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Real close gap after Barca let 2-0 lead slip

Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga was cut to two points on Saturday as they squandereda two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 at Sevilla while Real Madrid powered their way to a 3-0 home win over Eibar.

Neymar set up Argentine Lionel Messi for Barca’s first goal and the Brazilian then converted an inch-perfect free kick after31 minutes but a determined Sevilla, who are now unbeaten in 32 home games, never gave up. Ever Banega struck a 30-metre drive into the corner that Claudio Bravo failed to keep out in the 38th minute and, after chances at both ends, substitute Kevin Gameiro grabbed the equaliser six minutes from time.

Cristiano Ronaldo continued his hot streak with the opening goal as second-placed Real won while Antoine Griezmann came to the rescue of Atletico Madrid, who are third, with his second of the game after 78 minutes earning the champions a 2-2 draw at Malaga.

Ronaldo struck a free kick from distance and the ball moved deceptively in the air to catch out keeper Xabier Irureta and put Real 1-0 up after 21 minutes at the Bernabeu.

The World Player of the Year’s form dropped after Christmas, coinciding with Real losing top spot, but he has now bounced back with eight goals from four games. Real were missing several regular starters against Eibar,who posed little threat, and Javier Hernandez nodded home the second after 31 minutes.

Jese Rodriguez completed the scoring from the edge of the area seven minutes from the end. Barca now have 75 points, two more than Real with seven games to go, while Atletico are on 66.


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