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Barcelona held by Atletico, lose ground in La Liga title race

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Barcelona were held by Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp as their La Liga title hopes took another blow.

[ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule

On a night where Lionel Messi scored the 700th goal of his incredible career (630 for Barcelona, 70 for Argentina), Barcelona were again their own worst enemies as they conceded two penalty kicks to drop more points in their La Liga title battle with arch rivals Real Madrid.

Barcelona are now one point behind Real Madrid who have played one game less, as Zinedine Zidane’s side can extend their lead at the top to four points with five games to go if they beat Getafe on Thursday.

As for Quique Setien’s Barcelona, they have now drawn three and won three of their six games since the restart and familiar issues are hitting them hard. Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite were left on the bench and Griezmann only arrived onto the pitch in the 90th minute as Barca ran out of steam against a typically spirited Atletico who are fighting for a top four finish and now sit in third as Diego Simeone is working his magic once again.

Atletico’s Diego Costa scored an own goal and missed a penalty kick early on but his spot kick has to be retaken as VAR determined Marc-Andre ter Stegen had strayed off his line, so Saul Niguez stepped up and slotted home the retake. Messi’s 700th goal arrived courtesy of a panenka penalty kick to put Barcelona ahead in the second half, but Gerard Pique fouled the excellent Yannick Carrasco (who won both penalty kicks) to give away a penalty kick which was slotted home by Niguez.

Barcelona have five games remaining but their destiny now appears to be out of their hands as they drew 2-2 for the second-straight game.

Elsewhere in La Liga, Real Mallorca hammered Celta Vigo to give themselves hopes in their battle against relegation. Mallorca sit in 18th, the final relegation spot, but they dominated 17th-place place Celta who they are now five points behind with five games to go. Ante Budimir scored twice, while Cucho Hernandez, Alejandro Pozo and Salva Seville were all on target for Mallorca. Iago Aspas got Celta’s lone strike from the penalty spot.

Sevilla beat strugglers Leganes 3-0, who are nine points from safety with five games to go, as Oliver Torres (two) and Munir kept Sevilla in fourth place as they aim to return to the Champions League.

La Liga: Barcelona wins late, Atleti strengthens hold on third

Barcelona Athletic Bilbao
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The phrase “better lucky than good” can still apply on occasion to the best player in the world.

[ MORE: Messi contract details, transfer rumors ]

On a day that Lionel Messi registered five key passes, a lucky bounce off his shin set up Ivan Rakitic up for Barca’s breakthrough to send the reigning champions back atop the table.

Atletico Madrid also won on Tuesday, while Getafe’s UCL hopes took a big hit with a surprising draw at Real Valladolid.


Barcelona 1-0 Athletic Bilbao

A fortuitous bounce turned into a Lionel Messi assist and Ivan Rakitic goal as Barcelona responded to Real Madrid’s Monday win with a 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

Real hosts Mallorca on Wednesday and can retake the table advantage with a win.

The Blaugranas appeared snakebit again days after drawing Sevilla 0-0 and handing control of La Liga’s title race to Real, who has the first tiebreaker after taking four of six Clasico points this year.

[ MORE: Run-ins for Barcelona, Real ]

Barca outshot Athletic 18-6 and Messi was again a force, four of his five key passes leading to squandered opportunities before Rakitic’s moment. Quique Setien is going to ride Messi, who’s gone 90 minutes four times in 11 days.

Messi might’ve run onto the bounce anyway, but it was the Croatian super sub who got the match-winner with his first goal of the season.

Levante 0-1 Atletico Madrid

Sitting an unsightly sixth heading into the coronavirus pause, Diego Simeone’s men have now claimed 10 of 12 available points while allowing just two goals and scoring eight.

Tuesday’s goal came via a Bruno Gonzalez own goal, sending Atleti two points clear of Sevilla and six ahead of fifth-place Getafe.

Don’t doubt Diego’s ability to find a place in the UCL.

