La Liga: Madrid derby ends 1-1 in battle for 2nd; advantage Atleti

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Messi’s hat trick leads Barcelona to tie record at 38 games unbeaten ]

Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid

The race to finish as first runners-up to Barcelona came to a head on Sunday, when a pair of capital city sides entered the Madrid derby separated by just four points with eight games still to play. Atletico Madrid held the advantage on Real Madrid, meaning a victory for Los Blancos would have cut the deficit to a single point, or Los Rojiblancos could have increased their lead to seven points.

In the end, neither side gained an inch of ground on the other, though Atleti will undoubtedly be the happier side, as time is clearly on their side now. Cristiano Ronaldo put the home side ahead after 53 minutes, and the scrap for second appeared to be on. The lead lasted not even four minutes, though, as Antoine Griezmann answered right back.

Because of the points dropped, and another result elsewhere on Sunday, Real now find themselves looking up at not only two, but three sides in the league table.

Valencia 1-0 Espanyol

It’s Valencia who will spend at least one week occupying third place, thanks to their 1-0 victory over Espanyol. Rodrigo Moreno scored the game’s only goal (his 15th of the season — 7th-best in La Liga) in the 7th minute.

With 16 points standing between themselves and fifth-place Real Betis, Marcelino Garcia Toral’s men have all but secured their place in next season’s Champions League.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Sociedad 5-0 Girona
Levante 2-1 Las Palmas