Barcelona took hold of its La Liga title destiny through the former star of one of its rivals, as Antoine Griezmann scored a quickfire first-half brace in a 2-1 win over 10-man Villarreal.
The Copa del Rey champions have a tough run-in but are two points back of leaders Atletico Madrid with a head-to-head match-up looming on May 8.
Barca still meets Granada and Valencia before that, hoping to put the finishing touches on a resurgence under Ronald Koeman. The Blaugranas started the season 4W-2D-4L but have since won 18 of 22 matches, only losing El Clasico on April 10.
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Atleti can reclaim a five-point advantage on Barcelona, which has a match-in-hand, with a win later this afternoon at Athletic Bilbao.
There may be a fourth team in the mix, too, if Sevilla beats Granada on Sunday. Julen Lopetegui’s men enter the game four points behind Barca and Real and six back of Atleti.
Back to Sunday’s match at Villarreal: USMNT back Sergino Dest was removed at halftime and Lionel Messi wasn’t at his best but Griezmann scored twice in seven minutes after Barca went behind on a Samuel Chukwueze goal.
Classy, classy finish on the equalizer.
— beIN SPORTS Español (@ESbeINSPORTS) April 25, 2021