Real, Barca enjoy comfortable wins

AFP

Sports, Football

Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu levelled just 11 minutes later before Barca regained the lead just before the break with a deflected Messi effort.

Barcelona’s Neymar (left) vies for the ball with Villarreal’s Jonathan dos Santos at Camp Nou. (Photo: AFP)

Madrid:  Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez scored twice as a much-changed Real Madrid moved to within three victories of winning La Liga with a 4-0 demolition of Tony Adams’ already-relegated Granada.

Earlier, Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were all on target to take their combined tally for the season to 102 as Barcelona kept pace at the top with a 4-1 win over Villarreal. Barca remain top thanks to their superior head-to-head record with the two locked on 84 points, but Real have three games remaining to the Catalans’ two.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane continued his rotation policy but barely two minutes had gone when Lucas Vazquez squared for Rodriguez to tap home the opener. The Colombian then powered home a header nine minutes later.

Morata blasted home Danilo’s low cross then bullied Martin Hongla out of the way to fire home his 20th goal of the season. Real had mercy on the hosts after the break, but now just need seven points from their last three games against Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Malaga to seal a first La Liga title in five years.

Barca maintained the pressure on the European champions with all of their front three on top form against Villarreal. Neymar took advantage of a blocked shot from Messi to prod home the opener from close range after 21 minutes.

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Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu levelled just 11 minutes later before Barca regained the lead just before the break with a deflected Messi effort. Suarez killed the game off when he turned Jaume Costa and fired low and hard past Fernandez.

Costa was also the man at fault as he was harshly adjudged to have handled inside his own box after a sensational piece of skill from Neymar eight minutes from time. And Messi chipped the resulting penalty down the middle of the goal to round off the scoring.    

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