Two draws halt Barca Advancement
Barcelona has played three games in the last 15 days, but two draws in that time means they aren’t as near the name as they would like to be. First came a thrilling 4-4 draw with Villarreal with two goals in the last five minutes to rescue a point.
Then came that hugely important 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, their nearest challengers for the crown, in a game that looked to have killed off any last immunity in their rivals. Diego Costa was disregarded before half an hour had been played for the visitors, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged late goals to wrap up the things.
And it had been presumed that the momentum would then proceed into this weekend’s game against Huesca. But in a uncharacteristically lackluster screen, the Catalan giants can only muster a goalless draw from the side of the league and with only five wins to its name all season.
Bar??a’s lead remains at a healthy nine points and they ought to still go to lift the league title sooner rather than later. They’re 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 previous 15 days, winning two of these. First came a comfortable 2-0 win over Girona that looked to have put them in good stead for that trip to Barcelona.
However a 2-0 loss to Barcelona appeared to have ended their title hopes for the year. Diego Costa’s dismissal was finally costly and Atletico could not hold out for some time.
But with Barcelona dropping points that weekend, Atletico’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo has enabled them to reduce the gap to nine points. Goals from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata were sufficient to seal all three things, but Atletico’s inconsistent form within the second half of the campaign has stopped them from sustaining their title challenge.
As a result, Atletico is now all of the way out at +20000 to acquire their first La Liga title in half a decade and just a brave soul could back them to do so at this late juncture. Their next league game is a trip to Eibar and it goes without saying that three factors is an imperative if they are to maintain pushing Barcelona.
Actual looks down and out Only one win in their last three league games looks to have left Real Madrid out and down, and their last couple games of the season seem to be largely meaningless. First came a disastrous 2-1 defeat away into an in-form Valencia facet that ended Zinedine Zidane’s glowing beginning back into the managerial hot seat.
There was then a less than convincing display in a 2-1 success over Eibar. Real was made to come from behind in the second half and only a brace from Karim Benzema saved their blushesthe winner finally coming only nine minutes from time.
This made Monday night’s trip to Leganes even more crucial, but Real dropped points again, being held to a 1-1 draw. Again, Real fell behind; again, Karim Benzema came to their rescue with the equalizer.
Actual is now a substantial 13 points behind Barcelona with just six matches left to playwith, and their title challenge is all but over. They are presently outside at +100000 to acquire the crown along with next time they choose on Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona maintained its 10-point direct 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 things and, with just nine matches remaining until the end of the season, it looks like the Catalan giants are well on their approach to keeping their domestic crown.
But, their name challengers are not giving up without a fight, with Atletico Madrid thrashing Alaves 4-0. And Real Madrid managed to edge past Huesca using a narrow 3-2 victory, although in all honesty the operation was far from convincing.
Barca beats Espanyol to maintain lead
Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half as Barcelona recorded a 2-0 win over Espanyol last weekend. Messi scored a fine free kick before making certain of these points a moment from time as the champions implemented a quick counter-attack.
The Argentine has now scored 22 goals in his last 15 outings and since Barcelona seems set to win the league crown once again, Messi’s fire indicates no sign of dimming. He has scored 40 goals in a year for a decade in a row.
And there is no doubt that Barcelona has been the most powerful facet in La Liga over the duration of the effort. They are the only side to have won over 20 league games (21) and they have lost just twice all year — in addition, they are the top scorers in the league (75) by some distance.
However, their odds on keeping their national crown stay the same, in a very low -20000. Next up for them is a trip to an 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 return.
Diego Costa doubled their lead after only 11 minutes of play, and Alaves just had no response to their uncontrolled visitors. Atletico assaulted 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 this performance appears to have come too late to make any real difference to Atletico’s name challenge. Despite sitting moment, Atletico has won fewer games than Real Madrid so far this year, and their four losses in this brief space of time have hurt them badly.
They have scored only 43 goals so far this word — Sevilladown 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 odds remain the exact same to acquire the crown in +4000 and they host Girona in their next league outing.
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