Sunday, January 22, 2017

La Liga Review: Barca´s lead cut as Madrid, Atletico win

SoccerNews in La Liga 5 Dec 2015

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Barcelona drew 1-1 with Valencia and saw their advantage at the top of La Liga cut to just two points on Saturday, with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid closing in.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Nevilla has been appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s replacement as Valencia coach, but interim boss Voro was the mastermind of the draw with the Catalan giants.

After an entertaining first half at Estadio Mestalla, Luis Suarez opened the scoring for the visitors in the 59th minute when he latched onto Lionel Messi’s pass and converted for the 13th time in as many Liga appearances this term.

However, Valencia salvaged a point four minutes from the final whistle when Paco Alcacer showed a great touch to bring down a long ball forward on his chest before taking two defenders out of play and teeing up Santi Mina to slam home the equaliser.

The result meant Atletico moved to within two points of Luis Enrique’s side, the 2013-14 champions having extended their unbeaten run in La Liga to eight games with a 2-0 win at Granada.

Diego Godin opened the scoring for Diego Simeone’s side but it was not until the 76th minute that the win was secured, with Antoine Griezmann grabbing the second.

Madrid kept pace with their city-rivals as Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were all on target in the same match for the first time this season as they comfortably beat Getafe 4-1.

However, there were sounds of discontent in the stands at the Santiago Bernabeu when Alexis headed in a consolation for Fran Escriba’s side following a tame second-half showing.

Celta Vigo were unable to hold on to a one-goal advantage following Jonny Castro’s second-half dismissal at Real Betis, with substitute Jorge Molina earning Pepe Mel’s team a point in a 1-1 draw by scoring late on.

Sevilla also had to come from behind to secure a 1-1 draw as Vicente Iborra cancelled out Lucas Perez’s opener at Estadio Riazor.

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