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Atletico defeat leaves Barcelona 1 win from title

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid lost 3-0 at Real Sociedad on Thursday, leaving Barcelona one victory away from clinching the Spanish league title.

Barcelona, which drew 2-2 at Celta Vigo on Tuesday without most of its regular starters, can secure its 25th crown at Deportivo La Coruna on April 29.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Burnley, trails Spurs by five points in UCL race ]

The Catalan club faces Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

Barcelona has a 12-point lead over Atletico, with five matches left, and is 15 in front of third-place Real Madrid, which needed a late goal by Cristiano Ronaldo to draw 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

Another loss for Atletico on Sunday against Real Betis would leave Diego Simeone’s team out of contention for the title because Barcelona holds the head-to-head advantage between the clubs.

Willian Jose shot Sociedad ahead in the 27th minute at the Anoeta Stadium. Juanmi Jimenez made it 2-0 in the 80th after a perfect backheel from Jose before Jimenez scored again with an injury-time header.

It was a third straight win for Sociedad, which stayed 11th in the standings. Atletico hadn’t lost in three consecutive league matches.

GIRONA WINS

Girona ended a four-match winless streak with a 2-1 victory at Alaves, staying in contention for a Europa League spot next season.

Aleix Garcia opened the scoring for Girona in the 59th minute and Cristhian Stuani added a penalty in the 86th, moving the team within one point of seventh-place Sevilla.

Tomas Pina struck in the 90th minute for Alaves, which is 15th.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Ronaldo scores late to lead Real Madrid draw (video)

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s done it again, because of course he did.

The Real Madrid megastar, 33, redirected a Luka Modric shot in the 87th minute to help Real to a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Wednesday in the club’s last match before the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg against Bayern Munich.

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Real is three points behind Atletico Madrid, which visits Real Sociedad on Thursday, and 15 points behind still unbeaten Barcelona. The final Clasico of the season is May 6 at the Camp Nou.

Ronaldo continued his bounce back from a slow start to the La Liga season. After scoring only four times in his first 14 matches, CR7 has netted in eight-straight league matches and has 24 goals in total (Add in other competitions, and Ronaldo’s bagged 41 goals in 39 matches).

WATCH: Dembele finally gets first La Liga goal in 10-man Barca draw

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Ousmane Dembele definitely didn’t expect to wait until April for his first La Liga goal when he signed from Borussia Dortmund for nearly $150 million last summer.

After an assist on his La Liga debut — in the Barcelona Derby and on a feed to Luis Suarez no less — the 20-year-old has faced two significant muscle injuries and just plain bad luck for the Blaugranas.

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With assists in four of his last seven league games and a first Barca goal against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League last month, the league goal was coming (although you’d be forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t be on a night with Lionel Messi and Suarez on the bench).

Barca is now unbeaten in 40 league matches after the Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, and has 12-point lead on Atletico Madrid. Atleti has played one less match.

La Liga: Torres starts Atletico Madrid farewell with a goal

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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Barcelona win to stretch run to 39 games unbeaten ]

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Levante

Fernando Torres entered the weekend with only seven league games remaining in his Atleti career after announcing this week that he would leave the club this summer. The 34-year-old World Cup (2010) and Champions League (2012) winner began his farewell tour on Sunday and marked the occasion with a goal, Atleti’s third in their 3-0 win over Levante.

Angel Correa opened the scoring with what proved to be the winner in the 33rd minute, followed by Antoine Griezmann’s 19th league goal of the season (26 in all competitions) three minutes after halftime, and it was more than enough for Diego Simeone’s side to secure all three points and maintain their four-point lead on Real Madrid in the race for second.

Malaga 1-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid leapfrogged Valencia, who lost to Barcelona on Saturday, to reclaim third place after dropping a pair of points in last weekend’s Madrid derby.

Isco and Casemiro got the goals for Zinedine Zidane’s side before Diego Rolan pulled one back very late on for Malaga.

The final El Clasico of the season, while carrying little to no title implications, is three weeks away at the Camp Nou.

Elsewhere in La LigaSaturday’s roundup

Getafe 1-0 Espanyol
Eibar 0-1 Alaves

La Liga: Barcelona win to go 14 clear, set unbeaten record at 39

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

[ MORE: Wolverhampton Wanderers win promotion, return to PL ]

Barcelona 2-1 Valencia

They’re out of the Champions League in heartbreaking fashion, sure, but Barcelona bounced back to winning ways in league play on Saturday, and in the process set a new La Liga record by improving to 39 games without defeat, dating back to last season. It’s hardly commensurate consolation after blowing a 4-1 lead over Roma following the first leg, but it’s yet another piece of history nonetheless.

On the not-so-bright side, Valencia entered the weekend one point ahead of Real Madrid for third place, thus beating Los Che opened the door for Los Blancos to return to third on Sunday.

Luis Suarez bagged the game’s opening goal after a quarter-hour, poking the ball past the goalkeeper from close range at the near post, and Samuel Umtiti made it 2-0 in the 51st minute — both goals were set up by Philippe Coutinho.

With the victory, Barca are now 14 points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid, with the season’s final El Clasico coming up in three short weeks, at the Camp Nou.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Girona 0-1 Real Betis (Friday)
Sevilla 2-2 Villarreal
Leganes 1-0 Celta Vigo
Las Palmas 0-1 Real Sociedad
Atletico Bilbao 2-3 Deportivo La Coruña

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Eibar vs. Alaves — 6 a.m. ET
Atletico Madrid vs. Levante — 10:15 a.m. ET
Getafe vs. Espanyol — 12:30 p.m. ET
Malaga vs. Real Madrid — 2:45 p.m. ET