RIVAL WATCH: Chance for Barça to extend Liga lead after Atlético are held by Girona
A win against Betis would put the blaugrana eleven points clear at the top of the table after the teams in second and third place both fail to win on Saturday
Barça were already a massive nine points clear at the top of the Liga table going into this weekend’s matches. But that lead could be stretched to eleven with a win against Real Betis on Sunday night (8.45pm CET).
Setbacks for direct rivals
And that’s because second placed Atlético Madrid could only draw at home to the season’s surprise package Girona on Saturday. Antoine Griezmann put the colchoneros a goal to the good, but Cristian Portu drew level after the break.
It leaves Atlético on 43 points and Barça on 51 with a game in hand.
And Barça’s league prospects received a further boost when Valencia tumbled to 2-1 defeat at Las Palmas. Despite Santi Mina putting them ahead after just five minutes, the side in third place in the table had two men sent off en route to a loss that means they stay 11 points adrift of leaders FCB.
Real Madrid beat Deportivo 7-1 on Sunday, overtaking Villarreal to move back into the Champions League places after Villarreal beat Levante 2-1. Gareth Bale, Nacho, and Cristiano Ronaldo got two goals each and the team from Madrid are now on 35 points.
Espanyol lose, Chelsea win
Espanyol followed their shock Copa del Rey victory against Barça midweek by crashing to 3-0 defeat at home to Sevilla.
Meanwhile in England, Barça’s Champions League opponents Chelsea picked up a comfortable 4-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion, with two goals from Eden Hazard and one each from Willian and Victor Moses.
The result leaves them third in the Premiership table, 15 points behind leaders Man City, who saw off Newcastle United 3-1.