Atletico Madrid lose at Levante

  • Last Updated: May 4 2014, 22:13 BST

A review of the weekend's action in the Spanish La Liga.

David Villa reacts after conceding against Levante
David Villa reacts after conceding against Levante

Atletico Madrid's bid to be crowned Primera Division champions for the first time since 1996 suffered a major blow as they were beaten 2-0 at mid-table Levante, a result that gives fresh hope to title rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Following Barca's surprise home draw with Getafe on Saturday, leaders Atletico knew if they won their next two games against Levante and Malaga they would clinch the title ahead of their last-day meeting with the defending champions.

However, an early own goal from Filipe Luis saw Atletico fall behind at the Ciutat de Valencia and then David Barral added a decisive second for Levante midway through the second half.

Diego Simeone's men pushed hard to try and get something back in the closing stages but they could find no way through to leave Barca and Real Madrid celebrating an unexpected boost in the title race.

Cristiano Ronaldo's stoppage-time goal later salvaged a 2-2 draw for Real Madrid at home to Valencia.

Valencia twice led at the Bernabeu before Ronaldo stabbed the ball home with a deft backheel two minutes into five added on.

Jeremy Mathieu put Valencia ahead moments before half-time, and only six minutes after Sergio Ramos levelled before the hour mark, Dani Parejo put Valencia back in front.

After Ronaldo levelled, both he and substitute Alvaro Morata had golden chances for a winner but missed the target.

Defeat for Madrid would have left the Primera Division title in Barcelona's hands, but the draw leaves it too close to call.

Neither Sevilla nor Villarreal did enough to come out on top in a goalless draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday.

Ramon Azeez's late header claimed three much-needed points as 10-man Almeria moved out of the relegation zone following a 3-2 victory over Real Betis.

Oscar Diaz and Aleix Vidal were also on target in a topsy-turvy second half at Juegos Mediterraneos, in which Suso was sent off 10 minutes after the break as Francisco Rodriguez's side moved up to 16th in the Primera Division with two matches remaining.

Already relegated Betis scored a second-half equaliser through Braian Rodriguez and then Salva Sevilla handed them a temporary lead before the home side struck back.

On Saturday, a stoppage-time goal from Angel Lafita snatched a dramatic 2-2 draw for Getafe at Barcelona.

A Barca victory looked likely when Alexis Sanchez fired home in the second half after Lafita had earlier cancelled out Lionel Messi's opener.

But struggling Getafe grabbed an unlikely point with another equaliser from Lafita - 90 seconds into stoppage time.

Getafe are now unbeaten in three La Liga matches to keep their noses above the relegation zone.

Garry Rodrigues' early strike was all Elche needed to claim the points in a 1-0 victory over Malaga at La Rosaleda.

Rodrigues struck after 11 minutes to clinch three much-needed points for Fran Escriba's side in their attempt to beat relegation in their first season back in the top flight, but were made to fight all the way as Alberto Botia's late red card saw them play out the final minutes with 10 men.

Athletic Bilbao convincingly booked their place in next season's Champions League courtesy of a 3-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Friday night.

Mikel San Jose, Oscar De Marcos and Ander Herrera were on target as fourth-placed Athletic moved nine points clear of nearest challengers Sevilla, who have just three games left to play and an inferior head-to-head record this season.

Defeat for Rayo brought a juddering halt their bid for a third-straight victory that would have taken them up to eighth place in the Primera Division standings.


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