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Real drop second straight, Barça win

Real Madrid suffered a second successive defeat as Atletico Madrid and Barcelona pulled clear in the Spanish La Liga title race, but Barça’s night was marred by a serious injury to goalkeeper Victor Valdes which has likely ended his career with the club and ruled him out of the FIFA World Cup™.

Sevilla came from behind to beat Madrid 2-1 as leaders Atletico were seeing off Granada 1-0, while earlier in the evening Barça followed up their 4-3 Clasico victory by beating Celta Vigo 3-0. However, Barça’s celebrations were muted after the news came through on Valdes.

Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in front with a 15th minute deflected free-kick after he had been fouled by Andujar Coke, but Sevilla replied almost immediately through Carlos Bacca, and in the 72nd minute some superb skill from Ivan Rakitic set up Bacca for the second. It was a record sixth straight win for Sevilla, lifting them up to fifth, six points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth.

At the Camp Nou, Orellana’s free-kick appeared to catch Valdes wrong-footed, and although he was able to make the stop he had to dive forward to gather the rebound, and it was then he suffered the injury. At that point, Barça were already leading 1-0 through Neymar’s sixth minute goal, and Lionel Messi doubled the advantage on the half hour before Neymar struck again midway through the second period.

Atleti at the top
Barça are second on 72 points, with Madrid third on 70. Atletico lead the way on 73 points after Diego Costa’s 63rd minute header was enough to give them all three points at home.

At the other end of the table, a late penalty from Joaquin Larrivey condemned Osasuna to a fifth straight defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Rayo Vallecano, who gave themselves a cushion to the relegation zone in a 1-0 win.

A drab match with little quality on display seemed destined to finish goalless until Abella Damia felled Jose Fernandez in the area and Larrivey stepped up to place his spot-kick in the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

The result sees Rayo climb up to 13th in the congested lower reaches of the table, while Osasuna hover just above the drop zone, knowing they will drop into it if either Getafe or Real Valladolid can pick up a result on Thursday.