Betis-Granada recap
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La Liga: Late goals lead to Levante-Sevilla, Betis-Granada draws

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A late own goal stopped Sevilla’s top four momentum in its tracks, while Real Betis’ thrilling late comeback became a draw when Roberto Soldado popped up in stoppage time.

[ MORE: Full La Liga schedule ]

Levante 1-1 Sevilla

Luuk de Jong’s sixth goal of the season put Sevilla on top after halftime, but a Diego Carlos own goal with minutes to play stymied the visitors’ chances of strengthening its hold on third place in La Liga.

Carlos played a big part in Sevilla’s goal, sending a tremendous long pass to Munir El Haddadi en route to De Jong’s goal, but he’ll rue the 87th-minute own goal that leveled the line.

Sevilla was riding a high from Thursday’s Seville Derby defeat of Real Betis, but its lone point gained will give hope to Real Sociedad, Getafe, and Atletico Madrid.

Levante is 12th with 35 points, 11 points back of the top six and 10 clear of the bottom three.

De Jong has a goal or assist in four of his last five matches. He’s pretty much scored everywhere he’s been excluding a disastrous half-season at Newcastle United.

Real Betis 2-2 Granada

Roberto Soldado’s stoppage time goal spared Granada the blushes of having blown a late lead in a 2-2 draw in Seville.

Cristian Tello and Sergio Canales scored between the 85th and 88th minutes as Betis fought back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to take a 2-1 lead.

Betis had nearly 80 percent of the ball but couldn’t make anything happen until late. They finish the day nine points clear of the bottom three with nine matches to play.

Granada fails to move into seventh and sits three points back of sixth-place Atletico Madrid.

Carlos Fernandez’s strong form continued with the match-opening goal, giving him goals in back-to-back matches and points in four-straight. The freshly-minted 24-year-old has 11 goals and four assists this season.

Soldado’s goal was classy finish, though he was left all alone at the back post.

La Liga roundup: More Messi magic puts Barcelona top again

AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor
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A roundup of Saturday’sĀ action inĀ Spainā€™s top flight:

[ FOLLOW: PSTā€™s La Liga coverage ]

Malaga 1-2 Barcelona

Barcelona were without Neymar on Saturday, but find themselvesĀ top of La Liga once again anyway, thanks in no small part to genius of Lionel Messi. Since returning from a knee injury in early November, Messi has scored 14 goals in 14 games across all competitions ā€” seems a ratherĀ average rate for him, doesn’t it? ā€” a streak which was extended on Saturday, as the Argentine scored the stunning winner (below video) away to Malaga.

20-year-oldĀ Munir El Haddadi opened the scoring and put Barca ahead after just two minutes, but the hosts equalized just after the half-hour mark, setting Messi up to be the hero once again. With the victory, Barca move one point clear of Atletico Madrid, who play on Sunday. Due to their participation in last month’s Club World Cup, Barca will once again have a game in hand on everyone in the title race at the end of the weekend.

Espanyol 2-2 Villarreal

4th-place Villarreal went behind and came back twice on Saturday to rescue a 2-2 draw away to 13th-place Espanyol. Manu Trigueros and Mateo Musacchio bagged the goals forĀ El Submarino AmarilloĀ (The Yellow Submarine), who saw their hold on the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place strengthen from a six-point lead entering the weekend, to seven at the end of day.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Granada 3-2Ā Getafe
Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Celta Vigo

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Athletic Bilbao vs. Eibar (6 a.m. ET)
Atletico Madrid vs. Sevilla (10 a.m. ET)
Deportivo La Coruna vs. Valencia (12:15 p.m. ET)
Real Betis vs. Real Madrid (2:30 p.m. ET)

Barcelona youngster Munir caught off guard by Spain national team call-up

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Munir El Haddadi let reporters know that he was very surprised to see his name on the Spain international teamā€™s roster, in place of injured Chelsea forward Diego Costa.

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque released roster ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier with Macedonia, and the 19-year-old was there.

“When they told me, my mouth fell open. It’s a dream to play for the Spain team and I’m very happy,” Munir said per “I’ve realized a dream. It’s a moment I want to enjoy, an opportunity to take, and to give my best.”

El Haddadi was a product of the Barcelona youth academy, as he played on the squad for three years, starting in 2011, until his switch to Barcelona B this season. And the 19-year-old has continued to push for excellence, with his La Liga debut having occurred as a substitute on August 24 vs. Elche CF. He’s totatled four goals in 11 appearances in the midst of his short Barcelona B stretch, and also netted a score during the Elche game to cement a 3-0 win.

Looking ahead to a possible long national team career, El Haddadi relishes every opportunity he gets right now. He realizes it’s a honor to play for such a prominent country in world football, and he certainly wishes to perform at Euro 2016.

“Every trophy you can win is good and to be there would be a hugely proud moment, to play with the Spain team is what I would like to do,” he added. “I’ve followed the national team every summer that they have played since I was small, and now I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me at every turn.”