Barcelona defeat leaves Real Madrid one point from LaLiga title

Carlo Ancelotti’s men are 15 points clear with five matches remaining.

By Press Association Published: 24 April 2022 - 9.50pm

Barcelona slumped to a 1-0 home defeat by Rayo Vallecano which pushed leaders Real Madrid a step closer to the LaLiga title.

With Real not in action ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Manchester City, second-placed Barca missed the chance to cut into the 15-point deficit and saw their game in hand rendered redundant.

Alvaro Garcia’s early goal proved enough for Rayo to complete a league double over Barca, and leave Real needing just one more point from their last five games to wrap up another domestic title.

AC Milan regained top spot in Serie A as Sandro Tonali struck in stoppage time to snatch a 2-1 win at Lazio.

The Rossoneri had seen rivals Inter climb to the summit after beating Roma on Saturday, and fell behind at the Stadio Olimpico as Ciro Immobile fired Lazio into a fourth-minute lead.

Veteran French forward Olivier Giroud, though, hauled Milan level five minutes into the second half and when it seemed they would have to settle for a draw, Tonali stabbed the ball in following a knockdown from substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Milan now sit two points clear, although having played a match more, as they chase a first Scudetto since the 2010-11 campaign.

Earlier on Sunday, a late goal from substitute Federico Bonazzoli helped Salernitana keep their survival bid alive with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina, which was a third straight victory for Davide Nicola’s side.

Champions League hopefuls Napoli were left stunned as Empoli scored three times in the last 10 minutes, including a brace from Andrea Pinamonti, to come from behind to beat the Partenopei 3-2 at Stadio Carlo Castellani and finally end their own 17-game winless run.

Elsewhere it finished 2-2 between Bologna and Udinese, while Milan Badelj’s 89th-minute strike grabbed Genoa a 1-0 home win over strugglers Cagliari – who are now just three points ahead of Salernitana.

Hertha Berlin boosted their Bundesliga survival hopes with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Stuttgart.

Davie Selke gave the hosts an early lead before Ishak Belfodil wrapped things up in stoppage time for Felix Magath’s men to increase the gap to third-bottom Stuttgart to four points.

Augsburg also put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Bochum thanks to first-half goals from Andre Hahn and Michael Gregoritsch.

In Ligue 1, Marseille kept themselves on course for Champions League qualification with a 1-0 win at Reims.

Paris St Germain had clinched the title on Saturday, and substitute Gerson struck late on as Marseille maintained their six-point lead over third-placed Rennes, who earlier in the day had trashed Lorient 5-0 despite having defender Nayef Aguerd sent off.

Khephren Thuram scored a last-minute goal as Nice kept up their own European hopes with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened Troyes.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Metz finished with nine men as they lost 1-0 at home against Brest.

Clermont picked up what could prove a crucial point in their survival bid after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home against Angers, who had Mohamed Ali-Cho sent off late on.

Kalifa Coulibaly scored twice as Nantes beat Bordeaux 5-3 while a late goal from Zeki Celik gave Lille a 1-0 home win over Strasbourg.

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