Real Valladolid 1-1 Getafe

A setback for the visitors and a firm step toward safety for the hosts, as Valladolid is now eight points clear of the drop zone and Getafe slips four points back of the top four. Jaime Mata gave Getafe a 41st-minute lead, but Enes Unal scored his sixth of the season before halftime.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 31 21 5 5 70 31 39 15-1-0 6-4-5 68
 Real Madrid 30 19 8 3 57 21 36 11-4-0 8-4-3 65
 Atlético Madrid 31 14 13 4 39 22 17 9-5-1 5-8-3 55
 Sevilla 31 14 11 6 44 32 12 7-6-2 7-5-4 53
 Getafe 31 13 10 8 40 29 11 7-6-3 6-4-5 49
 Villarreal 31 14 6 11 49 40 9 7-5-3 7-1-8 48
 Real Sociedad 30 14 5 11 47 38 9 8-3-4 6-2-7 47
 València 30 12 10 8 41 43 -2 9-7-0 3-3-8 46
 Granada 31 12 7 12 37 36 1 9-2-4 3-5-8 43
 Athletic Club 31 10 12 9 33 27 6 8-4-3 2-8-6 42
 Levante 31 11 5 15 37 44 -7 7-4-4 4-1-11 38
 Osasuna 30 8 11 11 35 46 -11 5-5-5 3-6-6 35
 Alavés 30 9 8 13 31 45 -14 7-5-3 2-3-10 35
 Betis 30 8 10 12 40 48 -8 7-4-4 1-6-8 34
 Valladolid 31 7 13 11 26 36 -10 3-9-3 4-4-8 34
 Celta Vigo 30 6 12 12 28 35 -7 5-5-5 1-7-7 30
 Eibar 30 7 8 15 31 47 -16 6-2-7 1-6-8 29
 Mallorca 30 7 5 18 29 50 -21 6-3-7 1-2-11 26
 Leganés 31 5 10 16 23 44 -21 4-4-8 1-6-8 25
 Espanyol 30 5 9 16 26 49 -23 2-5-8 3-4-8 24

La Liga roundup: Atleti snaps skid with Joao Felix brace (video)

Joao Felix video
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MADRID — Joao Felix scored twice in his first match back from injury as Atletico Madrid routed Osasuna 5-0 on Wednesday to end its winless streak and regain fourth place in the Spanish league.

Felix scored a goal in each half to lead Atletico to its first win after three consecutive league draws. The Portugal forward had been nursing a sprained left knee and had not played since the league resumed amid the coronarivus pandemic.

Marcos Llorente, Alvaro Morata and Yannick Carrasco also scored for Atletico, which had dropped outside the Champions League places following its slump.

[ MORE: Man City drops Arsenal | Pep reacts ]

Diego Simeone’s team eliminated defending champion Liverpool in the round of 16 of the Champions League just before the pandemic break, but it had won only two of its last nine league games.

The victory kept Atletico 15 points behind leader Barcelona – which defeated Leganes 2-0 on Tuesday – but moved the team two points behind third-place Sevilla, which drew 1-1 at Levante on Monday. Real Sociedad can get past Atletico again for fourth place if it wins at Alaves on Thursday.

Atletico is 10 points behind second-place Real Madrid ahead of its rival’s home game against Valencia on Thursday.

Felix, who arrived from Benfica amid high expectations in the offseason as a replacement to Antoine Griezmann, controlled the action for Atletico early on. He opened the scoring with a powerful right-foot shot into the top of the net in the 27th minute after picking up a loose ball inside the area. His second goal came from close range in the 56th after a pass from Diego Costa.

It was Felix’s first double with Atletico, giving him eight goals this season.

Llorente scored in the 79th, Morata in the 82nd and Carrasco in the 88th.

Morata’s goal was initially disallowed for offside but the decision was overturned by video review.

Osasuna, which had drawn at Real Sociedad in its first match after the break, stayed in 11th place.

Large banners with photos of Osasuna fans covered the stands at the empty El Sadar Stadium.

Atletico next hosts Valladolid, while Osasuna visits Valencia.

OTHER RESULTS

Forward Iago Aspas squandered a 71st-minute penalty as Celta Vigo drew 0-0 at Valladolid to remain winless after the break and stay near the relegation zone.

Athletic Bilbao followed up its home draw against Atletico with a 2-2 draw at Eibar, missing a chance to move closer to the European places.

La Liga: Real Madrid win; Atletico held

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The restart to the 2019-20 La Liga season continues to be exciting as Real Madrid smashed Eibar but Atletico Madrid slipped up away at Athletic Bilbao.

[ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule ]

Following on from Barcelona’s hammering of Real Mallorca on Saturday, Real wrapped up all three points with minimum fuss at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium as construction works at the Santiago Bernabeu means they are playing at their reserve stadium. Zinedine Zidane’s boys put on a show as they moved back to just two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Atletico and Diego Simeone lost ground in the top four hunt as they were held by a a stubborn Bilbao side, as they are in sixth place and are in a real battle with Real Sociedad, Getafe and Valencia for fourth.

Below we roundup the action from the first La Liga Sunday after the restart and remember: there are La Liga games every single day between now and mid-July as Spain’s top-flight has 11 matchweeks to complete in the 2019-20 season.


Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Atletico Madrid

A tight, tense clash at the San Mames ended level as the two draws specialists canceled one another out. Bilbao took the lead through Iker Muniain as he flicked home superbly in the first half.

