Barcelona close in on league title

Associated Press

Madrid, May 9:

Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o scored first-half goals to earn FC Barcelona a 2-0 victory over Valencia and virtually assure the team of its first Spanish league title since 1999. Ronaldinho unleashed a fierce shot in the 28th minute and Eto’o slotted home his 23rd goal of the season two minutes later to give Barcelona the chance to lift the trophy next Saturday.

Barcelona can even draw all three of its remaining matches and win the title, and the team will only need three points if Real Madrid wins its remaining games. If the teams finish level on points, Barcelona will win the title on head-to-head results.

Barcelona (81) leads Madrid by six points. Madrid is now almost certain of ending the season empty-handed for the second straight season. Sunday’s loss left defending champion Valencia in seventh place. Also, Numancia became the first team to be relegated this season after a 3-0 defeat at Espanyol. Other results were: Albacete 3, Levante 1; Malaga 0, Villarreal 2; and Getafe 2, Real Sociedad 0.

Sevilla and Villarreal have 58 points each, followed by Espanyol with 56 and Real Betis with 55. Valencia stays with 53.