Madrid, Spain | XINHUA | FC Barcelona surrendered a 2-0 lead and then a 3-2 advantage to draw 3-3 away to Levante with a result that all but puts an end to their title hopes.
Ronald Koeman’s side twice paid the price for failing to close out the game and although the point lifts them above Real Madrid, it leaves them a point behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, with both of their rivals still to play their midweek matches.
Barca went into half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead thanks to a Lionel Messi volley following a deflected cross from Jordi Alba, before Pedri doubled their lead after good work down the right from Ousmane Dembele.
Koeman replaced the injured Ronald Araujo with Sergi Roberto at the break and the substitute was beaten by Gonzalo Melero with a header in the 57th minute to get Levante back in the game after Barca had relaxed.
Two minutes later, Levante were level when Jose Luis Morales smacked home a 20-meter volley for the home side.
There was more drama just three minutes later when Dembele restored Barca’s lead after taking a pass from Antoine Griezmann and keeping his cool to slot the ball past Aitor Fernandez.
It was 3-3 in the 83rd minute when Sergio Leon prodded home from Tono’s near-post cross, and Barca’s frantic efforts to try to net a late winner only highlighted their impotence as the league slipped away from them.
Alaves striker Joselu was his side’s hero, scoring the first goal and giving an assist for the second as the side from Vitoria took a big step to assuring their top-flight survival with a 2-0 win over Elche.
Joselu put Alaves ahead just before half-time following a corner, and then set up Luis Rioja for their second in the 54th minute.
The win lifts Alaves five points clear of the relegation zone with two games left to play, while Elche remain just one point from safety ahead of other games to be played in the next 48 hours.
Osasuna won an entertaining but meaningless game 3-2 at home to Cadiz, with Osasuna striker Ante Budimir scoring twice while Roberto Torres netted after a very questionable penalty given against Cadiz.
Ivan Sapoinjic scored a penalty for Cadiz to cancel out Budimir’s first goal, and Alberto Perea netted their second in injury time.