Madrid: The Primera Division title race will go to the final day after Barcelona and Real Madrid both won on Sunday, but Atletico Madrid's challenge is over.
A jubilant Luis Suarez of Barca celebrates after scoring a goal against Espanyol yesterday. Pic/AFP
The penultimate round of fixtures began with Barca and Atletico level on 85 points at the top with Real just a point back, but Barca could have clinched the championship if results had gone their way due to their superior head-to-head record over both capital clubs this term.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal. Pic/ AFP
Barca did their job, thrashing city rivals Espanyol 5-0, but Real Madrid ensured the champagne would remain on ice at the Nou Camp by beating Valencia 3-2.
That means defending champions Barca will go into their final match at Granada still boasting a one-point lead over bitter rivals Real, who travel to Deportivo La Coruna.
However, Atletico — who will face Real in the Champions League final later this month — are now out of it after they were surprisingly beaten 2-1 at relegated Levante.
Fernando Torres gave Atletico an early lead but Victor's equaliser and Guiseppe Rossi's late breakaway goal at the Ciutat de Valencia means 2014 champions Atletico now cannot overhaul Barca.
For Barca, one more win will now guarantee them a sixth title in eight years following their drubbing of Espanyol. Lionel Messi's eighth-minute free-kick separated the teams at the break, but a brace from Luis Suarez plus strikes from Rafinha and Neymar in the second half ensured Barca the win.