Madrid, May 8 (IANS) Jordi Alba scored a spectacular volley in the last minute of injury time to give FC Barcelona a 2-1 win away to Betis.
The result on Saturday night strengthens Barca’s second place in La Liga, while doing Atletico Madrid a favour in their efforts to qualify for next season’s Champions League, as it leaves them three points clear of Betis ahead of Sunday’s Madrid derby.
Ansu Fati opened the scoring in an entertaining match with a deflected shot in the 76th minute only for former Barca stopper Marc Bartra to head home the equaliser three minutes later, reports Xinhua. The match looked set for a draw, but in the closing moments Alba gave Betis keeper Rui Sliva no chance with his unstoppable shot as the ball dropped for him in the home area.
The day kicked off with Granada climbing out of the bottom three in emphatic style with a 6-2 win away to Mallorca in a game that saw the home side fall apart in the second half.
Luis Suarez, who later went off injured, struck for Granada in the sixth minute although Salva Sevilla’s excellent goal levelled the score before halftime.
Sergio Escudero made it 2-1 for the visitors at the start of the second half and Antonio Puertas made it 3-1 before Antonio Raillo pulled a goal back for Mallorca.
However, the first of 40-year-old Jorge Molina’s two goals of the afternoon ended Mallorca’s hopes of a comeback as the veteran and Myrto Uzuni rounded off the rout.
Valencia frustrated Athletic Club Bilbao’s options of playing in Europe next season with a 0-0 in the San Mames Stadium. Athletic had the best chances but Valencia keeper Giorgi Mamardashvili twice denied Inaki Williams, while Asier Villalibre rattled the crossbar in injury time.
Valencia failed to have one shot on target in the game from open play.
Levante kept their survival hopes alive with a 2-1 win at home to sixth place Real Sociedad, thanks to goals from Jorge Miramon and a Gonzalo Melero penalty in injury time.
The win lifts them above Alaves, whose survival hopes suffered a huge blow with a 4-0 defeat away to Celta Vigo in a game where the side from Vitoria were never in the hunt.
Thiago Galhardo opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Iago Aspas doubled Celta’s lead with the first of his two goals in the match in the 34th minute. Ximo Navarro’s own goal 12 minutes after the break made it 3-0 and Aspas rounded off the scoring with 25 minutes left to play.
Three late goals in the last 10 minutes helped Cadiz beat Elche 3-0 to leave Mallorca in the bottom three.
Alvaro Negredo ended the torment of the Cadiz fans with an opening goal in the 80th minute and Ruben Sobrino doubled their lead three minutes later before Choco Lozano added a third in injury time.