FC Barcelona News: 30 March 2014: Pedro Taken Ill, Title Race Heats Up

Alex Caparros

With wins over Athletic Bilbao and Rayo Vallecano respectively, both Atletico and Real Madrid kept pace in the title race, with Diego Simeone's side retaining their slender lead over the trailing Blaugrana

Barça took three vital points from an intense derby at the Cornella- El Prat stadium  thanks to a second half penalty from Leo Messi. It was a typically tense and physical derby game  - made even more difficult by the strong wind at the ground throughout the game.

FC Barcelona defeated Espanyol this afternoon at Cornellà-El Prat in a match that had "a lot of friction and many interruptions," said Tata Martino in the post-match press conference. "We were expecting a game like this," continued the manager, who added that the "first 15 minutes" played out the way Barça wanted.

Rainy session at the Ciutat Esportiva | FC Barcelona

The first team got back to work on Sunday morning, with the players that started against Espanyol doing the usual recovery routine, while the session was considerably more intense for the other players. The first team members were joined by Barça B goalkeeper Adrián Ortolà, but Pedro Rodríguez, who has gone down with gastroenteritis, was missing.

Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid: Diego Costa and Koke on target as Diego Simeone's men regain La Liga top spot | Mail Online

Atletico Madrid stayed on course for an unlikely Spanish title triumph when they battled back from a goal down to secure a 2-1 win at fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday. Goals from Diego Costa and Koke restored Diego Simeone's side's lead at the summit after Barcelona had earlier leapfrogged Los Rojiblancos with a 1-0 win at Espanyol.

Xavi and Koke, face to face | FC Barcelona

With the quarter final first leg set for this week, the Barça and Atletico Madrid midfield generals, Xavi Hernández and Koke, who are teammates for Spain, answer our questions. Xavi admits he wasn't too happy aboout the draw, whilst Koke is looking forward to an exciting tie.

BBC Sport - Real Madrid 5-0 Rayo Vallecano

Wales forward Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid ended a run of two successive defeats with an emphatic victory over Rayo Vallecano. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a cool finish from Bale's pass for his 44th goal of the season. It was the perfect response from Real after losing lost 4-3 to Barcelona last weekend and 2-1 to Sevilla on Wednesday.

La Liga: Valencia lose 3-1 to Getafe, while Sociedad were held to a 1-1 draw with Osasuna | Football News | Sky Sports

Getafe climbed out of the relegation zone after shocking Valencia 3-1 at the Mestalla on a day which saw several lower-placed teams pick up unexpected results in the Primera Division. Osasuna also picked up a decent result as they held fifth-placed Real Sociedad to a 1-1 draw, although with Getafe winning in the late kick-off they still slipped down a place into the bottom two.

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