Barcelona lost their third league game in a row, with Lionel Messis second-half goal not enough in the 2-1 defeat at home to Valencia
Barcelonas stuttering title bid suffered another setback when they lost 2-1 at home to Valencia on Sunday, while Atltico Madrid moved level on points with the La Liga leaders after a comfortable win over Granada.
Shell-shocked Bara have 76 points along with Atltico, who knocked the holders out of the Champions League in midweek, and remain top only due to a superior head-to-head record.
Atltico earlier eased to a 3-0 home win over Granada after Fernando Torres grabbed his fourth goal in as many games with Koke and substitute Angel Correa also on the scoresheet.
Real Madrid, whose coach Zinedine Zidane said in February that the title race was over, thrashed Getafe 5-1 away on Saturday and stand just one point behind the leading pair.
An own goal by Bara midfielder Ivan Rakitic put Valencia ahead after 27 minutes at the Camp Nou and Santi Mina added a second just before half-time to stun the Bara supporters.
Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal to reduce the deficit after 64 minutes but the struggling hosts, who have squandered a nine-point lead, could not find an equaliser.
Despite Barcelona registering a third successive league defeat for the first time since 2003, Luis Enrique remained upbeat about his teams chances of winning the title. Weve got a marvellous challenge, if we win the five games remaining we will be champions, he said.
Of course, our credit has run out and we are aware of the challenge. Were going to approach it like a Bara player always does, with our heads held high.
Bara humiliated a Valencia side coached by Gary Neville 7-0 in the Copa del Rey in February but had a much tougher time against successor Pako Ayesterans side and went behind when Guilherme Siqueiras cross bounced off Rakitic and beyond Claudio Bravo.