Barcelona waste two-goal lead in draw; Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick lifts Real

Barcelona allowed a two-goal lead to slip away at Sevilla and settled for a 2-2 draw in La Liga on Saturday.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 14th minute with his 399th goal in a Barcelona shirt, and Neymar doubled the advantage with a looping free kick on the half-hour.

But a long shot from Ever Banega bounced in off the post seven minutes later to trim Sevilla’s deficit.

Kevin Gameiro tapped home following a Sevilla counter-attack six minutes from time to equalise.
Barcelona’s lead atop the table was trimmed to two points as Real Madrid eased to a 3-0 victory at home to Eibar, Los Blancos’ makeshift front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Hernandez and Jese all getting on the scoresheet.

Barcelona waste two-goal lead in draw; Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick lifts Real

Ronaldo scored his first free kick of the season to put Madrid ahead midway through the first half, and two minutes later Hernandez nodded in a second goal to net for the first time in just under six months.

Barcelona waste two-goal lead in draw; Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick lifts Real
Barcelona waste two-goal lead in draw; Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick lifts Real

Then Jese scored a fine individual effort late in the second half to round off a win that takes Madrid on to 73 points and keeps the pressure on league leaders and bitter rivals Barcelona.

Ronaldo’s goal, a bouncing free kick over the wall, was his league-leading 38th of the season. Eibar goalkeeper Xabi Irureta misjudged Ronaldo’s kick and moved out of position, leaving him unable to react in time and stop the ball from bouncing past.

Madrid dominated the rest of the way as Hernandez headed in Alvaro Arbeloa’s cross before Jese polished off the victory that kept Eibar in 14th place.
Atletico Madrid remained in third after a 2-2 draw at Malaga but are now seven points behind local rivals Real.

The defending champions needed Antoine Griezmann to salvage a point by scoring his 17th and 18th league goals of the campaign.

He got his first goal in the 25th minute when Malaga goalie Carlos Kameni spilled a throw-in, and the forward only had to tap the ball in.

Fortune swung Malaga’s way in the 37th minute when Fernando Torres scored an own goal while trying to clear a corner kick.

Samuel Garcia chipped goalie Jan Oblak to put Malaga ahead in the 71st minute, only for Griezmann to fire in his second goal in the 78th.

Teenage striker Santi Mina scored four goals as Celta Vigo hammered Rayo Vallecano 6-1 at Balaidos.

Former Rayo striker Joaquin Larrivey cancelled out Manucho’s first-minute opener after just six minutes, and then Mina put Celta in charge midway through the first half.

Mina and Larrivey added to their tallies before the break as Rayo collapsed, and the 19-year-old scored twice more in the second period to cap Celta’s biggest win of the season, taking them one point above Rayo in the table.

Almeria gave their hopes of beating the drop a timely lift with a 3-0 victory over fellow-strugglers Granada.

Sergi Barjuan’s side were without a win since Feb. 8, but two goals from Thomas Partey plus a Javier Espinosa strike made sure of the points which lift them out of the bottom three.

Granada, however, remain one place off the foot of the table and some four points adrift of safety.

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