Gijon defeat all but ends Atletico’s La Liga title hopes

Madrid, March 20 (IANS) Atletico Madrid’s chance of beating FC Barcelona to the La Liga title all but vanished when Diego Simeone’s side lost 1-2 away to Sporting Gijon.

Atletico travelled to the north of Spain on Saturday night and took the lead through a brilliant Antoine Griezmann free kick, reports Xinhua.

Atletico did tire in the second half and Antonio Sanabria responded to Griezmann’s free kick with one of his own with 11 minutes left.

Carlos Castro hit the bar when it looked easier to score directly afterwards, but atoned with a simple far post finish three minutes from time to condemn Atletico to defeat and give FC Barcelona the chance to move 11 points clear if they win away to Villarreal on Sunday.

Saturday’s other games saw a William Jose goal give Las Palmas an important 1-0 win away to Real Sociedad.

The win moved Las Palmas further clear of the relegation zone as their improved form continues under coach Quique Setien.

Granada and Rayo are both still in trouble, but Rayo will be the happier of the two sides after twice coming back from behind to take a point away from home.

El Arabi scored in the 11th and 54th minutes, but Pablo Hernandez levelled just before halftime and after Isaac Success was sent off in the 70th minute to leave Granada with 10 men, Ze Castro scored a late equaliser for the side from Madrid.

Deportivo la Coruna had a stroke of luck which enabled them to win their first game of 2016 when Lucas Perez’s shot rebounded into the goal off the back of Levante goalkeeper Diego Marino with five minutes left in the game.

Luis Alberto had put Deportivo ahead just before half time and although Giuseppe Rossi equalised early in the second half, the home side’s ambition finally got its reward.

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