La Liga: Atleti win to retain hold on 2nd; Madrid derby up next

Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
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A roundup of all the weekend’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Spurs come back to beat Chelsea, go 8 points clear for 4th ]

Sevilla 2-2 BarcelonaMORE

Lionel Messi came off the bench to score an 89th-minute equalizer, a mere 54 seconds after Luis Suarez had brought Barcelona back to 2-1, and preserve Barca’s unbeaten league campaign on Saturday (WATCH HERE).

After suffering a minor hamstring injury while on international break, and with a Champions League quarterfinals clash against Roma coming up on Wednesday, Messi was dropped to the bench by Ernesto Valverde before coming into the game and making the ultimate impact.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Deportivo La Coruña

Kevin Gameiro scored the game’s only goal, from the penalty spot in the 34th minute, as Atleti narrowly saw off 19th-place Deportivo on Sunday. After losing away to Villarreal before the international break, Atleti saw their lead on Real Madrid trimmed to just four points.

Anything short of victory on Sunday would have opened the door for Real to leapfrog Atleti for second place when the two capital rivals square off at the Santiago Bernabeu next Sunday. As things stand, Real can only move to within one point in the race for second should they triumph next weekend. First, though, it’ll be Sporting CP in the Europa League on Thursday.

Las Palmas 0-3 Real Madrid

Los Blancos put the pressure on Los Rojiblancos with a resounding 3-0 win away to 18th-place Las Palmas on Saturday.

Gareth Bale opened the scoring after 26 minutes, followed by a pair of penalties — from Karim Benzema in the 39th minute, and Bale in the 51st — to extend Zinedine Zidane’s side’s La Liga winning streak to four games.

A Champions League trip to Juventus awaits on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Leganes 0-1 Valencia
Malaga 1-0 Villarreal
Girona 1-1 Levante
Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Celta Vigo
Eibar 0-0 Real Sociedad
Espanyol 0-0 Alaves

Monday’s La Liga schedule

Getafe vs. Real Betis — 3 p.m. ET