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Madrid, May 3 – FC Barcelona are just one win away from securing this season’s La Liga title after their hard-fought 1-0 win at home against 10-man Osasuna and Real Madrid’s 2-0 defeat away to Real Sociedad on Tuesday night.
The results leave Barca 14 points clear of Real Madrid, who could drop to third place if Atletico Madrid beat Cadiz on Wednesday, and a win away against neighbors Espanyol on May 14 would make it impossible for either of the Madrid sides to catch them.
Jordi Alba’s sliced finish five minutes from time after a clever headed pass from Frenkie de Jong gave Barca the win, a Xinhua report said.
Osasuna made several changes to their usual starting 11 ahead of next Saturday’s Copa del Rey final, with central defender Jorge Herrando making his first team debut.
Unfortunately for Osasuna, Herrando was sent off in the 27th minute for pulling down Pedri, after the Barca midfielder appeared to be through on goal.
The visitors held on for 70 minutes with a player less, although Barca increased the pressure in the closing minutes, with Robert Lewandowski having a goal ruled out for offside and Ferran Torres seeing a good chance saved by Osasuna keeper Aitor Fernandez before Alba’s vital strike.
Real Madrid also made wide-scale changes to their side for their visit to fourth-placed Real Sociedad, with Karim Benzema rested and Vinicius Jr suspended, and they paid the price with another disappointing away performance.
Takefusa Kubo put Real Sociedad ahead at the start of the second half after a bad error from Eder Militao, and things got worse for Real Madrid when Dani Carvajal was sent off for two yellow cards.
Ander Barrenetxea, who had replaced Kubo, scored Real Sociedad’s second with five minutes left to play, and his side are now in the driving seat to secure fourth place.
Goals from Leo Baptistao and Adri Embarba gave Almeria a vital 2-1 win at home against Elche, who scored a late consolation through Ezequiel Ponce.
The win lifts Almeria up to 14th place with 36 points, five above the relegation zone, while at the same time mathematically confirming Elche as the first team to be relegated to the second division this season.