Barca hammer Rayo to keep Real waiting | sports | Hindustan Times
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Barca hammer Rayo to keep Real waiting

Barcelona kept Real Madrid's La Liga title celebrations on hold at least for a few days with a crushing 7-0 victory at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday after Real had cruised to a 3-0 home win over Sevilla.

sports Updated: Apr 30, 2012 23:18 IST
Madrid

Barcelona kept Real Madrid's La Liga title celebrations on hold at least for a few days with a crushing 7-0 victory at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday after Real had cruised to a 3-0 home win over Sevilla.

Two days after coach Pep Guardiola announced his decision to step down at the end of the season, World Player of the Year Lionel Messi scored two goals and had a hand in four more including two for Pedro.

Jose Mourinho's Real have 91 points and can secure their 32nd league title with victory at Europa League finalists Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, regardless of what Guardiola's side do at home to Malaga.

Race for Europe
Big-spending Malaga strengthened their chances of a first venture into the Champions League next season when a cross looped in off Ignacio Camacho's shoulder for a 1-0 home win over Valencia. The visitors, dumped out of the Europa League on Thursday, had midfielder Sofiane Feghouli sent off in the 61st minute, and Manuel Pellegrini's side drew level with them on 55 points.

Valencia stayed third, ahead of Malaga due to their superior head-to-head record, in the last two qualification slots for Europe's elite club competition.

Fixing claims denied
The football league (LFP) and two clubs allegedly involved in recent match-fixing claims moved to distance themselves from speculation on Monday.

A report citing an anonymous source in the LFP, raised doubts about Sporting Gijon's 3-0 win at Espanyol prompted a furious response from both clubs.

Gijon president Manuel Vega-Arango said, "We are a modest club in economic terms but with a sensational fan base who do not deserve this which is why we are not going to let it go."