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Draw with Getafe may end Barcelona’s title defense

May 3, 2014, 5:23 PM EST

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Barcelona took another step toward confirming its first trophy-less season in six years, with a surprise draw against visiting Getafe leaving the team’s already faint hopes of retaining Spain’s title on the edge of extinction. Despite goals from Lionel Messi and Alexis Sánchez giving the home side two separate leads, a double from Ángel Lafita, including a second equalizer in the 92nd minute, cost Barcelona two points at the Nou Camp, leaving Gerardo Martino’s team three points behind league-leading Atlético Madrid after its 2-2 draw.

The Colchoneros play their Round 36 match tomorrow at Levante, while Real Madrid, who have a game in hand on the league’s other title contenders, host Valencia. The Merengues are currently six points off the top.

After a prematch ceremony in memory of Tito Vilanova, Barcelona went up in the 24th minute through Messi, who finished a Dani Alves cross into the top of the Getafe goal. Fourteen minutes later, Lafita sent the teams into halftime even, converting off a Pablo Sarabia restart.

The home side went up again in the 67th minute when Getafe’s block of a Cesc Fábregas shot fell to Sánchez, who gave Barça a 2-1 lead. Two minutes into stoppage time, however, Lapita headed home his second of the game, allowing Getafe to become the second team to leave the Nou Camp with points this La Liga season.

The result gives Getafe, now three points above the drop, extra security against relegation, though season-ending matches versus Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano leave the club in danger of being caught by Almeria and Real Valladolid. Almeria, hosting relegation-confirmed Real Betis on Sunday, are only three points back of Getafe, while Valladolid, four points back, came into the weekend with a match in hand.

The result’s bigger impact is at the top of the table. With two games left, Barcelona’s maximum number of points is now 91. If Atlético wins out, the leaders will finish at 97, while Real Madrid could still get to 94. With two matches left in the season, Barcelona may have hit its last, defense-ending banana peel.

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