Barca, Real to fight for Spain title


May 09, 2016
AP FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez, right, duels for the ball against Espanyol's goalkeeper Pau Lopez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain yesterday. Barca won 5-0


The Spanish league title race will go down to the final round, with rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid still in contention. Barcelona routed city rival Espanyol 5-0 yesterday to increase its lead going into next weekend, when another victory will secure the Catalan club its second consecutive title.

Luis Suarez scored twice, with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Rafinha adding one goal each at the Camp Nou to keep Barcelona one point in front of Real Madrid, which defeated Valencia 3-2 with two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one by Karim Benzema.

Atletico Madrid, which was trailing Barcelona for most of the season and was tied in points before this weekend, dropped out of contention after a surprising 2-1 late loss to already relegated Levante. Atletico had been bidding for its second league title in three seasons.

In the final round, Barcelona will play at Granada, which was fighting against relegation but on Sunday mathematically secured its place in the top flight with a 4-1 win at Sevilla.

Real Madrid will play at Deportivo La Coruna, which is in the middle of the table and also won't have anything to play for in the last round.

"We had good rhythm from the start, creating pressure following turnovers," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said. "We played a complete game, I'm happy with what we've achieved. Now we just have to put it away by beating Granada."

Barcelona enters the final weekend with 88 points from 37 matches. It has the advantage on the head-to-head tiebreaker against Real Madrid, so the rival will need to win its game in La Coruna and hope Barcelona at least draws in Granada.

"I'm always positive," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We have one game left to play, anything can happen. We have to give everything and ... we will see what happens right up until the end, until the very last minute."

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