Real Madrid keep pressure on Barca with win over Granada

Real Madrid kept up the pressure at the top of LaLiga with a clinical 4-0 win at relegated Granada.

Real Madrid keep pressure on Barca with win over Granada

Real Madrid kept up the pressure at the top of LaLiga with a clinical 4-0 win at relegated Granada.

Barcelona had earlier beaten Villarreal 4-1 at the Nou Camp, where Lionel Messi took his tally for the season to 51 goals.

Real head coach Zinedine Zidane opted to make nine changes at Los Carmenes, where Cristiano Ronaldo was rested ahead of next week's Champions League semi-final second leg against city rivals Atletico.

There was, though, no comeback as James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata both scored twice in what was a devastating opening 35 minutes.

Although Tony Adams' side regrouped for the second half, the damage was already done as Real kept themselves level on points with Barcelona, yet crucially still holding a match in hand as the LaLiga title race looks set to go to the wire.

Barcelona had earlier left Real with little margin for error as they swept past Villarreal.

Luis Enrique's side went into the Nou Camp clash in awesome scoring form, with 13 goals in their last three games.

The hosts took the lead in the 21st minute when Messi's shot from the left was deflected into Neymar's path and the Brazilian took a touch before stabbing the ball calmly past goalkeeper Andres Fernandez.

Barcelona, though, looked anything but solid at the back and Villarreal were level on 32 minutes.

A simple through-ball cut the defence wide open and Cedric Bakambu raced clear, leaving defender Gerard Pique in his wake before beating goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at his near post.

Messi, though, made it 2-1 on the stroke of half-time, bursting inside from the right and seeing his low shot from the edge of the area deflected into the right corner, past the wrong-footed Fernandez.

It was the Argentinian's 50th goal in all competitions this season, the fifth time in his career he has achieved the feat.

Luis Suarez sealed the three points with a breakaway goal in the 69th minute, tricking his way past his man on the right of the area and rifling a low shot into the far corner.

Messi added a fourth in the 82nd minute with an impudent Panenka penalty.

Elsewhere, Saul Niguez's strike ensured third-place Atletico Madrid beat Eibar 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon to edge closer to Champions League group stage qualification.

Niguez struck 20 minutes from time when he latched onto a ball from Diego Godin and drilled home a left-footed shot from the edge of the box.

Godin was then sent off in stoppage time after picking up two yellow cards in the space of two minutes.

But the win sent Atletico five points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla with only six left to play for.

Sporting Gijon, meanwhile, gave their survival hopes a major boost with a 1-0 win over Las Palmas at El Molinon.

Carlos Carmona gave them a first victory in eight that moved them within three points of 17th-placed Leganes.

Carmona outmuscled defender Pedro Bigas and put his shot into the corner of the net past Javier Varas Herrera from 12 yards.

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