Barca Closer to La Liga Title as Real Slip Up

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Barcelona are a win away from claiming their 23rd Spanish La Liga title following their 2-0 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday as Real Madrid slipped up in the race.

Luis Enrique’s men surged four points clear at the top of the table with two games left in the season.

Neymar headed home Lionel Messi’s cross to hand the Catalans a second-half lead before substitute Pedro sealed win with a beautiful acrobatic effort.

Barca are due at champions Atletico Madrid in their next league game, but will have to wait until further notice To close out their fifth success in the last seven Spanish Primeira campaign due to a scheduled suspension of football in Spain in an argument over television rights.

And with the Camp Nou outfit slated to host Deportivo La Coruna in their final-day fixture- pending suspension of Spanish football- a win in either matches secures an unassailable point tally.

David Moyes’ Sociedad secured a famous victory in the reverse match-up back in January, but despite frustrating their hosts in the opening period of their recent meeting with goalkeeper Geronimo Zulu denying Messi’s header and also a Gerard Pique effort, Barca’s pressure finally paid off.

The hosts nosed ahead six minutes after the break when Real defender Mikel Gonzalez headed Messi’s righ-wing cross for Neymar, who poked home from close range.

Three points were all but secured with substitute Pedro scoring a brilliant overhead kick within three minutes of coming in for Alcantara do Nascimento.

Barca are seeking for their first treble since the 2008-09 season with a Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao slated for Saturday, 30 May- also affected by the suspension of football- and Tuesday’s Uefa Champions League semi-final return leg against Bayern Munich billed for the Allianz Arena. Real head to Munich with a 3-0 lead.

Neymar Celebrates His 58th League Goal for Barca against Sociedad. image: Getty.
Neymar Celebrates His 58th League Goal for Barca against Sociedad. image: Getty.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid twice struck the woodwork and Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty in a 2-2 home draw with Valencia. The Los Merengues managed to fight back from two goals down to draw but remain four points adrift of the La Liga leaders.

Paco Alcacer opened scoring for Champions League football-chasing Valencia, jabbing home from close range. Javi Fuego headed home from six yards to double the visitors’ lead.

Pepe halved Real’s arrears when he headed home from James Rodriguez’s corner after Ronaldo had fluffed his penalty.

Valencia goalie Diego Alves denied Sergio Ramos an equaliser making do with a swift reflex save from the defender’s close-range header.

Manchester City loanee Alvaro Negredo could have wrapped up victory for Valencia but missed two clear-cut opportunities in the closing ten minutes.

The Spanish striker was made to pay dearly when Isco fired home Real’s leveler six minutes from time.

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