La Liga roundup: Real Madrid, Barcelona hold serve, still 2 points apart

AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza
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A roundup of the weekend’s action in Spain’s top flight…

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Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves

The math is extraordinarily simple — more so than the reality, granted — for Real Madrid: win each and every one of their remaining 11 games, and they’ll be La Liga champions once again. With a two-point lead on Barcelona, and a game in hand, coming into the weekend, Zinedine Zidane’s is squarely in the driver’s seat.

On Sunday, Los Blancos made life a tad more difficult for themselves than they would have liked, but in the end came away with all three points against 10th-place Alaves. Karim Benzema made it 1-0 just after the half-hour mark, which is where it would stay for 54 slightly nerve-wracking minutes.

Isco would eventually make it 2-0 in the 85th minute, and Nacho provided security beyond reasonable necessity two minutes after that, sending Madrid five points clear of Barca for a few hours’ time.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 28 21 5 2 74 28 46 12-3-0 9-2-2 68
 Barcelona 29 20 6 3 85 26 59 10-3-1 10-3-2 66
 Atlético Madrid 29 17 7 5 54 23 31 10-2-2 7-5-3 58
 Sevilla 29 17 7 5 52 34 18 10-3-1 7-4-4 58
 Real Sociedad 29 15 4 10 43 40 3 7-4-4 8-0-6 49
 Villarreal 29 13 9 7 41 23 18 8-3-4 5-6-3 48
 Athletic 29 14 5 10 37 33 4 10-3-2 4-2-8 47

Granada 1-4 Barcelona

“No Lionel Messi” (suspension) was a bit of a problem for Barca on Sunday, but only for a short time. Luis Suarez put Barca ahead a minute before halftime, but the lead was short-lived as Jeremie Boga finished a lightning-quick counter-attack for Granada to being the home side back to 1-1 in the 50th minute.

Nearly 15 minutes went by, and the title looked a million miles away, until Paco Alcacer slotted home a counter-attack chance of his own in the 64th minute. An own goal and a tap-in by Neymar would complete the scoring, and keep the Blaugrana within striking distance ahead of a decisive period for their title rivals — the Madrid derby is next Saturday, followed by El Clasico two weeks after that.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Saturday

Malaga 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Real Sociedad 1-1 Leganes
Villarreal 2-3 Eibar
Osasuna 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

Sunday

Sevilla 0-0 Sporting Gijon
Valencia 3-0 Deportivo La Coruña