The La Liga title race took another turn on Wednesday as Real Madrid lost for the second time in four days while title contenders Atletico Madrid and Barcelona pulled clear with wins. So in less than a week, Real’s main rivals have picked up six points on them in the standings. Barca’s win appears costly though as goalkeeper Victor Valdes suffered a series knee injury that will keep him out of this summers World Cup.
A trip to Sevilla is never easy, but when Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in front with a 15th minute deflected free-kick, it looked like Carlo Ancelotti’s side would go on and win thee game. But Sevilla replied almost immediately through Carlos Bacca, and in the 72nd minute some superb skill from Ivan Rakitic set up Bacca for the second. It was a record sixth straight win for Sevilla, lifting them up to fifth, six points behind Athletic Bilbao in fourth.
At the Camp Nou, Barca were leading 1-0 through an early Neymar goal when Valdes got hurt saving a free kick from Orellana. The initial diagnosis is that Valdés, who is out of contract at the end of the season will be out for up to six months with a torn cruciate ligament. Further goals from Messi and Naymar gave Barca a comfortable victory but the gloss was certainly taken off the the win with Valdes’s injury.
Barça are second on 72 points, with Madrid third on 70. Atletico lead the way on 73 points after Diego Costa’s 63rd minute header was enough to give them all three points at home. Costa has been brilliant this season and has now scored 24 goals in La Liga and 32 in all competitions.