Barcelona lose again to open up La Liga title race

San Sebastian (Spain), April 10 (IANS) FC Barcelona saw their lead at the top of La Liga reduced to just three points over second-placed Atletico Madrid and four over Real Madrid as they were beaten 0-1 away to Real Sociedad on Saturday night.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique rested key players alongside the suspended Luis Suarez here on Saturday.

His side fell behind to an early headed goal from young striker Mikel Oyarzabal and never looked like getting back into things with another flat display and have now taken just one point from their last three games.

It is now very much game at La Liga as Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on the top of the table with a 3-1 win away to Espanyol, who had not lost in their last four games.

The home side opened the scoring just before the half hour with Pape Diop’s third goal in third games, but Espanyol’s lead only lasted seven minutes before Fernando Torres continued his recent good form with the equalising goal.

Antoine Griezmann put Atletico ahead with a left foot shot two minutes before the hour and Koke sealed the win with a goal in the last minute of normal time.

Real Madrid kicked off the day with an east 4-0 win at home to Eibar in a game that was over by halftime as the home side took advantage of some open defending to go 3-0 by the 20th minute.

James Rodriguez opened the scoring with a free kick, before Lucas Vazquez and Cristiano Ronaldo made the result safe, well before Jese Rodriguez made it 4-0 before halftime.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane made several changes to his usual starting 11 with players such as Marcelo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric all rested ahead of next Tuesday’s Champions League tie where they have to overcome a 0-2 deficit at home to Wolfsburg.

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