Tuesday, May 23, 2017

La Liga Review: Barca poised for title as Real stumble

SoccerNews in La Liga 9 May 2015

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Real Madrid overcame a two-goal deficit to salvage a 2-2 draw with Valencia, but the result done little to aid the club’s title bid.

Despite second-half goals from Pepe and Isco, Real are four points adrift of top spot with two fixtures remaining after Barcelona accounted for Real Sociedad 2-0 earlier on Saturday.

Real controlled much of the first half and were denied by the crossbar twice early on through Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo before an injury to Toni Kroos was quickly followed by Paco Alcacer’s 19th-minute opener.

Javi Fuego doubled Valencia’s lead seven minutes after, and then goalkeeper Diego Alves equalled Andoni Zubizarreta’s record of 16 penalty saves in La Liga, as he thwarted Ronaldo just before the interval following a foul on Bale.

The Real fightback began 11 minutes into the second half as Pepe headed in from a corner and, although Alvaro Negredo saw two chances go begging, former Valencia youngster Isco was the next on the scoresheet, sealing a draw in spectacular fashion six minutes from time.

Neymar helped to keep Barcelona on course for La Liga glory with the decisive goal in a battling win at home to Sociedad.

After a scoreless opening half, Neymar made the breakthrough in the 51st minute for his 22nd league goal this term.

Pedro put the result beyond doubt with five minutes remaining at Camp Nou.

Elsewhere, Deportivo La Coruna climbed out of the relegation zone thanks to Alberto Lopo, whose injury-time equaliser earned a 1-1 draw at Athletic Club.

Granada – 18th in the standings and level on points with Deportivo – also boosted their survival chances with a 2-0 win over cellar-dwelling Cordoba.

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