La Liga: Real Madrid’s game in hand to decide title; Barcelona powerless

Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
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A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Goodbye, White Hart Lane ]

Las Palmas 1-4 Barcelona

Barcelona have done just about everything they could possibly do (since drawing three straight games and dropping six of nine possible points in November and December… and inexplicably losing to 17th- and 11th-place Deportivo La Coruña and Malaga, respectively, in March and April) to put themselves in position to win the title.

On Sunday, Neymar bagged himself a hat trick to take his league goals tally to 13 on the season (to go with 11 assists) and keep Barca level on points with Real Madrid on points (87) and ahead based on the head-to-head tiebreaker (one win, one draw). The decisive game in the 2016-17 La Liga season will be played on Wednesday, with every one of Barca’s players and coaches sitting at home, their feet kicked up on the couch, as Real Madrid come level on games played (37), away to 13th-place Celta Vigo.

Luis Suarez scored Barcelona’s other goal (assisted by Neymar), the one that turned out to be the winner, giving him 28 league goals (to go with 13 assists) this season.

Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla

These clubs hate each other so much, yet they’re constantly imitating and mimicking the other. Barca won 4-1, thus Madrid couldn’t be outdone.

Nacho opened the scoring early, putting Los Blancos ahead in the 10th minute, followed 13 minutes later by Cristiano Ronaldo’s 400th goal for Madrid (in just eight seasons — all competitions) to make it 2-0. Ronaldo made it 3-1 in the 78th minute (Stevan Jovetic pulled a goal back for Sevilla just after halftime) to give him 401 goals in the white shirt of Madrid, and Toni Kroos completed the scoring six minutes later. All Madrid need are four points from their final two games to win a record 33rd league title next Sunday.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Betis 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Villarreal 0-0 Deportivo La Coruña
Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Leganes
Real Sociedad 2-2 Malaga
Eibar 0-1 Sporting Gijon
Alaves 3-1 Celta Vigo