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La Liga: Madrid, Barca win, remain 3 points apart; up next: El Clasico

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

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Sporting Gijon 2-3 Real Madrid

If Saturday taught us anything, it’s that the title race is anything but a foregone conclusion. Madrid found themselves a goal down after 14 minutes, and again five minutes into the second half. Fortunately for Zinedine Zidane’s side, the two deficits lasted a combined 12 minutes.

Isco pulled Los Blancos back to 1-1 three minutes after they fell behind, just as Alvaro Morata did the same in the 59th minute.

Through 89 minutes, Madrid looked destined to drop a pair of points that would allow Barcelona to close the gap in the title race to just a single point, with the season’s final El Clasico to be played next Sunday. Then, in the 90th minute, up popped Isco with a low, powerful strike to break the deadlock and improve Madrid’s recent run of results to seven wins in nine games as the season winds down.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 31 23 6 2 82 33 49 12-4-0 11-2-2 75
 Barcelona 32 22 6 4 91 30 61 12-3-1 10-3-3 72
 Atlético Madrid 32 19 8 5 59 24 35 12-2-2 7-6-3 65
 Sevilla 31 18 7 6 56 39 17 11-3-1 7-4-5 61
 Villarreal 31 15 9 7 45 24 21 9-3-4 6-6-3 54
 Athletic 32 16 5 11 45 37 8 12-3-2 4-2-9 53
 Real Sociedad 32 16 4 12 48 45 3 8-4-4 8-0-8 52
 Eibar 31 14 8 9 52 42 10 9-3-4 5-5-5 50
 Espanyol 31 12 10 9 43 42 1 8-5-3 4-5-6 46

Barcelona 3-2 Real Sociedad

If the last two months have taught us anything, it’s that Barcelona might just be incapable of taking advantage of any and/or every Madrid slip-up. On Saturday, Luis Enrique’s side did what they had to do in order to heap maximum consequence on next weekend’s showdown at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi made it 1-0 and 2-0 in the 17th and 37th minutes, but Samuel Umtiti gave one back via an own goal five minutes later. Messi’s brace give the 29-year-old (yes, still) Argentine 498 goals across all official competitions for Barca.

Two minutes later, Paco Alcacer re-established the two-goal lead for all of three minutes of game time. Two minutes into the second half, Xabi Prieto made it 2-1, which is how things would end.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Osasuna
Deportivo La Coruña 2-0 Malaga

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Leganes vs. Espanyol — 6 a.m. ET
Valencia vs. Sevilla — 10:15 a.m. ET
Real Betis vs. Eibar — 12:30 p.m. ET
Granada vs. Celta Vigo — 2:45 p.m. ET

Man City 3-0 Burnley: Smooth sailing

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  • Aguero converts early PK
  • Man City’s first PL clean sheet vs. Burnley
  • City equals club record of 11 consecutive victories in all competitions

Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, and Leroy Sane scored as Manchester City wore down Burnley for a 3-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The win, coupled with Manchester United’s loss at Huddersfield Town, gives City a five-point lead on United. Burnley slips ninth, with 13 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]  

City was undoubtedly the more threatening side in the first quarter-hour, as expected, with Fabian Delph and Kevin De Bruyne particularly involved in the play.

Burnley backstop Nick Pope made a two-handed punch stop of Bernardo Silva as City kept up its attack.

Bernardo Silva then won a penalty kick for City. After a long delay, often a problem for the taker, Aguero proved immune to the pressure and it was 1-0 to the hosts.

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There wasn’t much to most of the second half, as Burnley rarely looked capable of an equalizer.

David Silva snapped the match to a bit of life when he forced Pope into a 72nd minute save, and an ensuing corner kick saw Otamendi nod home an insurance goal. Sane made it 3-0 within moments.

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Swansea 1-2 Leicester: Foxes back to winning ways

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  • Leicester took lead lead via Fernandez OG
  • Okazaki doubled lead
  • Mawson got Swansea back in it

Michael Appleton led Leicester City ti victory in his first game as interim boss following the firing of Craig Shakespeare earlier this week.

Leicester beat Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with an own goal from Federico Fernandez and a strike from Shinji Okazaki good enough to secure the Foxes a first win since August as Riyad Mahrez impressed.

Alfie Mawson scored in the second half to set up a tense finish for Leicester but they held on to grab their second win of the season and move away from the relegation zone.

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The visitors looked like the better team early on and Okazaki almost knocked out home after a goalmouth scramble in the box.

Leicester took the lead with Riyad Mahrez’s cross deflecting off Fernandez and in. 1-0 to the Foxes away from home.

Tammy Abraham went close twice in the first half for the Swans but Paul Clement‘s men struggled to get any kind of foothold in the game.

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Leicester doubled their lead early in the second half through Okazaki as the Japan international finished off Mahrez’s ball. 2-0 and cruising.

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Mawson then unleashed his inner-striker with a fine turn and finish to make it 2-1 but that wasn’t enough for the Swans.

Stoke City 1-2 Bournemouth: Cherries secure huge road win

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  • Surman, Stanislas put Bournemouth ahead
  • Stoke have only won one of their last 8 games in all comps
  • Diouf’s goal not enough for a point

Bournemouth beat Stoke City 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday as the Cherries secured their first away win of the season.

Early goals from Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas was enough to grab Bournemouth all three points as Mame Biram Diouf’s goal in the second half wasn’t enough to launch a Stoke comeback.

With the defeat Stoke slip into the bottom with Bournemouth.

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Bournemouth got off to the best possible start as Stanislas set up Surman who fired home to make it 1-0 after 15 minutes.

Three minutes later after it was 2-0 as Stanislas slammed home a penalty kick following Benik Afobe being hacked down in the box.

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Stoke struggled to recover after that awful start but they did grab a goal midway through the second half.

Diouf made it 2-1 with just 17 minutes gone in the second half as a long ball forward caused havoc in the box with Choupo-Mouting knocking it down for Diouf to finish.

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Stoke threw plenty of long balls at Bournemouth late on but the Cherries held on for a crucial three points to leave Stoke in plenty of trouble.

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Afobe and others came close to sealing the win late on for Bournemouth with Stoke pushing forward but the Cherries were well worth their victory.

Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United: Monumental win!

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  • Town’s first win over United since 1952
  • Mooy, Depoitre score
  • Rashford pulls one back
  • United’s first PL loss

Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored to give Huddersfield Town its first win over Manchester United in 65 years, a 2-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back for United, which has lost its first PL match of the season and drops five points behind Man City.

Town leaps 10th, with 12 points.

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Anthony Martial collected an early yellow card for United, and a clever move from Tom Ince to Steve Mounie called up Red Devils backstop David De Gea for his first collection of the match.

And Mooy put Town a head when he played Ince in for a shot, then put the rebound behind De Gea.

The keeper wouldn’t be relieved when a Jonas Lossl goal kick sailed over Victor Lindelof‘s jumping intervention, and Depoitretw danced around De Gea to make it 2-0.

Nemanja Matic‘s stoppage time effort through traffic almost pulled one back for United, but Town dealt with a corner kick to get to the break unscathed.

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But how many have?

Rashford lifted the hopes of the visitors with a goal with just under 15 minutes to play.