That lead only lasted for a few minutes as Diego Costa pounced to slot home and then paid tribute to Atletico Madrid women’s midfielder Virginia Torrecilla. Costa, who had yet to score in 2020, held up a shirt paying tribute to Virginia who is recovering from surgery on a brain tumor. Bilbao aren’t out of the hunt for Europa League qualification but they had goalkeeper Unai Simon to thank for a draw as late on he denied Santiago Arias with a superb stop down low.


Real Madrid 3-1 Eibar

Real Madrid came flying out of the traps in their game at their reserve stadium, as German midfielder Toni Kroos made it 1-0 with a beauty.

After Karim Benzema worked his way into the box, the ball found Kroos who hit a stunning side-footed effort into the far top corner. VAR checked the goal but Benzema was deemed to not be offside as Real were ahead.

Real were in full flow early on as Eden Hazard, Benzema and Rodrygo caused havoc and that led to a superb second goal.

Sergio Ramos won the ball in his own half, and found Benzema before running 70 yards up the pitch. Benzema then found Hazard who set up an unmarked Ramos to slot home.

What a goal, as Ramos has now joined Ronald Koeman as the second-highest scoring defender in La Liga history with 67 goals.

Benzema and Hazard were at it again soon after.

The French striker wonderfully flicked the ball through to Hazard and his shot was well saved but Eibar failed to clear and the ball dropped to Marcelo.

A stunning strike from the Brazilian left back made it 3-0 as he celebrated by showing his support to the Black Lives Matter movement.

At the start of the second half Eibar came flying out of the traps as Thibaut Courtois made a handful of good stops, while they also clipped the crossbar as Sergi Enrich glanced a header just too high.

Relegation haunted Eibar deservedly made it 3-1 as a shot deflected off and squirmed past Courtois with the effort credited to Pedro Bigas.

Ramos and Hazard came off in the second half and iced injuries in the stands, as Real eased to victory as they aim to hunt Barcelona down in the final weeks of the season.

La Liga state of play, schedule for remainder of 2019-20 season

La Liga schedule
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La Liga will return on June 11 and El Clasico’s heated rivals will restart a battle for the top of Spain’s top flight.

The full schedule has been released and is included below as the league builds to a July 19 final day which will feature two battles of current top seven sides.

Catalan clubs face drama at both ends of the table with Barcelona in first and Espanyol in 20th. Between there is mayhem.

MORE: Premier League remaining fixtures ]

Barca holds a two-point edge on Real Madrid in its bid for a third-straight La Liga crown and fifth in six seasons. Real will need a slip-up from Quique Setien’s men as there is not a Clasico to be found on the fixture list.

The other two Champions League spots will be hotly-contested with four sides within two points between third and sixth, especially considering the side bringing up the rear is powerful Atletico Madrid (45 points). Sevilla currently sits third with 47 points, with fourth-place Real Sociedad and fifth-place Getafe on 46.

Valencia is also in the picture with 42, and seventh-place will be a Europa League spot should Real Sociedad win the Copa del Rey or rivals Athletic Bilbao (37 points) win it and climb into sixth.

[ Bundesliga: Live scores | Week 29 preview, predictions  ] 

The bottom half of the table is a relegation picture, even if 11th-place Osasuna counts a nine-point lead on the bottom three of Mallorca (25 points), Leganes (23), and Espanyol (20).

The matches will, of course, be played behind closed doors, though Spanish authorities have hope for fans in the 2020-21 season.

Matchweek 28 will be played from June 12 to June 15 with the full La Liga schedule below, while there are also details on how you can watch on TV in the USA.

La Liga schedule

  • TV Channels: beIN Sports USA
  • Stream LiveVia beinSports
  • When: From June 11 to July 17

June 11
Sevilla v. Real Betis

June 12
Granada v. Getafe
Valencia v. Levante

June 13
Espanyol v. Alaves
Celta Vigo v. Villarreal
Leganes v. Valladolid
Mallorca v. Barcelona

June 14
Athletic Bilbao v. Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v. Eibar
Real Sociedad v. Osasuna

June 15
Levante v. Sevilla
Real Betis v. Granada

June 16
Getafe v. Espanyol
Villarreal v. Mallorca
Barcelona v. Leganes

June 17
Valladolid v. Celta Vigo
Eibar v. Athletic Bilbao
Osasuna v. Atletico Madrid

June 18
Alaves v. Real Sociedad
Real Madrid v. Valencia

June 21
Mallorca v. Leganes
Athletic Bilbao v. Real Betis
Granada v. Villarreal
Sevilla v. Barcelona
Getafe v. Eibar
Atletico Madrid v. Valladolid
Real Sociedad v. Real Madrid
Valencia v. Osasuna
Espanyol v. Levante
Celta Vigo v. Alaves

