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Jul 11, 2020 at 9pm UK
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European Roundup: Arturo Vidal keeps Barcelona in hunt for La Liga title

:Headline: European Roundup: Arturo Vidal keeps Barcelona in hunt for La Liga title:
The Argentine became the first player in Spain to both score and assist 20 goals or more in the same season.
Sports Mole

Barcelona stayed in touch with LaLiga leaders Real Madrid with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Real Valladolid.

Arturo Vidal’s eighth goal of the season after 15 minutes sees Barcelona trail Real Madrid having played a game more.

Real have three games to play and remain favourites to wrap up a first domestic title since 2017 with Granada, Villarreal and Leganes left on their fixture list.

Vidal might have been the match-winner, but it was Lionel Messi who carved his name in LaLiga history once again.

Messi slipped the ball through to Vidal and he flashed home a low shot for the Argentinian to become the first player in the league to both score and assist 20 goals or more in the same LaLiga season.

Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi had been the last player to reach the figure of 20 assists in LaLiga during the 2008-09 season.

Barcelona dominated the first half and Antoine Griezmann and Messi had chances to double the lead, the latter’s deflected shot falling just wide of a post.

Valladolid improved after the break and Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a fine diving save to deny Enes Unal’s close-range header.

Ter Stegen also parried Sandro Ramirez’s fierce shot and the hosts felt substitute Junior Firpo had handled in the box.

But Barcelona held on for the three points that keeps their slim title hopes alive.

Atletico Madrid boosted their bid to finish third with a 1-0 home victory over Real Betis.

Diego Costa came up with a 76th-minute winner after Atletico had defender Mario Hemoso sent off before the hour.

Celta Vigo remain in relegation trouble after letting an early lead slip to lose 2-1 at Osasuna.

Santi Mina converted Iago Aspas’ 11th-minute cross to hand the visitors the lead, but Enric Gallego equalised midway through the first half.

Mid-table Osasuna snatched victory in the final seconds as Jose Arnaiz’s header left Celta four points above the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, two controversial Cristiano Ronaldo penalties secured Juventus a 2-2 draw against Serie A title rivals Atalanta.

Atalanta’s confidence from 11 successive wins in all competitions was evident from the start and Duvan Zapata fired the visitors into a 16th-minute lead.

Juventus levelled when Marten De Roon handled, although it was difficult for the Dutchman to get out of the way of Paolo Dybala’s cross, and Ronaldo hammered home the spot-kick.

Substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy restored Atalanta’s lead 10 minutes from time with a fierce 16-yard shot.

Paulo Dybala won a controversial first penalty for Juventus in their 2-2 draw with Serie A title rivals Atalanta (John Walton/PA)

But Luis Muriel unfortunately handled in the final minute and Ronaldo drove home his 28th league goal for Juventus to inch closer to a ninth successive league title.

The result leaves Juventus eight points clear of second-placed Lazio and nine ahead of Atalanta with six games remaining.

Lazio’s post-lockdown blues continued with a third straight defeat as mid-table Sassuolo won 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.

The hosts were on a 21-match unbeaten league run and one point behind Juventus when Serie A was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

But it has been a different story since the restart and Lazio have now lost four of their last six games.

Luis Alberto met Manuel Lazzari’s cross after 33 minutes to put Lazio ahead.

But Sassuolo levelled seven minutes after the restart when substitute Francesco Caputo set up Giacomo Raspadori’s first Serie A goal.

Caputo then headed home the winner in stoppage time as Sassuolo held on to eighth spot.

Fifth-placed Roma completed a comfortable 3-0 win at lowly Brescia.

All the goals came in the second half as Federico Fazio (48), Nikola Kalinic (62) and Nicolo Zaniolo (74) ensured Brescia remain seven points from safety.

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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico1310212652132
2Real Madrid15102327141332
3Real Sociedad1675425121326
4Sevilla148241710726
5Villarreal166822016426
6Barcelona1574429151425
7Granada146351722-521
8Celta Vigo155552021-120
9CadizCadiz165471120-919
10Real Betis166191930-1119
11Athletic Bilbao155371818018
12Levante154652021-118
13Getafe144551215-317
14AlavesAlaves154561317-417
15EibarEibar163761216-416
16Valencia153662122-115
17ElcheElche133641216-415
18Real Valladolid163671524-915
19Huesca151951323-1012
20Osasuna143381323-1012
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1Espanyol1913333092142
2Mallorca1912522671941
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6Rayo Vallecano199462014631
7PonferradinaPonferradina199372021-130
8GironaGirona198471516-128
9MirandesMirandes197661714327
10Fuenlabrada196852121026
11LugoLugo197571818026
12Malaga197571825-726
13Real Oviedo196762219325
14UD Logrones197391623-724
15Las PalmasLas Palmas195862025-523
16TenerifeTenerife195591520-520
17AlcorconAlcorcon195591116-520
18CartagenaCartagena1954102227-519
19CastellonCastellon1954101825-719
20SabadellSabadell1953111825-718
21Real ZaragozaZaragoza1935111120-914
22Albacete1935111125-1414
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