Madrid, Apr 14: FC Barcelona saw their lead at the top of the Liga Santander reduced to nine points as they were held to a 0-0 draw away to bottom of the table Huesca on Saturday, while their closest rivals, Atletico Madrid, beat struggling Celta Vigo 2-0.
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde rested nearly all of his usual first team, with players such as Leo Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic not even travelling to Huesca. Four players, Jeison Murillo, Jean-Clair Todibo, Riqui Puig and Moussa Wague all made their league debuts and although their entry into the team didn't stop Bara controlling over 70 percent of possession, the leaders created very few chances, with Ousmane Dembele having the best, which was saved by Huesca keeper Roberto Santamaria. Barca now need just nine points from their last six games of the season to assure the title. Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata gave Atletico a 2-0 win at home to Celta Vigo, who were without their talismanic striker, Iago Aspas through suspension.
Griezmann opened the scoring with a thumping free kick a minute before halftime and Morata sealed the win with a left foot shot after being teed up by Griezmann. Sevilla and Betis served up a thriller in the Seville derby, with the home side winning 3-2 to move them temporarily into fourth, while at the same time putting a major dent in their neighbors' hopes of playing in Europe next season.
Munir El Haddadi opened the scoring for the home side with a flicked header in the 27th minute. Giovani Lo Celso equalized for Betis 10 minutes into the second half after a cross from the left, but just four minutes later Pablo Sarabia restored Sevilla's lead following a counter-attack and it was 3-1 in the 65th minute after Fran Vazquez slammed home a thunderbolt from the edge of the Betis penalty area.
There was more drama to come when Cristian Tello scored a direct free kick to make it 3-2 with just seven minutes left to play, but although Betis laid siege to the Sevilla goal in the closing minutes they were unable to find an equalizer.
Earlier in the day Wu Lei played 63 minutes as Espanyol beat Alaves 2-1 thanks to a 19th minute goal from Adria Pedrosa and a Victor Laguardia own goal which put the home side 2-0 up before Jonathan Calleri gave Alaves hope with a 56th minute strike. (UNI-XINHUA)