Primera Liga round-up
Lionel Messi continued his hot goalscoring form for Barcelona as they secured a 2-0 triumph at Sevilla in La Liga on Saturday evening.
Last Updated: 17/03/12 11:02pm
Lionel Messi continued his hot goalscoring form for Barcelona as they secured a 2-0 triumph at Sevilla in the Primera Liga on Saturday evening.
Messi's 25th minute strike, his 31st this season in La Liga, followed up a Xavi opener seven minutes earlier to condemn the hosts to a second consecutive defeat.
The win sees Barca close the gap on leaders Real Madrid to seven points, but Jose Mourinho's men will regain their 10-point lead if they can beat Malaga at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
An Inigo Martinez own goal 10 minutes from time was enough to hand Getafe a 1-0 victory in a tepid encounter with Real Sociedad.
The visitors should have taken the lead after just 12 minutes as a loose ball on the edge of the area fell to Asier Illarramendi but with goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya out of position he could only sidefoot the ball wide. Miku then had just as good a chance to put Getafe in front seven minutes before half-time but he also failed to hit the target with just Claudio Bravo to beat.
Both sides had half-chances after the break but neither seemed capable of creating a move worthy of winning the game until Getafe got a bit of luck when Abel Barrada's cross was punched by Bravo into Martinez's midriff and the ball rebounded into the empty net.
Granada took a giant step towards survival with a 2-1 win over relegation rivals Sporting Gijon thanks to first-half goals from Carlos Martins and Guilherme Siqueira.
Martins gave the hosts a flying start when his free-kick out on the left went through a gaping hole in the Sporting wall and beat Juan Pablo at his near post.
Sporting could not contain the hosts' passing and movement early on and Siqueira made it two as he received an excellent through-ball from Dani Benitez and coolly slotted past Pablo from close range.
Granada continued to have the better of the play after half-time as Benitez struck the bar and Ikechukwu Uche had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside before Adrian Colunga pulled a goal back for the visitors with a fine lob deep into stoppage time.
Real Zaragoza were denied three vital points in their bid to escape relegation as Osasuna snatched an equaliser amid late drama at La Romareda.
Helder Postiga thought he had earned the home side, who sit bottom of the table, a vital win when he scored the opening goal with just four minutes to go.
But Osasuna, who have European ambitions this season, earned a 1-1 draw when Roversio headed an equaliser with two minutes remaining.
Rayo Vallecano beat Real Betis 3-0 to condemn the strugglers to a third straight defeat in Saturday's late game.
The clash was locked at 0-0 until the 51st minute, when Emiliano Armenteros fired the hosts ahead.
Diego Costa doubled Rayo's advantage later in the second half before substitute Raul Tamudo netted in stoppage time to seal the win as the home side maintained their spot in midtable.