Sunday, April 21, 2024

Barça slip, Real second


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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Barcelona compounded their exit from the Champions League by losing 1-0 at Granada today, letting Real Madrid move ahead into second place in the Spanish league with a 4-0 win over Almeria.
Barcelona’s stumble ensured the same Atletico Madrid that ousted them from Europe’s top-tier competition would maintain the league lead with five more rounds to go, as they were level on points with Madrid but ahead on goal difference before they visit Getafe tomorrow.
Granada’s Yacine Brahimi scored what proved to be the winner in the 16th minute and goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis made saves to deny Lionel Messi and Neymar amid a plethora of scoring chances that Barcelona failed to finish.
Barcelona have four more days to regroup from back-to-back defeats before they play Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final in Valencia.
Madrid didn’t miss injured star Cristiano Ronaldo as they bounced back from a poor performance at Borussia Dortmund with a dominant victory.
Angel Di Maria, Gareth Bale, Isco Alarcon and Alvaro Morata scored at the Santiago Bernabeu to keep Almeria in the relegation zone.
Di Maria hit the crossbar to set the tone early and followed up in the 28th minute by curling in Madrid’s opener.
Madrid toyed with Almeria until Bale scored his 14th league goal of the season from Karim Benzema’s pass in the 53rd, with Isco hitting three minutes later. Morata went on to score five minutes from time.
In other matches, Villarreal striker Jeremy Perbet headed in a free kick five minutes into stoppage time to snatch a 1-0 win over Levante.
Villarreal’s first win at El Madrigal in six straight games lifted them into sixth place, one point ahead of Real Sociedad which allowed ten-man Celta Vigo to fight back twice for a 2-2 draw.


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