La Liga wrap

Barcelona recap
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Messi, Barcelona back with a bang

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It was a big day for Catalonia, as Barcelona took its next step toward another La Liga title and Espanyol crept closer to safety.

[ MORE: New PL schedule ]

Barca opened up a five-point lead on Real Madrid with a win at Mallorca before the second-place side tangles with Eibar on Sunday.

Mallorca 0-4 Barcelona

Lionel Messi scored and assisted two others while Jordi Alba had a goal and an assist as Barcelona cruised past Mallorca at the Son Moix.

Barca moves onto 61 points, while Mallorca’s 25 remain a point back of safety.

It didn’t take long for Barca to get going, with Alba spotting Arturo Vidal for a second-minute opener.

Mallorca manufactured some shots, but Barcelona expanded its lead to 2-0 when Messi headed a loose ball to Martin Braithwaite before halftime.

The assists were Messi’s 17th and 18th, the goal his 25th in 32 matches across all competitions.

Celta Vigo 0-1 Villarreal

Longtime Villarreal midfielder Manu Trigueros scored a somewhat rare goal in second half stoppage to move Villarreal into eighth place, four points out of the top six.

Trigueros’ 24th career goal came in his 316th appearance for El Submarino Amarillo.

Celta remains just one point above the bottom three and three points clear of 20th place in a shocking season. The club’s been in La Liga since 2013 and finished top half in three-straight seasons between 2013-14 and 2015-16.

Espanyol 2-0 Alaves

Fernando Pacheco’s 19th-minute handball saw him sent off for the visitors, and Espanyol scored in first half stoppage and just after the break to get a huge three points.

Espanyol remains 20th with 23 points but is just three points from safety. They needed the win with a tough run of fixtures ahead to close out the season.

Alaves has 32 points, seven points clear of the bottom three with 10 matches to play.

Leganes 1-2 Real Valladolid

Goals from Enes Unal and Ruben Alcaraz early in each half moved Valladolid seven points from the bottom three.

Oscar Rodriguez struck late to give the hosts some hope, but it wasn’t met by another goal and Leganes remains 19th.

La Liga wrap: Benzema stars, Real Madrid routs Leganes

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Real Madrid answered the performance of title rivals Barcelona by climbing back into second place via a five-star performance at the Bernabeu, while Athletic Bilbao also posted a comfortable win and Nabil Fekir played last-minute hero for Real Betis.

All of the above is in La Liga’s wrap-up of action from Wednesday.

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla

Ruben Subrino’s goal in the 81st minute sent the home crowd home a bit happier than it would’ve been had Lucas Ocampos’ late first half goal been the only marker, but a drab match will have both sides well aware of what it left on, or off of, the table.

Real Madrid 5-0 Leganes

Zinedine Zidane’s men got the feel-good, straight-forward win it wanted when Rodrygo and Toni Kroos scored a minute apart to make it 2-0 within eight minutes of kickoff, and Luka Jovic scored his first Real goal in stoppage time to hopefully signal a return to the form the left at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Karim Benzema had a goal and two assists for Madrid, who also got one from a Sergio Ramos penalty in their move back into second place.

Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Espanyol

Iker Munian is not having the career many expected, but he was the man on Wednesday. Munian scored his second and third goals of the season as the Basque side denied its Catalan visitors the chance to climb out of the drop zone.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Levante

Goals from Enis Bardhi and Borja Mayoral held up to boost the hosts into sixth.

Real Betis 2-1 Celta Vigo

Nabil Fekir scored in the 90th minute as Real Betis overcame a blown lead to claim all three points for what, at least for the moment, was a relegation six-pointer.

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Barcelona 10 7 1 2 28 11 17 5-0-0 2-1-2 22
 Real Madrid 10 6 3 1 21 9 12 4-1-0 2-2-1 21
 Granada 10 6 2 2 17 10 7 4-0-1 2-2-1 20
 Atlético Madrid 11 5 5 1 11 6 5 3-3-0 2-2-1 20
 Sevilla 11 6 2 3 14 12 2 3-1-1 3-1-2 20
 Real Sociedad 11 6 1 4 18 12 6 3-0-2 3-1-2 19
 Villarreal 10 5 2 3 24 14 10 3-2-0 2-0-3 17
 Athletic Club 11 4 4 3 11 7 4 4-1-1 0-3-2 16
 Osasuna 10 3 5 2 10 9 1 2-3-0 1-2-2 14
 Levante 11 4 2 5 12 13 -1 2-2-1 2-0-4 14
 València 11 3 5 3 15 17 -2 2-4-0 1-1-3 14
 Valladolid 11 3 5 3 11 14 -3 1-3-0 2-2-3 14
 Getafe 10 3 4 3 14 14 0 2-2-1 1-2-2 13
 Alavés 11 3 3 5 9 14 -5 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Betis 11 3 3 5 14 21 -7 3-2-1 0-1-4 12
 Mallorca 10 3 1 6 7 13 -6 3-1-2 0-0-4 10
 Eibar 10 2 3 5 10 15 -5 2-0-2 0-3-3 9
 Celta Vigo 11 2 3 6 6 14 -8 2-1-3 0-2-3 9
 Espanyol 11 2 2 7 5 18 -13 0-0-5 2-2-2 8
 Leganés 11 1 2 8 5 19 -14 1-1-4 0-1-4 5