La Liga Wrap: Atletico and Barca draw, Athletic Bilbao win big
By Football News
A 0-0 draw between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona breathed life back into the title race in La Liga, while Athletic Bilbao thumped Almeria.
The clash between the top two in the Spanish capital failed to live up to its heavyweight billing, and Real Madrid can now close to within three points of both sides if they win at Espanyol on Sunday.
A point apiece keeps Barcelona on top of the table, ahead of Atletico on goal difference, after a match of few chances - with the best falling to Diego Costa.
The Atletico striker, who has scored 19 league goals this season, turned the ball wide from close range after a corner made its way to the back post in the first half, while Lionel Messi had a series of half-chances for Barca after coming on as a substitute.
While neither side lost ground on each other, they will nervously watch Carlo Ancelotti's Real on Sunday and hope for a surprise result.
Athletic Bilbao's home fixture against Almeria was far more exciting, with the hosts winning 6-1.
Goals in the first half-hour from Mikel Rico, Ander Herrera and Aymeric Laporte set Athletic on their way, with Helder Barbosa's response counting for little in the long run.
Aritz Aduriz restored Athletic's three-goal lead seven minutes after the break, and there was still time for Ibai to score a late double as they moved four points ahead of the fifth-placed Real Sociedad.
Other results on Saturday saw Celta Vigo come from behind to defeat Valencia 2-1 thanks to a second-half double from Charles, while Daniel Carrico's 89th-minute equaliser gave Sevilla a 1-1 draw at Elche, with the visitors' goal coming just seven minutes after Cristian Herrera's header.