Atletico postpone Barca's title celebration, Wu Lei scores again for Espanyol
MADRID, April 24 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona will have to wait until Saturday at the earliest before celebrating this season's Liga Santander title after second placed Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 3-2 in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Barca's 2-0 win away to Alaves on Tuesday meant that defeat for Atletico against a rival that is looking to finish fourth and qualify for next season's Champions League would have made it impossible for anyone to catch them.
However, Atletico once again showed they are not a team that gives anything for lost in an entertaining game in a rainy Madrid.
Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the ninth minute, but former Atletico striker Kevin Gameiro equalized nine minutes before halftime.
Antoine Griezmann put Atletico back in front shortly after the start of the second half, but Valencia again dug deep and drew level in the 77th minute when Saul Niguez was judged to have committed deliberate handball by the VAR and Dani Parejo slotted home from the penalty spot.
The game looked to be heading for a draw, before Angel Correa's first goal since October gave Atletico three points that mean Barca have to win their home game against Levante in order to seal the title.
Wednesday's other games saw Athletic Club Bilbao take a big step towards qualifying for next season's Europa League as they ground out a 1-0 win away to Leganes. The only goal of the game came when Leganes striker Youssef En-Neysri put the ball into his own net following a corner just before halftime and Athletic, who played with three central defenders, were able to keep them at bay until the final whistle.
Celta Vigo claimed a vital point in their battle to avoid relegation as Maxi Gomez's 71st minute goal after a counter attack launched by Iago Aspas.
Gomez's goal cancelled out Wu Lei's 33rd minute opening goal for Espanyol. The Chinese forward took advantage of good work from Marc Roca to net his second goal in Spain with a low right foot shot.
Finally Levante claimed out of the bottom three with a comfortable home win against a Betis side in freefall.
Jose Campana opened the scoring in the ninth minute and Levante doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when Loren Moron netted an own goal. The points were safe in the 56th minute when Jose Luis Morales netted a penalty after he had been brought down by Andres Guardado and Coke made it 4-0 in the closing minutes.
Levante's win sees Girona drop into the relegation zone with just four games left in the season.
Thursday sees Sevilla take of Rayo Vallecano, while Getafe entertain Real Madrid and Real Sociedad take on Villarreal.