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Barca fight back to keep title hopes alive

English.news.cn   2014-04-21 07:49:55

MADRID, April 20 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona came back from a goal down to defeat Athletic Club Bilbao 2-1 in the Camp Nou Stadium on Sunday night and keep their hopes of retaining the BBVA Primera Liga title alive.

It promised to be a difficult night for Barca after losing the final of the Copa del Rey, crashing out of the Champions League and losing to Granada in the league a week ago and there was a tense atmosphere in the Camp Nou Stadium during the first half, where both sides, but especially Barca wasted chances to score.

Things got worse for Barca and there were protests from the stands when Aritz Aduriz put Athletic ahead with a neat finish from outside of the area.

That provoked protests from the fans in the Camp Nou, but the fickle jeers turned to cheers in two minutes when first Pedro Rodriguez and then Leo Messi, with a free kick, put Barca in front on 71 and 72 minutes to leave Barca four points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.

Sevilla took advantage of Barca's win to close the gap on fourth place Athletic to three points as they strolled 4-0 past Granada. Athletic entertain Sevilla next Sunday and the winner of that game will be a clear favorite to qualify for next season's Champions League.

An own goal in the first half pus second half strikes from Kevin Gameiro, Mbia and Vitolo were enough to see Sevilla strolling home against the side which defeated Barca 8 days earlier.

Rayo Vallecano had an easy 3-1 win at home to Betis and should now be safe from relegation: Rochina, an own goal and yet another strike from Joaquin Larrivey, his 11th of the season took Rayo to 40 points.

Celta Vigo are also just about safe from relegation after a brace of goals from Nolito helped them to a convincing 4-2 win away to Almeria. Rodri and Oscar Diaz scored for the home side, while former Almeria striker Charles and Orellana netted Celta's other two goals.

Saturday's games saw Levante and Getafe draw 0-0, while Osasuna and Valencia drew 1-1 thanks to goals from Oriol Riera and Jonas Goncalves.

A late goal from Carlos Vela kept Real Sociedad's hopes of returning to Europe alive as the Basques came from back from a Jhon Cordoba goal to claim a 2-1 win thanks to an own goal and the Mexican'e late strike.

Meanwhile Friday night saw late goals from Joao Miranda and Diego Costa help Atletico Madrid beat Elche 2-0 to open up a six point lead at the top of the table.

The round of matches ends on Monday when Malaga entertain Villarreal, while Real Madrid's game away to Valladolid, which should have been played this week, will be played in May.

Editor: Yang Lina
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