side's domination count.

Levante, in a more comfortable position than their opponents in the Primera Division table, played with less urgency and offered little throughout the 90 minutes, but were given the chance to equalise through a second-half penalty. However, Jose Javier Barkero could not take advantage from the spot.

Rayo Vallecano missed the chance to close in on a European spot as they had to come from behind to draw 2-2 with relegation-threatened Osasuna in the Primera Division.

Three goals in six first-half minutes had promised a free-scoring match but after the early excitement there was precious little for the fans at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas.

Andrija Delibasic put the hosts ahead in the seventh minute but their lead was short-lived with Raoul Loe equalising a minute later before Alejandro Arribas gave the visitors a surprise lead.

Piti equalised 12 minutes into the second half but a point does little for Rayo as it leaves them four points behind sixth-placed Malaga, who occupy the final European spot.

Real Zaragoza climbed off the foot of the Primera Division table with a dramatic 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Real Mallorca.

Tomer Hemed's early opener for Mallorca was overturned by goals from Paco Montanes and Helder Postiga, but the Balearic islanders looked to have nicked a point when Javier Arizmendi scored seven minutes from time.

However, in a thrilling finale, Ruben Rochina fired Zaragoza back in front before Arizmendi had a second 'goal' ruled out for offside.

The result ended a run of 10 league matches without a win for Zaragoza but, more importantly, lifted them above their opponents who now prop up the standings.

Malaga boosted their hopes of a top-four finish in the Primera Division on Sunday with a narrow 2-1 victory over mid-table Getafe at La Rosaleda.

Goals either side of half-time by Roque Santa Cruz and Weligton put the hosts in control, before Juan Valera grabbed a consolation for Getafe with 15 minutes left.

Malaga - banned from Europe for next season over unpaid bills - headed into the game on the back of last weekend's thumping 5-1 defeat at Valencia.


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