FOOTBALL – There was a lot of tension in La Liga this week with the top four playing against each other. Every point now must count in the race for the title.
With hardly any points between the teams and only a few games left to play, this weekend´s matches were vital for all teams.
Atletico v Barcelona
On Saturday leaders, Atletico took on the mighty Barcelona at Camp Nou. Luis Suarez faced his former club in a bid to help his team remain at the top but Ter Stegen denied his attempts on goal. Messi also had a fantastic chance at goal in the first half when he took on 6 Atletico players but failed when Oblak saved his shot at goal. Just over 70 minutes into the game, a goal was also disallowed for Araujo, as it was offside.
Thirty-five minutes into the game and Niguez received the first of many cards for the teams. Felipe was carded in the 46th minute and Koke received a yellow card after 65 minutes for bringing down Messi just outside the box. There were also three yellow cards for Barcelona. The first came for Moriba after 58 minutes and then Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba in the 82nd minute.
Both teams fought hard right from the start with many near misses and fantastic saves for both sides. In the end, however the game ended goalless, with both teams taking only one point.
Real Madrid v Sevilla
Last night, it was the turn of Real Madrid v Sevilla. Within the first 22 minutes Fernando opened up the score for Sevilla giving them an early lead. The first half ended 0-1 with Sevilla looking the better side. Asensio scored for Real Madrid in the 67th minute immediately after being brought onto the pitch as a sub. This brought the teams level and everything still to play for with just over 20 minutes to do in. A penalty was awarded to Rakitic just 11 minutes later. He drove the ball into the net putting Sevilla once again into the lead. Sevilla looked set to take all three points when a goal in the final minutes of injury time came from Hazard.
However, this was later corrected as footage shows the goal was deflected off the heel of Diego Carlos and was in fact an own goal. The outcome could have been very different if Sevilla had been awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute when play was waved on after it was claimed a hand ball from Militao followed by a foul on Benzema as he is brought down.
The first yellow card of the game wasa handed out in the 21st minute to Casemiro of Real Madrid. Cards were also given to Sevilla´s Suso after 56 minutes and Gudelji in 85 minutes just moments after him coming on as a substitute. The match ended with both teams sharing the points with a 2-2 score line.
La Liga table
It is still mathematically possible for any of the top four to win La Liga. This is how it stands now with three more games to go:
- Atletico 77
- Real Madrid 75
- Barcelona 75
- Sevilla 71
Past La Liga performances
Last season, La Liga title was eventually won in July by Real Madrid after the last remaining matches were postponed due to Coid-19. Real Madrid have won the title on 34 occasions, and Barcelona, the defending champions from the previous season had won the title 26 times. The last time Atletico won La Liga was 7 years ago when they drew 1-1 in their final match of the season against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Sevilla have not lifted this trophy since 1946.
In the remaining games;
- Atletico are at home to Real Sociedad, Osasuna and away against Valladolid.
- Real Madrid are away against Granada and Athletic Club and home against Villarreal.
- Barcelona are home against Celta Vigo and away against Levante and Eibar in the last game of the season.
- Sevilla are at home to Valencia and Alaves, and away against Villarreal.