Argentine Lionel Messi restored his Barcelona team to the winning streak and revived his hopes of competing for the title before the upcoming summit against Atletico Madrid, next Saturday, by leading him to victory over Valencia 3-2, at the Mestalla stadium, in the 34th stage of the Spanish Football League.
Valencia was the first to score through Brazilian defender Gabriel Bautista (50), but Barcelona responded with three goals, including a double by Messi (57 and 69) and a goal by French striker Antoine Griezmann (63), before Carlos Soler narrowed the difference (83).
Barcelona quickly regained its balance after the surprise loss to Granada 1-2 in the “Camp Nou” Thursday with a postponed match from the 33rd stage, and strengthened its position in third place with 74 points, two direct matches behind rivals Real Madrid, title holder, and two points behind leaders Atlético Madrid and his guest. In a decisive summit next Saturday in the thirty-sixth stage.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique addressed the next confrontation against Atletico Madrid, and said: “Our only goal is to win, and then we will wait for the result of the Real Madrid and Seville match.”
It is noteworthy that the fate of Barcelona is no longer in his hands, as his rivals are expected to stumble during the last meters of the League to enhance their competitive chances, knowing that his victory over Atletico and Real stumbling, even if a draw against Seville, will give him the lead and thus regain the initiative again.
Pique said, “I do not want to confirm that whoever will be at the top in the next round will end up being La Liga champion … I hope that we will lead the league (in the next round), but if another team leads, we will not lose our hope of crowning the title.”
The English “Mirror” newspaper reported that Manchester United may be punished by deducting points from the team in the English Premier League, due to the riot of the club’s fans, which caused the postponement of their match against Liverpool on Sunday evening.
The “Liverpool Echo” network talked about the earliest date for that match, taking into account that it cannot be played this week, as Manchester United will face Rome in the second leg of the EuroLeague semi-finals at Olympico next Thursday.
In turn, Liverpool will face Southampton next Saturday, while Manchester United will play two matches against Aston Villa and Leicester City on next Sunday and Wednesday, then play the last two rounds against Fulham and Wolverhampton on the 19 and 23 of this month, while Liverpool will face West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Crystal Palace on 16, 19 and 23 days.
It must also be taken into account that the Euroleague final will be held on the 26th of this month, as United are the closest to it by winning the semi-final victory over Roma 6-2, and this means that the Manchester United and Liverpool match cannot be held after the end of the last round of the English Premier League scheduled for the 23rd of this month, as it will not be possible. Set up in June, to hold the postponed European Cup from last summer.