La Liga Roundup, Gameweek 36: Shock Defeat for Atletico as Barcelona and Real Madrid Stumble

2014.05.04 Real Madrid CF vs Valencia C.F.

The Spanish championship race took another twist as Atletico Madrid slipped to a surprise defeat at Levante. Neither of their title challengers were able to take full advantage, Barcelona drawing 2-2 with Getafe and Real Madrid held to the same scoreline by Valencia.

Atletico Madrid remain three points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga, despite being beaten 2-0 at mid-table Levante, a result that has given renewed hope to the Catalans and third placed Real Madrid. A seventh minute own goal from Filipe Luis saw Atleti fall behind at the Ciutat de Valencia and then David Barral added a decisive second for Levante midway through the second half.

Barcelona were pegged back twice by lowly Getafe and had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou. Lionel Messi put Barca ahead in the 23rd minute, but the lead was cancelled out by Angel Lafita on 37 minutes. A victory for Tata Martino’s side looked likely when Alexis Sanchez fired home in the 67th minute, but the struggling Madrid side snatched an unlikely point as Lafita equalised for a second time 90 seconds into stoppage time.

Real Madrid salvaged a 2-2 draw against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu after trailing twice against Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side. Jeremy Mathieu put Valencia ahead moments before half-time, but Sergio Ramos levelled for Los Blancos just before the hour mark. Dani Parejo put Valencia back in front five minutes later and Los Che were looking good for three points until Cristiano Ronaldo met Angel di Maria’s cross in stoppage time to grab a point for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and keep the title race wide open. 

Athletic Bilbao confirmed their place in next season’s Champions League with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Rayo Vallecano. First-half goals from Mikel San Jose and Oscar De Marcos and a third from Ander Herrera 15 minutes from time sealed victory as Ernesto Valverde’s fourth-placed Basque side moved eight points clear of Sevilla. Defeat for Rayo brought to a halt their recent fine run, but they nevertheless remain 11th in the table and assured of top-flight football once again next season.

Programming note: For viewers in the United States, La Liga games are shown exclusively on beIN SPORT, beIN SPORT Espanol and DishWorld. Even if you don’t have a TV subscription to beIN SPORT, you can access those channels via online streaming service DishWorld for $10/month. Read our review of DishWorld. And sign up for DishWorld via their website.

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