Barca edge closer to Liga crown after beating Sevilla
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Barcelona inched closer to a second straight La Liga title after beating Sevilla 3-2 on Saturday. But the Spanish league title is still in the balance as Barcelona holds only a one-point lead over Real Madrid, who won 5-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao.
REUTERS - Barcelona moved to within a whisker of a second straight La Liga crown when Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Pedro earned a nervy 3-2 win at 10-man Sevilla on Saturday.
Second-placed Real Madrid kept the gap to one point with one match left when they won 5-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao, who also had a player sent off, but Barca now only need a win at home to lowly Real Valladolid to make sure of the title.
Barca, who won both this season’s “Clasicos” against their arch rivals and have lost only once all season, have a record 96 points from 37 matches with Real on 95. Real’s final match is at Malaga, who, like Valladolid, are fighting to avoid the drop.
La Liga top scorer Messi put Barca in front in the fifth minute at the Sanchez Pizjuan when he controlled Maxwell’s pass on his chest and drilled a low shot past goalkeeper Andres Palop for his 32nd of the season.
A sublime first-time pass from midfielder Xavi sent teenager Bojan clear to score a second for the visitors in the 28th and Barca looked to be cruising when Pedro added a third with a snap shot from the edge of the area in the 62nd.
Two Sevilla goals inside three second-half minutes from Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano set Barca’s nerves jangling, coach Pep Guardiola at one point smashing the side of the dugout three times with his elbow in frustration.
The final whistle prompted wild celebrations from the Barca players and their knot of travelling fans high in the stands.
At the Bernabeu, a Gonzalo Higuain shot struck the hand of Fernando Amorebieta in the penalty area in the 20th minute and the referee showed the Bilbao defender a straight red card.
Ronaldo sent goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz the wrong way with the spot kick but Real were stunned four minutes before the break when midfielder Fran Yeste burst clear and finished with aplomb past Iker Casillas.
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