with San Antonio this season,

  • BARCELONA, Spain -- Atletico Madrid moved one step closer to its first Spanish league title in 18 years on Sunday with a 1-0 victory at Valencia, while Lionel Messi completed an emotional 3-2 comeback win for Barcelona at Villarreal two days after the death of former coach Tito Vilanova. Ray Nitschke Youth Jersey . Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia scored with an impressive header in the 43rd minute, and its defence did the rest as it gave Valencia no chance to rally at its Mestalla Stadium. Diego Simeones side moved six points clear of Real Madrid, which has a game in hand, while Barcelona remained within four points after coming from two goals down to beat Villarreal in its first game since the death of Vilanova. Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets wept as the two teams gathered at the centre circle before kickoff at El Madrigal Stadium to observe a minutes of silence for Vilanova, who died on Friday after a battle with cancer, having led Barcelona to the league title last season. Vilanova was honoured similarly across Spains first division this weekend. Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said his team had been "very affected" by Vilanovas death, who was honoured this weekend by more than 50,000 people who attended a memorial site at Camp Nou. "It has touched all of us," Iniesta said. "I will take with me the example he set for us, both when he was with us and after." Ruben "Cani" Gracia and Manuel Trigueros scored from counterattacks for Villarreal to go 2-0 up by the 55th minute. But Villarreal then self-destructed with own goals by Gabriel Armando in the 65th and Mateo Musacchio in the 78th, both redirecting passes by Dani Alves into their teams net. Messi finally beat goalie Sergio Asenjo after Busquets and Cesc Fabregas combined to set the forward up to net his 27th league goal of the campaign and reach the 40-goal mark in all competitions for the fifth straight season. Earlier, Garcias ninth goal of the league season kept Atletico on course for its first league title since 1996. With a better head-to-head record against Madrid, Atletico can clinch the domestic crown by winning two of its remaining three games. It first plays at Levante, then hosts Malaga, and finally travels to Barcelona. "We have two very powerful teams behind us that will surely win all their games and we cant relax for even one day," Simeone said. "I ask my team to go forward with the same sense of calm knowing the importance of each result." Atletico can now focus on the Champions League semifinals as it travels to Chelsea on Wednesday after a 0-0 draw in the first leg. Again, Atletico snuffed out their opponents attack for a ninth straight victory. The pacesetters have only conceded one goal during their winning run while scoring 14. Atletico resisted Valencias early push and then went forward in search of an opening goal that came just before halftime. Garcia used an exquisite flick of the head -- with his back to goal -- to lift Gabi Fernandezs lobbed pass over goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and bouncing in off the post. Atletico defender Juanfran Torres was shown a direct red card for tackling Pablo Piatti in stoppage time. Also, Athletic Bilbao routed 10-man Sevilla 3-1 at home to deal a blow to its main rival for fourth place and Spains last Champions League berth, while Almeria fought back for a 2-1 win at nine-man Espanyol to move to within two points of safety. Forward Markel Susaeta got the Basques rolling in the fifth minute by scoring a rarely seen goal directly from a corner kick, curling the ball from the corner flag inside the near post to beat goalkeeper Antonio "Beto" Bastos. Right back Andoni Iraola then served two crosses for Iker Muniain to volley in the 54th and Ander Herrera to head home moments after Sevillas Diogo Figueras picked up a second booking in the 72nd. Kevin Gameiro scored Sevillas consolation goal in the 79th. The win lifted Bilbao six points clear of fifth-placed Sevilla. "This win over Sevilla is huge, but this isnt over," said Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde. "We are knocking on the door. We are three points away from the Champions League, which would be a dream for everyone." Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Womens Jersey . Who knew then that the Bombers would be 2-12 and facing playoff elimination when they returned to Montreal three months later? Watch the game on TSN starting at 12:30pm et/9:30am pt. Damarious Randall Packers Jersey .com) - The surging Vancouver Canucks look to extend their win streak to five games when they host former Canuck Todd Bertuzzi and the Detroit Red Wings tonight.OKLAHOMA CITY -- When asked about the oldie-but-goodie San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant inquired about Tony Parkers age. "Thirty-two," a reporter answered. "He is old," Durant quipped, drawing laughter. "He doesnt play like hes 32 years old." Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are even older. Duncan just turned 38 and Ginobili is approaching 37. The trio won its first NBA title together in 2003 and fought back Father Time to reach the NBA Finals last year. They will play in their seventh Western Conference finals together, starting with Game 1 Monday night in San Antonio. Durant, the leagues MVP, said theres more to San Antonios success than some mythical fountain of youth. It starts with the genius of Gregg Popovich, the leagues Coach of the Year. "Their system, they plug guys in and out," Durant said. "They always stick to their same system. They get guys who fit. And theyve got a great coach who gets those guys prepared." Even with an aging core and numerous injuries throughout the season, the Spurs finished with the leagues best record. They did it with consistency and teamwork that has continued in the playoffs. San Antonio is shooting 49 per cent from the field as a team in the post-season, with no player averaging 20 points. Oklahoma City counters with dynamic individual play from a pair of 25-year-olds. Durant is averaging 31.4 points and 9.5 rebounds in the playoffs. Russell Westbrook is averaging 26.6 points, 8.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds in post-season play. Westbrook, in particular, has San Antonios attention. While Durants play has been typical, Westbrook has improved significantly as a floor general during the playoffs. "Hes an incredible talent having a great playoff run," Duncan said. "Some incredible numbers. Just an impressive athlete when you try to stay in front of him. His confidence is there." The Thunder will be without Serge Ibaka, who led the league in blocked shots. The mobile, athletic forward injured his left calf in Game 6 of the conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Clippers. "Its hard, but were going to move on," Thunderr centre Kendrick Perkins said. Brett Hundley Womens Jersey. "Were a very prideful organization and team. Were going to move on." Here are five things to watch in the series: THUNDER DOMINANCE: Oklahoma City won all four regular-season meetings with San Antonio this season, so the Spurs will take nothing for granted, even with Ibaka out. "You never get overconfident in that situation, especially against a team that we havent beat this year," Ginobili said. "We know how talented they are. They can really score in bunches. Very athletic, strong, play good defence. So, no, were not going to get overconfident for sure." IBAKAS REPLACEMENT: Oklahoma City rookie Steven Adams is the most likely to see a spike in minutes. Veteran Nick Collison will play more, too. The Thunder could go with a smaller lineup at times and play Durant as a power forward. Coach Scott Brooks still wouldnt say Sunday who would start in Ibakas place. PARKERS HAMSTRING: San Antonio was likely to have significant help on Westbrook anyway, but Parkers strained left hamstring could be a major problem against Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, two of the most athletic point guards in the league. Parker said Sunday that the hamstring was still tight, but he plans to play. Jackson said the Thunder will test Parker early. LEONARD vs. DURANT: Brooks said Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is an All-Star in the making. The Spurs feel Leonard is the best equipped player in the league to bother Durant because of his length and energy. "As good as anybody can do it," Ginobili said. "We are lucky to have him. Nobody can guard him (Durant) 1-on-1. Thats been proven -- hes the MVP -- but you can put him in some trouble, and then the team has to respond." SPURS OTHER GUYS: One thing that makes the Spurs dangerous is their depth. Though Parker, Duncan and Ginobili are the best-known players, Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills all play their roles well and are capable of being difference makers in the right situation. Oklahoma City will need to prevent the other guys from having breakout nights. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '