FC Barcelona twice came back from a goal down before Clement Lenglet’s second half header gave them a 3-2 win away to Betis that keeps them within three points of Real Madrid at the top of the Liga Santander.
Barca kicked off knowing they needed a win to avoid falling 5 or 6 points behind Real Madrid, who had won in Pamplona earlier in the day, but the game was only 5 minutes old when Lenglet was penalized for handling Nabil Fekir’s shot allowing Sergio Canales to score the penalty.
Betis’ were ahead for just two minutes before Frenkie De Jong scored from close range after an assist from Leo Messi, but Fekir restored Betis’ lead 20 minutes later.
Barca were struggling to control the game, but Busquets got them level with another close range finish after a Messi free kick.
Lenglet scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute after yet another assist from Messi, but didn’t finish the game as he was shown a second yellow card after a foul on Joaquin, moments after Fekir had also been sent off after seeing 2 yellow cards in 10 seconds: one for a foul and another for complaining.
Real Madrid recovered from their midweek Copa del Rey exit as they too came back after receiving an early goal to win 4-1 away to Osasuna.
Unai Garcia opened the scoring following a corner in the 15th minute, but Isco equalized in the 33rd minute after a shot from Gareth Bale had been blocked, and Sergio Ramos headed Madrid ahead after Casemiro had flicked on a corner.
The result was in the balance until the closing minutes before Lucas Vazquez in the 84th minute and Luka Jovic, who scored deep into injury time, made the win look easier than it actually had been.
Getafe strengthened their position in third with a 3-0 win at home to Valencia on Saturday afternoon.
All the goals came in the second half with Jorge Molina netting in the 58th minute after a shot from Jaime Mata was blocked.
The veteran forward scored an impressive individual goal eight minutes later and Mata sealed the win in the 87th minute after Valencia’s defender Alessandro Florenzi, had been sent off to end a terrible day for the visitors, who had been knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Granada four days earlier.
Granada were unable to get the better of Atletico Madrid, but pushed Diego Simeone’s side all the way and Atletico had to thank Angel Correa’s 6th minute goal for ending a run of three games without a goal.
Two goals in the first half hour from Ruben Rochina and Roger Marti ended Levante’s 4-game losing streak and game them a 2-0 win at home to Leganes.
Raul de Tomas’ 58th minute goal gave Espanyol a vital 1-0 win at home to Mallorca who slip into the bottom three after Celta Vigo won 2-1 at home to Sevilla.
Pione Sista netted a dramatic injury time goal for Celta, who had trailed from the 28th minute after Youssef En-Neysri scored for the first time since joining from Leganes in January and Iago Aspas had given Celta a lifeline with his 78th minute goal from a Rafinha pass.
Real Sociedad won the derby 2-1 at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, who rested nearly all of their regular starters ahead of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final.
Portu put Real Sociedad ahead in the 65th minute and although Inaki Williams equalized shortly afterwards, Alexander Isak continued his impressive recent form when he was on hand to score the winner with 8 minutes left to play.
Valladolid and Villarreal drew 1-1 in the Nuevo Zorrilla Stadium with Gerard Moreno’s 54th minute goal cancelling out Ruben Alcarez’s 15th minute opener for the home side.
The round of matches opened on Friday as Lucas Perez and Oliver Burke scored the goals to give Alaves a 2-1 win at home to Basque neighbors Eibar, who got a late consolation from Fabian Orellana. Enditem