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BC-SOC--Spanish Roundup,1st Ld-Writethru

March 2, 2019
AP Sports writer

MADRID (AP) — Barcelona handed Real Madrid another demoralizing loss on Saturday, beating its arch rival at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the second time in a week and taking full control of the Spanish league.

Ivan Rakitic scored in the first half and Barcelona held on for a 1-0 victory that virtually ends Madrid’s title hopes.

It was the third straight win by Barcelona at the Bernabeu, coming three days after a 3-0 result that eliminated Madrid from the Copa del Rey semifinals.

Barcelona has opened a 12-point lead over Madrid with 12 matches left. The defending champions are 10 points ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid, which visits Real Sociedad on Sunday.

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