Saturday, April 21, 2018

La Liga Review: Madrid stun Barca in Clasico, Atletico close gap

SoccerNews in La Liga 2 Apr 2016


A 10-man Real Madrid came from behind to pull off a stunning 2-1 win against rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Saturday. 

After a scoreless first half, it was Barca’s Gerard Pique who opened the scoring in the Clasico courtesy of a 56th-minute header.

Barca’s lead did not last long, however, with Karim Benzema’s stunning overhead kick levelling proceedings just six minutes later. 

Gareth Bale had what appeared to be a legitimate goal controversially ruled out, before Madrid were reduced to 10 men following Sergio Ramos’ second bookable offence. 

But just two minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo stunned the hosts after bringing the ball down on his chest and firing home from close range to complete the victory.

The win moved Madrid to within seven points of Barca with seven games left to play. 

Barca’s slip-up meant second-placed Atletico Madrid moved to within six points of the Catalan club thanks to their 5-1 thumping of Real Betis. 

A pair of goals from Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann late in the first half saw Atletico take a comfortable lead into the break, before Juanfran extender their advantage in the 65th minute.

Ruben Castro pulled one back for Betis with 11 minutes remaining but Griezmann scored his second to restore Atletico’s three-goal lead, and Thomas Partey capped off the big win in the closing stages.

Valencia’s first game since Gary Neville’s sacking as head coach ended in a 2-1 defeat away to Las Palmas. 

Rodrigo needed just three minutes to give Valencia the lead but they were pegged back five minutes into the second half after Javi Fuego fouled Tana in the box, with Jonathan Viera converting the resulting spot-kick.

Things went from bad to worse for Valencia just eight minutes later when Shkodran Mustafi’s comical own goal condemned Valencia to a 13th loss in 31 league games. 

Celta Vigo missed out on the chance to keep pace with fourth-placed Villarreal after being held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Deportivo La Coruna. 


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