Aubameyang at the double for Barca as Betis and Granada both win in Spain

by IANS |

Madrid, May 11 (IANS) FC Barcelona strengthened their grip on second place in La Liga with a comfortable 3-1 win at home to Celta Vigo.

Memphis Depay opened the scoring in the 30th minute after great work from Ousmane Dembele and then turned provider for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to double the lead four minutes before halftime on Tuesday night.

Aubameyang doubled his tally of the night four minutes after the break with another assist from Dembele.

Iago Aspas pulled a goal back for Celta in the 50th minute, but Celta's hopes of a fightback suffered a setback when Jeison Murillo was sent off for a foul on Depay in the 58th minute.

There was a worrying moment for Barca when Ronald Araujo had to be taken off the pitch in an ambulance after a clash of heads with Gavi just two minutes later, although reports said that he was conscious on his arrival at the hospital.

Betis kept their slim hopes of finishing fourth alive (at least until Atletico Madrid's game on Wednesday) with a 3-0 win away to Valencia.

The game was a repeat of the final of the Copa del Rey, which Betis won on penalties just over a fortnight ago, but this wasn't anywhere near as close as Betis romped to a 3-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Willian Jose, Sergio Canales and Borja Iglesias.

It was Valencia's sixth defeat in their Mestalla Stadium this season as the team drifts rudderless towards the end of the campaign.

Alex Collado took advantage of a bad mistake from Athletic Club Bilbao midfielder, Dani Garcia, to score the only goal of the game as Granada beat their Basque rivals 1-0 in the Estadio de Los Carmenes stadium.

The win means Granada have taken eight points from 12 since Aitor Karanka took over as coach and leaves them close to assuring top-flight survival for another year while virtually ending Athletic's hopes of playing in Europe next season.

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