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Barça hand Real Madrid lifeline

camp-nou-newBarcelona threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Sevilla and hand Real Madrid a lifeline in the Primera Division title race.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a curled effort and Barcelona looked well on the way to a vital win when Neymar doubled the lead just past the half hour mark with an exquisite free-kick. But Ever Banega pulled a goal back before half-time to lift the home fans and substitute Kevin Gameiro levelled from close range in the 84th minute.

Barça’s lead over Madrid at the top of the table has been cut to just two points as Carlo Ancelotti’s men eased to a 3-0 victory at home to Eibar. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first free-kick of the season to put Madrid ahead midway through the first half and two minutes later Javier Hernandez nodded in a second goal to net for the first time in just under six months. Jese then scored a fine individual effort late in the second half to round off the win.

Antoine Griezmann rescued a point for Atletico Madrid as they fought back to draw 2-2 with Malaga in a thrilling encounter at La Rosaleda. The French forward made the most of an embarrassing goalkeeping error from Carlos Kameni to put Atleti ahead midway through the first half but a Fernando Torres own goal drew the hosts level 12 minutes later.

Samuel Garcia turned the game in Malaga’s favour with a classy finish with 20 minutes remaining, but Griezmann struck again not long after, scoring a fiercely contested goal. Atletico remain third in the table but are now seven points adrift of the top two.

Teenage striker Santi Mina scored four goals as Celta Vigo hammered Rayo Vallecano 6-1 at Balaidos. Former Rayo striker Joaquin Larrivey cancelled out Manucho’s first-minute opener after just six minutes, and then Mina put Celta in charge midway through the first half.

Mina and Larrivey added to their tallies before the break as Rayo collapsed, and the teenager scored twice more in the second period to cap Celta’s biggest win of the season, taking them one point above Rayo in the Primera Division table.

Almeria gave their hopes of beating the drop a timely lift with a 3-0 victory over fellow-strugglers Granada on Saturday. Sergi Barjuan’s side were without a win since February 8, but two goals from Thomas Partey plus a Javier Espinosa strike made sure of the points which lift them out of the bottom three. Granada, however, remain one place off the foot of the table and some four points adrift of safety.