Barcelona suffered second successive defeats in a week after they lost 1-0 at Granada on Saturday in the Spanish Primera division.

Having been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Barca’s hopes of retaining the La Liga title hit a new low as they were stunned by lowly Granada.

The match was settled by a solitary goal by Algerian midfielder Yacine Brahimi after 15 minutes, the 24-year-old racing through a Barca defence containing no natural centre-backs and scoring past Jose Manuel Pinto.

The visitors, who began without midfield marshal Xavi and first-choice full-backs Dani Alves and Jordi Alba, were unable to respond, thwarted on a number of occasions by Granada’s outstanding goalkeeper Orestis Karnesis, who was making only his second start of the season.

The loss to a team that began the match with 44 points fewer than Barca meant Gerardo Martino’s men could finish the weekend four points behind Atletico, who visit Getafe on Sunday evening.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid went level on points momentarily with their city rivals Atletico after dismantling relegation-threatened Almeria 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabue in the day’s late game.

Cristiano Ronaldo may have been missing but Real still possess plenty of firepower and they took the lead after
28 minutes when Angel di Maria exchanges passes with Nacho before curling a great strike past visiting
goalkeeper Esteban and into the corner.

Gareth Bale added a second for Real in the 53rd minute when he drove powerfully home after a neat move, and Isco made it 3-0 by firing past Esteban at his near post.

Alvaro Morata completed the rout with five minutes remaining as he latched on to a chipped pass from Asier Illarramendi and calmly slotted in.

In another game, Jeremy Perbet headed a winner deep in stoppage-time to sink Levante and keep alive Villarreal’s hopes of securing automatic
qualification for the Europa League.

The game looked to be heading for a dour goalless draw well into the 95th minute, when Perbet nodded Manuel Trigueros’ right-wing cross into the bottom corner of Keylor Navas’ net to secure a 1-0 victory.

Also, Celta Vigo came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw from a dramatic game with Real Sociedad, despite
playing the second half with 10 men.

Sergio Canales gave the Basques an early lead that was cancelled out by Nolito from the penalty spot after 38

Antoine Griezmann put the visitors back in front with a thumping finish a couple of minutes before half-time
and the afternoon got worse for Luis Enrique’s side when Jon Aurtenetxe’s rash tackle on Carlos Vela was punished by a red card in the 46th minute.

However, substitute Santi Mina levelled with eight minutes to go to take Celta to 37 points and deny Real
Sociedad a chance to overtake Sevilla in the table.


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