24 hours ago, Barcelona just about controlled their own destiny in the La Liga title race. At the end of weekend, Real Madrid, with their two-point lead and game in hand, are back in total control.
Deportivo La Coruña 2-1 Barcelona
If only league games were played over the course of two leagues, too, Barca might still be able to call themselves favorites for the title. Four days after overcoming a 4-0 deficit to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, all the momentum in the world on their side, Luis Enrique’s side laid an egg away to 15th-place Depor. Five minutes before halftime, Joselu fired Depor into the lead.
Barely a minute into the second half, Luis Suarez had Barca back on level terms, but that would last fewer than 30 minutes, as Alex Bergantiños reclaimed the lead for Depor with a simple, downward header at the far post in the 74th minute. The defeat snaps Barca’s 19-game unbeaten run (six straight wins) in league play.
Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis
Of course, Barca’s defeat would mean little for Madrid if they couldn’t capitalize on the golden opportunity which presented itself. For 80 minutes, they looked destined to squander it. Antonio Sanabria fired the visitors ahead in the 25th minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo brought Los Blancos back to 1-1 four minutes before halftime.
Through 80 minutes, though, the sides remained deadlocked at 1-1. Then, Sergio Ramos, Madrid’s late-game goalscoring specialist, saved the day.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Real Sociedad 0-2 Athletic Bilbao
Celta Vigo 0-1 Villarreal