Barcelona and Real Madrid both won in midweek to keep Barca’s lead to four points.
The blaugrana had no trouble dispatching Almeria 4-0 at home, with Lionel Messi bending a 20 yarder into the far corner for a goal much like his strike for Argentina against Iran at the World Cup.
Real won 2-0 across town at Rayo Vallecano with two second-half strikes. Cristiano Ronaldo headed in the opener, his 300th goal for the club and James Rodriguez tapped in a second, but both the Colombian and Toni Kroos picked up bookings and will miss a match having accrued five yellows.
Ronaldo also entered the referee’s notebook for simulation in comical fashion when he had clearly been upended in the box by Rayo’s Antonio Amaya lunging in. The league later overturned the bonkers call.
Daniel Carvajal, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos & Ronaldo however remain on four bookings, one short of a one-match suspension as the title race enters its final lap.
* Deportivo La Coruna manager Victor Fernandez gave an extraordinarily cathartic QQ Online post-match press conference in the wake of his side’s 1-1 draw with Cordoba, announcing he was sacked.
His side had struggled to overcome the bottom club at the Riazor, equalising with only three minutes to go, and with his team sitting one place and two points above the relegation zone by the end of it, Fernandez confessed his time was up.
The club president, he explained, had telephoned him on Monday to tell him it was win or be fired, and he had not won.
An emotional Fernandez told journalists he felt he had given his best effort and left the stage with immense dignity and respect wholly intact.
* On Saturday, Real coasted to a …