Villarreal CF beat Sporting de Gijon 3-1 in Spanish La Liga
Villarreal CF were within five points of fourth-place Sevilla and third-place Atletico Madrid, who are level on points. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. are the top two teams in the standings, tied on points but Real has a game at hand.football Updated: Apr 29, 2017 13:29 IST
Striker Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal defeated Sporting Gijon 3-1 in the Spanish La Ligaon Friday, keeping alive its slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Villarreal was within five points of fourth-place Sevilla and third-place Atletico Madrid, who are level on points. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. are the top two teams in the standings, tied on points but Real has a game at hand.
Sporting was in 18th place in the 20-team standings, at least six points from safety.
Roberto Soldado opened the scoring in the first half and Bakambu added both of his goals early in the second.
Douglas scored near the end for Sporting, which is winless in seven games.
Sevilla and Atletico fight
Another Spanish league title race is down to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The fight for third place is no less intense.
Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, gunning for the final automatic spot for next season’s Champions League, have the same points with four games left. Atletico is ahead on the head-to-head tiebreaker, but its attention is split between the league and the semifinals of the Champions League.
Sevilla appeared to have third place secured not long ago, when it was nine points in front of Atletico. But then it endured a run of five winless games, including a 3-1 loss to Atletico.
Atletico won seven of eight matches to move past Sevilla, and it was carrying a three-point lead in the last few rounds until Tuesday, when it lost to Villarreal 1-0 at home.
Sevilla capitalized by beating Celta Vigo 2-1 at home on Thursday, leaving the teams even again entering the final rounds.
“We knew this was a crucial game in the fight for third place,” Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli said. “We caught up to them again and we are already focused on what we need to do on Monday.”
On Monday, Sevilla plays at Malaga.
Atletico visits Las Palmas on Saturday.
First Published: Apr 29, 2017 08:29 IST