La Liga round-up: Lewandowski grabs late winner;  Atlético lost in the last touch

La Liga round-up: Lewandowski grabs late winner; Atlético lost in the last touch

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona were on the verge of another shock when Robert Lewandowski stretched his right boot and found the winner.

The Polish striker’s stoppage-time goal sealed a 1-0 win at Valencia on Saturday, and moved Barcelona back level with Real Madrid on points in the Spanish league standings.

Lewandowski’s last-gasp lunge further frustrated Xavi Hernandez’s side three days laterOut of the Champions LeagueIn the group stage for the second year in a row.

While failing to find the back of the net in defeats against Madrid and former club Bayern Munich, Lewandowski is enjoying some great form with a career-high 13 goals in 12 appearances in the Spanish league.

He then made up for his team-mates’ bad luck at Valencia when he headed home Rafinha’s pass for a late winner.

Rafinha and Ferran Torres, players Barcelona spent more than 110 million euros ($110 million) to bring in last year, both missed golden chances after coming on as substitutes in the 85th. Padre Gonzalez fed what looked like the perfect assist to Torres, but instead of pressing home the former Valencia and Manchester City forward fired the ball off his other foot. Rafinha then rebounded over the bar.

But the connection between Rafinha and the team’s new star was enough to take three points from the Mestal stadium.

“This is a very important win for us, the most important thing is how we won,” Xavi said. “Today we played with fatigue. We tried to separate and move on from the Champions League, but you can see that we are still effective. We still deserve to win, even if it comes in the last seconds.

Madrid can take the lead when it plays Girona on Sunday.

Another brutal ending

While Barcelona won in the dying moments, for the second straight game Atlético Madrid were betrayed by the last touch of the goal.

Cádiz beat Atletico 3-2 after Ruben Sobrino headed in a cross before the final whistle to end the tie in favor of the hosts.

The final second loss came just three days laterAtlético were also eliminatedFrom the Champions LeagueAfter a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage. Atletico’s Yannick Carrasco had a penalty saved and two attempts by his teammates to pull it back failed in the final kicks of the game.

Cádiz led 2-0 until substitute Joao Felix was brought back late by Atletico. His scissor kick was turned into his own net by Luis Hernandez in the 85th and Felix equalized with a long strike in the 89th.

But a last gasp by Cádiz ended when Sobrino was left unmarked at the far post where he used his charge to turn in a cross and slot home at the Nuevo Mirandela Stadium.

The defeat threatened Atletico’s grip on third place.

It was the Caddies’ first win at home this season that was under threat.


A solitary effort from Rio Villacano winger Alvaro Garcia on the counter-attack was enough to beat Sevilla 1-0 and give the struggling team another blow in front of their fans.

Sevilla were involved in a defeat for Spanish teams in the Champions League this week when it was also eliminated. The team is yet to win a home game in this league, and the change of coach with Jorge Sampaoli replacing Julen Lopetegui has yet to change things.

Sevilla remained on the brink of the relegation zone after last season’s fourth-place finish.

Almeria also came from behind to beat 10th-placed Celta Vigo 3-1.

World Cup injury scare

France defender Jules Conde, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, Spain striker Alvaro Morata and Spain defender Eric Garcia have all been sidelined due to apparent physical problems while playing for their clubs.

Conde and Garcia, both Barcelona players, were both substituted in the second half at Valencia. Xavi said none of the injuries appeared to be serious.

Cavani went down early for Valencia, clutching his right leg and grinning as he walked. Cavani has been included in Uruguay coach Diego Alonso’s initial squad for Qatar. Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso said that Cavani has a pain in his leg that needs to be checked.

Atletico’s Morata had to be substituted due to a strain on his right foot.

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