June 24
Real Betis v. Espanyol
Villarreal v. Sevilla
Real Madrid v. Mallorca
Valladolid v. Getafe
Alaves v. Osasuna
Real Sociedad v. Celta Vigo
Eibar v. Valencia
Barcelona v. Athletic Bilbao
Leganes v. Granada
Levante v. Atletico Madrid

June 28
Levante v. Real Betis
Osasuna v. Leganes
Celta Vigo v. Barcelona
Villarreal v. Valencia
Athletic Bilbao v. Mallorca
Granada v. Eibar
Atletico Madrid v. Alaves
Espanyol v. Real Madrid
Sevilla v. Valladolid
Getafe v. Real Sociedad

July 1
Mallorca v. Celta Vigo
Leganes v. Sevilla
Alaves v. Granada
Valladolid v. Levante
Real Sociedad v. Espanyol
Real Betis v. Villarreal
Valencia v. Athletic Bilbao
Real Madrid v. Getafe
Eibar v. Osasuna
Barcelona v. Atletico Madrid

July 5
Athletic Bilbao v. Real Madrid
Villarreal v. Barcelona
Osasuna v. Getafe
Celta Vigo v. Real Betis
Levante v. Real Sociedad
Sevilla v. Eibar
Atletico Madrid v. Mallorca
Granada v. Valencia
Valladolid v. Alaves
Espanyol v. Leganes

July 8
Getafe v. Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao v. Sevilla
Mallorca v. Levante
Real Madrid v. Alaves
Celta Vigo v. Atletico Madrid
Eibar v. Leganes
Real Sociedad v. Granada
Barcelona v. Espanyol
Valencia v. Valladolid
Real Betis v. Osasuna

July 12
Granada v. Real Madrid
Sevilla v. Mallorca
Villarreal v. Real Sociedad
Espanyol v. Eibar
Alaves v. Getafe
Valladolid v. Barcelona
Atletico Madrid v. Real Betis
Levante v. Athletic Bilbao
Leganes v. Valencia
Osasuna v. Celta Vigo

July 15
Barcelona v. Osasuna
Mallorca v. Granada
Celta Vigo v. Levante
Real Sociedad v. Sevilla
Real Betis v. Alaves
Valencia v. Espanyol
Getafe v. Atletico Madrid
Eibar v. Valladolid
Real Madrid v. Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao v. Leganes

July 19
Osasuna v. Mallorca
Atletico Madrid v. Real Sociedad
Villarreal v. Eibar
Levante v. Getafe
Granada v. Athletic Bilbao
Espanyol v. Celta Vigo
Alaves v. Barcelona
Valladolid v. Real Betis
Leganes v. Real Madrid
Sevilla v. Valencia

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 27 18 4 5 63 31 32 13-1-0 5-3-5 58
 Real Madrid 27 16 8 3 49 19 30 9-4-0 7-4-3 56
 Sevilla 27 13 8 6 39 29 10 6-5-2 7-3-4 47
 Real Sociedad 27 14 4 9 45 33 12 8-2-3 6-2-6 46
 Getafe 27 13 7 7 37 25 12 7-4-3 6-3-4 46
 Atlético Madrid 27 11 12 4 31 21 10 8-5-1 3-7-3 45
 València 27 11 9 7 38 39 -1 8-6-0 3-3-7 42
 Villarreal 27 11 5 11 44 38 6 6-4-3 5-1-8 38
 Granada 27 11 5 11 33 32 1 8-2-3 3-3-8 38
 Athletic Club 27 9 10 8 29 23 6 7-3-3 2-7-5 37
 Osasuna 27 8 10 9 34 38 -4 5-5-4 3-5-5 34
 Betis 27 8 9 10 38 43 -5 7-3-4 1-6-6 33
 Levante 27 10 3 14 32 40 -8 7-3-3 3-0-11 33
 Alavés 27 8 8 11 29 37 -8 6-5-3 2-3-8 32
 Valladolid 27 6 11 10 23 33 -10 3-7-3 3-4-7 29
 Eibar 27 7 6 14 27 41 -14 6-1-7 1-5-7 27
 Celta Vigo 27 5 11 11 22 34 -12 4-5-4 1-6-7 26
 Mallorca 27 7 4 16 28 44 -16 6-2-6 1-2-10 25
 Leganés 27 5 8 14 21 39 -18 4-3-7 1-5-7 23
 Espanyol 27 4 8 15 23 46 -23 1-5-7 3-3-8 20