Valencia beat Madrid 3-0 in Spanish league

VALENCIA: Valencia thumped defending champion Real Madrid 3-0 to provide Barcelona the chance to win the Spanish league.

Madrid''s defeat at Mestalla Stadium kept it seven points behind the leader, allowing Barcelona to be proclaimed champion for the 19th time if it beats Villarreal at Camp Nou on Sunday.

It was the second straight heavy loss for coach Juande Ramos'' team, which suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat against Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last weekend which all but killed off its hopes of a third straight title.

In other games, third-place Sevilla topped Mallorca 3-1, while Athletic Bilbao edged lowly Real Betis 1-0.

Barcelona has 85 points, while Madrid stays with 78. Barcelona has four games remaining, while Madrid has three. Sevilla follows with 63 and is well-positioned to be Spain''s third team to qualify for the Champions League group stages. Valencia is next with 59.