Two draws halt Barca progress
Barcelona has played three matches in the last 15 days, but two draws at the time means they are not as near the title as they would love to be. First came a thrilling 4-4 draw with Villarreal with just two goals in the last five minutes to save a point.
Then came that hugely significant 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, their nearest challengers for the crown, in a match that looked to have killed off any last immunity from their rivals. Diego Costa was dismissed before half an hour had been played for the visitors, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged late goals to wrap up the points.
And it was presumed that the momentum could then proceed into the weekend’s match against Huesca. However, in an uncharacteristically lackluster display, the Catalan giants could just muster a goalless draw against the side bottom of their league and with only five wins to its title all season.
Bar??a’s lead remains at a couple of things and they ought to still go to lift the league title sooner rather than later. They are priced at only -200000 to do this and sponsor Real Sociedad next time outside looking to move one step closer to the crown.
Atletico keeps up the fight
Atletico has also played three games in the last 15 days, winning two of these. First came a comfortable 2-0 win over Girona that looked to have set them in good stead for this trip to Barcelona.
But a 2-0 loss to Barcelona appeared to have finished their title hopes for the year. Diego Costa’s dismissal was finally costly and Atletico couldn’t hold out for some time.
However, with Barcelona falling points this weekend, Atletico’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo has enabled them to cut the gap to nine points. Aims from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata were enough to seal all three things, but Atletico’s inconsistent form within the second half of this effort has stopped them from sustaining their name challenge.
As a result, Atletico has become all the way out in +20000 to acquire their first La Liga title in half a decade and just a brave soul would back them to do so at this late juncture. Their next league match is a trip to Eibar and it goes without mentioning that three points is an imperative if they are to keep pushing Barcelona.
Actual looks down and out Only one win in their last three league matches seems to get left Real Madrid out and down, and their final few games of this season look to be largely meaningless. First came a devastating 2-1 defeat away to an in-form Valencia side that finished Zinedine Zidane’s bright start back in the managerial hot seat.
There was a less than convincing display in a 2-1 success over Eibar. Real was forced to come from behind in the second half and just a brace from Karim Benzema saved their blushes, the winner eventually coming just nine minutes from time.
This made Monday night’s excursion to Leganes more crucial, but Real dropped points once again, being held to a 1-1 draw. Again, Real fell behind; again, Karim Benzema came to their rescue with all the equalizer.
Real is now a huge 13 points behind Barcelona with just six games left to play, and their title challenge is all but over. They are presently outside at +100000 to win the crown along with next time out they take on Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona maintained its 10-point lead at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 2-0 win over neighborhood rival Espanyol last weekend. Lionel Messi bagged a brace late in the game to wrap up the points and, with only nine matches staying until the end of the season, it appears like the Catalan giants are well on their way to retaining their domestic crown.
However, their name challengers are not giving up without a fight, together with Atletico Madrid thrashing Alaves 4-0. And Real Madrid was able to edge past Huesca with a narrow 3-2 victory, but in all honesty that the operation was far from convincing.
Barca defeats Espanyol to keep lead
Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half as Barcelona listed a 2-0 win over Espanyol last weekend. Messi scored a fine free kick before making certain of the things a minute from time as the winners executed a rapid counter-attack.
The Argentine has scored 22 goals in his last 15 outings and since Barcelona seems set to win the league crown once more, Messi’s flame shows no sign of dimming. He’s now scored 40 goals in a season for a decade in a row.
And there’s absolutely no doubt that Barcelona has become the strongest side in La Liga within the course of the effort. They are the only side to have won over 20 league games (21) and they’ve lost just twice all season — additionally, they are the leading scorers in the league (75) by some distance.
But their chances on retaining their domestic crown stay the same, in a very low -20000. Next up for these is a visit to a out-of-form Villarreal outfit.
Atletico gets back to winning ways
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid put an end to a two-game losing streak with a 4-0 thrashing of Alaves. They got off to a flying start with Saul giving them the lead after only five minutes, and from that instant Diego Simeone’s side never looked back.
Diego Costa doubled their lead after just 11 minutes of play, and Alaves simply had no answer to their rampant visitors. Atletico attacked in waves looked dangerous whenever they entered the last third. In truth, they might have been three or four up before the period.
Unfortunately, the stark reality is that this performance looks to have come far too late to make any difference to Atletico’s title challenge. Despite sitting moment, Atletico has won fewer games than Real Madrid so far this season, and their four losses in this short space of time have hurt them badly.
They have scored just 43 goals so far this word — Sevilla, down in seventh, has scored more — and while they have the best defensive record in the division, it has not been sufficient to mount a sustained title challenge. Their chances remain the same to win the crown in +4000 and they sponsor Girona in their second league outing.
Read more here: http://flourishphx.com/?p=21273