La Liga: Mourinho surrenders title as Bara go 9 pts clear
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Barca maintained the momentum after the break and Messi hit the third after 57 minutes with a clinical shot into the corner and with Atletico having run out of steam the Argentine got his second three minutes from the end.
At the Bernabeu earlier Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for Madrid on the stroke of half-time after Sergio Garcia had put joint-bottom Espanyol ahead on the half hour mark.
Two minutes after the restart, Fabio Coentrao put Real in front but it was not enough as Juan Albin slotted home from close range two minutes from the end.
Mourinho had already criticised his players for a lacklustre performance in a midweek Spanish Cup game where they lost to Celta Vigo and now the pressure is firmly on the Portuguese.
"It is practically impossible.
There are too many points to make up at this stage.
Last season, we had a 10-point lead in February and La Liga was ours," added Mourinho.
The Portuguese admitted that his players are under-performing.
"Cristiano played well but his teammates didn't.
The attitude has been good and what we need is a bit of calm and luck.
For the effort of the players we deserved to win but we wasted clear cut chances.
" New Espanyol coach Javier Aguirre has worked hard on making the defence more solid but he was without captain and first choice keeper Cristian Alvarez and so put his faith in the inexperienced Francisco Casilla.
Casilla first parried a Ronaldo shot and then Pepe wasted an excellent opening when he headed a Mesut Ozil cross straight at him but there were warning signs at the other end with Simao firing wide on the counter-attack.
Luka Modric hit the post for Madrid with a long distance drive midway through the first half but it was Garcia who put the visitors ahead with a clinical finish from a Verdu pass that split the Madrid defence.
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