Photograph: Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA
Barcelona squandered a golden opportunity to extend their lead at the top of La Liga by suffering a sensational 2-1 defeat at home Rayo Vallecano thanks to half-time goals from Álvaro García and Fran García.
With seven games to play, Barça top the table on 76 points, 11 ahead of second-placed Real Madrid, who were also knocked out 4-2 at Girona on Tuesday. Rayo Vallecano are ninth with 43 points, four points off the European qualifiers.
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Rayo ended Barça’s seven-game unbeaten league run with a courageous display in front of their fans at a sold-out Estadio de Vallecas. They were the better team for most of the game against lousy Barça and opened the scoring in the 19th minute after Sergio Camello challenged Gavi and quickly served up Álvaro García who deflected an unstoppable low shot past Marc-André ter Stegen .
Rayo got back on top in the second half and extended their lead in the 52nd minute thanks to a great shot from Fran García, who stole the ball from Frenkie de Jong in midfield and shot through the heart of the Barça defense to score with a tidy finish beyond Ter Stegen. Barça reduced the deficit thanks to Robert Lewandowski, who attacked a loose ball inside the area and fed it into the net in the 83rd minute.
Atletico Madrid he rallied after conceding an early goal to beat True Majorcaa result that put them within two points of second-placed Real Madrid.
Celebrating their 120th anniversary in front of a sold-out Metropolitano stadium and wearing a blue and white kit inspired by the one used in their first match in 1903, Atlético went behind in the 19th minute after Mallorca defender Matija Nastasic he scored with a header from a corner. But Atlético have taken control of the game, creating several opportunities mainly thanks to Antoine Griezmann, in full form, who is in contention to be the league’s player of the season.
The referee initially awarded Atlético a penalty for a foul on Nahuel Molina inside the box, but reversed his decision after checking the VAR replay.
Atlético recovered two goals in two minutes at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second. Rodrigo de Paul scored in added time before the break with a close-range strike and just after the break Álvaro Morata found the net with a commanding header from Molina’s perfect cross.
Yannick Carrasco earned the points on a 76th-minute counterattack, collecting a brilliant long pass from Griezmann and dribbling around the goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net.
Elsewhere in La Liga, Almeria came out the victor in a relegation-critical dogfight, winning 2-1 at Getafe to go 15th, three points clear of the relegation places. Colombian international Luis Suárez scored both goals for the visitors, while Djene Dakonam was sent off for the hosts in first half added time. Getafe are fourth bottom on 31 points, one point above Valencia who have one game left. CeltaVigoin the meantime, beat the basement club Elche 1-0 with victory in the 90th minute by Joseph Aidoo.
In the Italian Cup the International Midfielder Federico Dimarco’s first-half goal earned his side a place in the final for the second consecutive year following a 1-0 home win against Juventus in the semi-final second leg they secured a 2–1 aggregate win.
Nicolò Barella serves Dimarco to give the champions the lead after 15 minutes. Shortly after the start of the second half, Edin Dzeko looked to have doubled the home side’s lead with a fine finish from a tight angle, but was flagged for offside. Inter will face either Fiorentina or Cremonese in the final on 24 May at the Stadio Olimpico, with Fiorentina leading 2-0 after the first leg.