FC Barcelona defeated Valencia CF 4-2 in the Camp Nou Stadium here to remain in touch with Real Madrid as the Spanish La Liga reached the final international break of the season.
Barca, however, had to work hard against Valencia in a game in which their attacking trio of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez was again decisive, reports Xinhua news agency.
Mangala sent Valencia ahead at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening, only for Luis Suarez to equalise in a chaotic first half which then saw the Valencia defender sent off for pulling Suarez back when through on goal.
Messi scored the resultant penalty, but former Barca forward Munir made it 2-2 before half time.
A combination of poor finishing and some good saves from Valencia golkeeper Diego Alves kept the score level until Messi netted Barca’s third and Andre Gomes then netted against his former team to make it 4-2.
Atletico Madrid ended a week which saw them reach the last eight of the Champions League in style as they enjoyed a comfortable win at home to third-placed Sevilla.
The win came courtesy of a first-half header from Diego Godin, a brilliant second-half free kick from Antoine Griezmann and a simple tap in from Koke, with Joaquin Correa scoring a late consolation for Sevilla.
The result ends Sevilla’s slim title hopes and moves Atletico to just two points off third place and direct qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Sunday kicked off with Leganes and Malaga drawing 0-0 in a game where fear of defeat was the main factor and scoring chances were at a premium.
Celta Vigo claimed the Galicia derby with a 1-0 win away to Deportivo La Coruna thanks to Iago Aspes’ goal, while Sporting Gijon threw themselves a survival lifeline with a 3-1 win at home to Granada after coming back from a goal down.