Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title hopes end, Barcelona, Real Madrid in hunt
Madrid, May 9 (IANS) The La Liga title race for the 2015-16 season will go to the final day after leaders FC Barcelona and challengers Real Madrid won their respective matches, but second-placed Atletico Madrid’s hopes vanished after a surprise loss.
Real Madrid snatched a decisive 3-2 win against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium here on Sunday, while Barcelona clinched more to the top position after thrashing Espanyol 5-0, reports Efe.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid’s title dreams have faded away after losing 1-2 against bottom team Levante during their penultimate round. After an early goal by Fernando Torres, few could have imagined the further developments of the game.
Atletico could not stand their ground and crashed against Levante, which has already guaranteed relegation; however, somehow, they ended up winning 2-1 as their suspended Argentine coach Diego Simeone watched his boys getting defeated from the stands.
Atletico took the lead in the second minute of the game, but Levante equalised in 30 minutes from a header from Victor Casadesus. In the 90th minute, Italian Guiseppe Rossi broke clear and buried the ball past Jan Oblak, and thus, buried the Atleti’s options to keep fighting for the title.
Barcelona did not allow Espanyol to upset it in the final stretch of the season, and won 5-0 with a superb free kick by the Argentine star Lionel Messi in 8 minutes, followed by two goals by the Uruguayan Luis Suarez in 52 minutes and 61 minutes. The Brazilian Rafinha left his mark in 74 minutes while Neymar ended the party with a goal in 83 minutes.
At the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid snatched a painstaking 3-2 win from Valencia, which had its lines shaken after Rodrigo Moreno was sent off in 83 minutes.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in 26 minutes and 59 minutes, while the French Karim Benzema scored in 42 minutes.
For Valencia, Rodrigo scored in 55 minutes, while the Portuguese Andre Gomes scored in 81 minutes.
Currently Barcelona leads the table with 88 points and ahead of Real Madrid by only a point. Both teams are scheduled to play their last La Liga games next Saturday against Granada and Deportivo La Coruna respectively.