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Keeper Stegen saves Barca, Chinese Wu provokes penalty

Xinhua | Updated: २०१९-०२-११ १०:३२
FC Barcelona's goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen blocks the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona at San Mames stadium in Bilbao, Spain, Feb 10, 2019. [Photo/IC]

MADRID -- FC Barcelona dropped two points, but were lucky to take one as goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen was the hero of their 0-0 draw away to Athletic Club Bilbao on Sunday night.

The Barca keeper made a stunning first half save to deny Markel Susaeta and two late saves to keep out efforts from Inaki Williams (who set a new club record of 104 consecutive league appearances for the Basque side) as Barca were retain their 6-point lead at the top of the table.

Leo Messi played for Barca after doubts about a thigh injury, but looked to be short of fitness. Philippe Coutinho's performance was again disappointing.

Real Madrid got right back into the title race on Saturday and are now Barca's closest rivals after a 3-1 win in a controversial derby away to Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon.

Casemiro opened the scoring in his side's fifth consecutive league win in the 16 minute with an overhead kick, although Antoine Griezmann equalized 9 minutes later after being put through Angel Correa.

Real claimed in vain that move started with a foul and there was further controversy in the penalty which put Real Madrid back in front with Jose Gimenez adjudged to have fouled Vinicius Jr inside the penalty area to allow Sergio Ramos scored from the penalty spot.

Alvaro Morata was slightly unlucky to see what would have been his first goal for Atletico ruled out for offside, before Gareth Bale sealed the win for Real with 15 minutes remaining.

Wu Lei played a big part as Espanyol came back from a goal down to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in dramatic finish to a key relegation battle.

The Chinese forward, who entered the game as a 34th minute substitute, provoked a penalty from Emiliano Velazquez allowing Borja Iglesias to equalize from the penalty spot.

Sergi Darder won the game for Espanyol with a 95th minute volley, just five minutes after he's had another goal ruled out for offside.

On Sunday lunchtime Leganes striker Youssef En-Nesyri made his case to be player of the week with a hat-trick as his side thrashed a lackluster Betis 3-0.

The win lifts Leganes 6 points clear of the relegation zone and home fans will have laughed at the post-game comments of Betis coach Quique Setien, who complained Leganes on "do about 4 things well." On Sunday's showing, he should be glad they don't do 5 or 6.

Valencia also looked tired after their Cup semi-final against Betis as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Real Sociedad.

Getafe strengthened their place in 5th and are now just two points behind Sevilla in fourth place with a 3-1 win at home to Celta Vigo in the midday kick off, fighting back from Nestor Aroujo's opener for Celta with two goals from Jaime Mata and one from Jorge Molina.

Sevilla remain ahead of Getafe after coming fighting back from 2-0 down at home to Eibar and with 10 men after Ever Banega had been sent off.

Orellana and Charles had given Eibar a two-goal cushion, but two goals in the last two minutes from Wissam Ben Yedder and Pablo Sarabia saw them home side take a valuable point.

Meanwhile, Huesca won 2-0 away to Girona to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive thanks to two first half goals from 'Chimi' Avila.

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