Barça Keep Title Hope Alive with Unlikely Comeback

Barça Keep Title Hope Alive with Unlikely Comeback

Sunday, April 27, 2014 9:38 pm

Defending La Liga champions Barcelona kept alive their hopes of retaining the crown thanks to a highly dramatic 3-2 win against Villarreal while Athletic Bilbao all but sealed a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League in another La Liga match.

At the El-Madrigal, a minute’s silence was observed in honour of former Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova who died during the week of throat cancer but what followed afterwards was way off script.

Barça's Iniesta keeping the ball from an opponent [via FCBarcelona]

With the first half heading for a goalless end, Cani gave the Yellow Submarines a shock lead and then 10 minutes after the break, Manuel Trigueros scored Villarreal’s second to boost their hopes for a Europa League place.

Then the implosion began for Villarreal, with defenders Gabriel Paulista and Mateo Pablo Musacchio each scoring an own goal to bring Barça back on level terms before Lionel Messi scored the winner for the Catalan giants seven minutes from time.

The win puts Barça back in second spot on 84 points, a point ahead of Real Madrid – that have a game in hand – but four points behind Atletico Madrid with three matches left to play; including the potential title decider between Barça and Atletico on the final matchday.

Elsewhere in Spain, fourth placed Athletic Bilbao now needs one more win to secure their place in next season’s Champions League following the Basque side’s 3-1 win over fifth placed Sevilla.

The win moved Bilbao to 65 points, six points ahead of Sevilla that still have Europa League glory to chase, continuing with a second leg semi-final match at Valencia this week having won the first leg 2-0 last week.

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