Sports

Barca thrash Espanyol, Atletico crash out of title race

Barcelona are one win away from retaining their La Liga title after Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all scored as they thrashed Espanyol 5-0 in the Catalan derby on Sunday.

Real Madrid moved into second place, a point behind Barca with one game remaining, as they racked up an 11th straight La Liga win, 3-2 over Valencia, thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Atletico Madrid’s title hopes are over as they lost 2-1 at already relegated Levante.

Barca will be champions with victory at Granada next weekend, who crucially are now mathematically safe from relegation after a 4-1 win at Sevilla.

Real Madrid travel to Deportivo la Coruna on the final day of the season.

Elsewhere, Sporting Gijon remain out of the relegation zone thanks to their superior head-to-head record with Getafe after the two drew 1-1.

Rayo Vallecano also remain in the bottom three after losing 2-1 at Real Sociedad.

Barca were out to avoid a repeat of their title collapse in 2007 when a last-minute equaliser from Espanyol at the Camp Nou on the penultimate day of the season handed Real the title.

The world club champions got off to a perfect start when Messi curled a delightful free-kick into the top corner.

Ivan Rakitic had a second ruled out for offside minutes later as Barca tried to kill the game off as early as possible.

However, they had to wait until seven minutes into the second half for the second as Messi teed up Suarez to fire high past Pau Lopez.

Suarez maintained his four-goal lead over Ronaldo as the league’s top scorer as he powered home his 56th goal of the season from Neymar’s corner.

A howler from Lopez handed Rafinha an open goal to tap home his first goal since suffering a serious knee injury at the start of the season, before Neymar rounded off the scoring.

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