Real Madrid fail to take advantage of Barcelona slip

Real Madrid were unable to capitalise on Barcelona's dropped points against Celta Vigo as they were forced to settle for a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga today.

Real could have cut the gap to Barca back to six points with victory in the late game after the league leaders had been surprisingly held 2-2 at home by Celta.

However, despite starting with the same XI that beat Juventus in June's Champions League final for the first time since that match, Real could not find a winner at a rain-swept San Mames.

They were also left hanging on for a point at the end after captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in the 86th minute - the 24th time he has seen red in his Real career.

The draw keeps defending champions eight points adrift of Barca, who had earlier recorded a second successive draw after Celta emerged from the Nou Camp with a hard-fought tie.

In-form Iago Aspas put the visitors ahead after 20 minutes, only for Lionel Messi to equalise within two minutes.

The hosts had further chances - Luis Suarez had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside before Messi hit the outside of the post from a tight angle - before Suarez did edge Barca ahead just after the hour mark.

Celta were far from done, though, and Maxi Gomez earned them a point when he netted with 20 minutes left.

Unlike Real, Atletico Madrid did manage to take advantage as they moved to within six points of Barca with a 2-1 comeback win against Real Sociedad.

The visitors took a 28th-minute lead at the Wanda Metropolitano when Mikel Oyarzabal was brought down by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Willian Jose converted from the spot to score in four consecutive league games for the first time, but Atletico levelled when Saul Niguez set up Filipe Luis after 62 minutes.

Atletico pressed for a winner and it came three minutes from time, Saul again the provider as Antoine Griezmann stroked home his fourth goal in three games.

Also on Saturday, Sevilla saw off Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan thanks to goals Wissam Ben Yedder and Michael Krohn-Dehli.

There was more good news for Sevilla as it was revealed during the game that their coach Eduardo Berizzo has been discharged from hospital after undergoing successful prostate cancer surgery last Tuesday.



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