Title race closes up in Spain after matchday 31

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The gap at the top of the BBVA Primera Liga between league leaders, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid narrowed to just two points on Matchday 31 after Real Madrid won but Barcelona were only able to draw away to Sevilla.

Real Madrid kicked off the weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Eibar despite resting a host of players with an eye to Tuesday's Champions League tie away to Atletico Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the score with a free kick after 21 minutes, after Eibar keeper Xabi Irureta allowed a straightforward free kick to deceive him. It was the first free kick Ronaldo had scored since last April.

Javier Hernandez, enjoying a rare start, doubled Madrid's lead with header from an Alvaro Arbeloa cross ten minutes later and Jese Rodriguez rounded off the scoring with just seven minutes remaining.

That meant Barca kicked off in Sevilla knowing they needed to win away to a side that had not lost in front of their fans in 31 league matches in order to maintain their 4-point advantage at the top of the table.

Barca got a perfect start and played perhaps their best 30 minutes football of the season during which they took a 2-goal lead through Leo Messi and a Neymar free kick before Sevilla got a lifeline seven minutes before the break when Claudio Bravo failed to keep out Ever Banega's 30-yard shot.

The home team dominated the second half with a magnificent display of physical football, but it looked as if Barca would hold on for a vital win until Jose Antonio Reyes intercepted Pique's pass from defense, fed the ball to Alex Vidal, who crossed for substitute Kevin Gameiro to sweep home.

That draw brings Sevilla right into the battle for third and fourth place after Atletico Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw in Malaga.

Atletico Madrid didn't rest any players for their match and took the lead after 25 minutes thanks to Antoine Griezmann's 17th league goal of the season after Carlos Kameni's error from a long throw.

A Fernando Torres own goal and a smart finish from Samu turned the score into Malaga's favor, but Griezmann's second of the game, scored from a clear offside position assured a share of the points which is of no great help to either side.

Celta Vigo's 19 year old striker Santi Mina was the hero of the weekend when he scored four goals in his side's 6-1 dismantling of Rayo Vallecano, while Almeria won a vital relegation duel 3-0 at home to Granada.

In comparison to Saturday, Sunday produced less drama, Getafe and Villarreal drew 1-1 in a game which will be remembered for Mateo Musacchio's horrible broken leg, which he suffered after seeming to get his foot caught in the turf while bringing the ball out from defense.

Sergio Garcia's goal five minutes before halftime was enough to give Espanyol a 1-0 win at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, while Victor Sanchez's first game in charge at Deportivo la Coruna ended in a 2-2 draw away to Real Sociedad, despite Chori Castro scoring one of the goals of the season as the home side twice took the lead.

Finally Cordoba's rapid return to the second division was all but confirmed when they lost 2-0 at home to fellow strugglers Elche, who take a huge stride away from the danger zone with their triumph.

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