Barca remain on Real’s tails

  • spanish league
- Agence France-Presse, MADRID

Apr 4, 2017-

Barcelona made light of the suspended Lionel Messi’s absence to remain just two points behind the Spanish League leaders Real Madrid as Neymar netted his 100th goal for the club in a 4-1 win at Granada.

Earlier, Real consolidated their advantage at the top thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Isco and Nacho to beat Alaves 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real still also have a game in hand and the two will meet at the Bernabeu in three weeks’ time. 

Luis Suarez’s first attempted chip over Ochoa came back off the underside of the bar before the Mexican denied Suarez with three saves in as many minutes. The Uruguayan did eventually make the breakthrough when he sent a lovely dinked effort over Ochoa from Jordi Alba’s through ball.

Granada sent in Jeremie Boga at the start of the second-half and he took just five minutes to level. However, Barca retook the lead 13 minutes later when Suarez turned provider for Alcacer to net his fourth goal since joining from Valencia.

Any chance of a Granada revival was ended when Uche Agbo was shown a second yellow card eight minutes from time. Seconds later Barca make the game safe when Ivan Rakitic drilled into the bottom corner. And Neymar rounded off the win with his 100th goal on his 177th appearance when he tapped home Alcacer’s cross.

At the Bernabeu, the European champions were grateful to Alaves’ wastefulness in front of goal as they moved a step closer to a first title in five years. Real suffered an injury blow inside 10 minutes when Raphael Varane experienced a recurrence of a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Carvajal. The hosts opened the scoring just after the half hour mark as Dani Carvajal’s burst of pace took him to the by-line and he picked out the unmarked Benzema to smash into the far corner.

Real’s rhythm was disrupted by the half-time whistle, though, as Alaves were the better side for large spells of the second-half. Deyverson headed over from point-blank range from Theo Hernandez’s cross before Mendez passed up the visitors’ best chance when he slotted wide when unmarked at the back post.

Manu Garcia’s flicked header also then dipped just beyond Kiko Casilla’s far post as the Santiago Bernabeu crowd became restless. However, Isco settled their nerves when he rocketed Cristiano Ronaldo’s through ball into the roof of the net from a narrow angle. And Nacho gave the scoreline an unjustified gloss when he tapped into an empty net after Fernando Pacheco made a brilliant save to tip Bale’s freekick onto the bar.

 

Standings

Teams    P     W     D     L     GF    GA     PTS

Real    28     21    5    2    74    28    68

Barca    29     20    6    3    85    26    66

Atletico    29     17    7    5    54    23    58

Sevilla    29     17    7    5    52    34    58

Sociedad    29     15    4     10    43    40    49

Villarreal    29     13    9    7    41    23    48

Bilbao    29     14    5     10    37    33    47

Eibar    29     12    8    9    47    41    44

Espanyol    29     11     10    8    42    40    43

Alaves    29     10     10    9    29    36    40

Celta    27     11    5     11    40    45    38

Las Palmas    28    9    8     11    44    45    35

Valencia    29    9    6     14    41    51    33

Betis    29    8    7     14    32    46    31

Malaga    29    6    9     14    33    47    27

Depor    29    6    9     14    31    46    27

Leganes    29    6    9     14    23    42    27

Gijon    29    5    7     17    31    57    22

Granada    29    4    7     18    26    62    19

Osasuna    29    1    8     20    29    69    11

 

Results

Granada    1-4    Barca

Real    3-0    Alaves

Valencia    3-0    Depor

Published: 04-04-2017 09:47

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