Busquets strikes late to see Barca edge Valencia

Malaga, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Barcelona left it late at the Mestalla on Sunday as Sergio Busquets scored at the death to hand the Catalans a 1-0 victory over Valencia.

The two sides appeared destined to split the points, but Busquets struck with virtually the final kick of the ball to help Barcelona keep pace with Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table.

Barcelona nearly grabbed the lead when Luis Suarez hung off the shoulder of the last defender before steering home a cross in the 70th minute, but the Uruguayan was ruled to be in an offside position at the time of the delivery.

Valencia marched down the pitch and tested Claudio Bravo as Sofiane Feghouli saw his attempt from the right side of the box denied by the Barcelona 'keeper.

Bravo came up big once again when Alvaro Negredo lashed a cross from Jose Gaya toward goal, but the Chilean parried the attempt just outside the post.

They proved to be two crucial saves as the Catalans ultimately stole all three points thanks to Busquets' heroics.

Lionel Messi served an inch-perfect cross to the back post to find Neymar, who sent a powerful header on goal. Diego Alves made a sprawling stop to deny the Brazilian, but Busquets was lurking to slam home the rebound in the third minute of the stoppage time.

The victory sees Barcelona improve to 31 points to stay two points back of Real Madrid.

Valencia drops to fifth place, staying put on 24 points.

Atletico Madrid kept pace with Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the table by collecting a 2-0 victory over Deportivo at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.

The hosts nearly took an early lead only to see Koke's header come back off the post, but the breakthrough would come three minutes before halftime when Saul Niguez got on the end of Mario Mandzukic's flick and nodded the ball into the back of the net from extremely close range.

The win was clinched in the 55th minute when Arda Turan lashed a volley toward goal and ultimately found the back of the net with Modibo Diakite's ill- advised attempt at a clearance taking the shot past Fabricio.

The result sees Atletico improve to 29 points on the season to stay four points back of Real.

A late surge saw Sevilla cruise to a 5-1 victory over Granada on Sunday.

Carlos Bacca and Youssef El Arabi exchanged first-half goals, but Sevilla netted four times in the final 25 minutes to claim all three points in resounding fashion.

Ever Banega provided the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute before Bacca completed his brace in the 79th. The rout was finished thanks to Stephane M'Bia's strike in the 89th and Kevin Gameiro's tally one minute later.

Rounding out Sunday's La Liga slate, Villarreal scored in either half to earn a 2-0 victory at Cordoba.