Barcelona open 11 point lead in Spanish league

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Pedri of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the team's first goalduring the LaLiga Santander match between Villarreal CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio de la Ceramica on February 12, 2023 in Villarreal, Spain.


Barcelona keep on winning and moving further away from Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish league.

Barcelona beat Villarreal 1-0 on the road on Sunday to extend their winning streak to 11 matches in all competitions and their lead over second-place Madrid to 11 points.

Madrid, who won the Club World Cup on Saturday, have played a game less than Barcelona.

Pedri scored in the 18th minute for Barcelona, whose 11-game streak has included beating Real Betis on penalties in the Spanish Super Cup and an extra-time victory in the Copa del Rey against Intercity.

Eighth-place Villarreal have only one win in their last six matches in all competitions.

Villarreal started the game without injured striker Gerard Moreno, and lost midfielder Francis Coquelin with a knee injury in the first half.

Barcelona were playing without captain Sergio Busquets and winger Ousmane Dembele because of injuries. Coach Xavi used midfielder Frenkie de Jong and forward Raphinha in their places.

Barcelona next hosts Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.

Memphis Depay scored in the 88th minute for his first goal since joining from Barcelona as 10-man Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at Celta Vigo to stay fourth in the final Champions League spot.

Atletico needed a good performance from goalkeeper Jan Oblak and some help from the woodwork after defender Stefan Savic was sent off in the 70th.

Atletico opened a four-point gap to fifth-place Betis with their third win in four league matches. Celta dropped to 14th.

Depay scored from inside the area for his first goal with Atletico since arriving in a transfer from Barcelona in January.

Oblak made two outstanding stops after Savic was sent off, including a reflex save on the goal line in the 85th.

Veteran Celta striker Iago Aspas hit the crossbar from the free kick that came after Savic’s red card for stopping a breakaway.

Second-to-last Getafe earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano thanks to a 77th-minute equaliser by Enes Unal and Rayo striker Raul de Tomas failing to score from the penalty spot in the 87th, only four minutes after entering the match.

Getafe, winless in seven consecutive matches in all competitions, played with 10 men from the 54th after Carles Alena was sent off with a second yellow card.

Getafe striker Borja Mayoral also failed to score with a penalty kick shortly before Alena was sent off.

Rayo dropped to sixth place with the away draw.

Osasuna’s winless streak in the league reached four matches after a 0-0 draw at 13th-place Valladolid, who were coming off two straight victories following five consecutive losses in all competitions.

Osasuna, who stayed ninth, have only one win in their last eight league matches.

On Monday, third-place Real Sociedad visit relegation-threatened Espanyol looking to end a three-game winless streak and move closer to second-place Madrid.

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