Is this the weekend that ended the La Liga race? Barca beat Bilbao while Real are held in the Madrid derby

Barcelona 2 -  Athletic Bilbao 0 (La Liga, March 7, 2009) Barca were ahead against Athletic Bilbao inside 17 minutes as Sergio Busquets headed home Xavi’s free-kick. And after Iniesta was brought down in the box on the half hour Leo Messi stepped up to convert the penalty. (First half highlights here.)

Real Madrid 1 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, March 7, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) In the Madrid derby Real’s title dreams were evaporating at the break after Atletico’s brilliant forwards, Aguero and Diego Forlan, combined to tear open Los Blancos rearguard after 38 minutes. (First half highlights here.) After the break Klaas-Jan Huntelaar brought Real level with a powerful shot past leo Franco after a neat turn in the box.

Villarreal 1 – Espanyol 0 (La Liga, March 7, 2009) Fabricio Fuentes grabbed the only goal of the game with a header in the 20th minute but the hosts were grateful to keeper Diego Lopez for a string of superb saves. The one time he was beaten, by Luiz Garcia’s 66th minute penalty, the woodwork came to his rescue.