Two draws Stop Barca Advancement
Barcelona has played three games in the previous 15 days, but two draws in that time means they aren’t as close to the name since they’d love to be. First came a thrilling 4-4 draw with Villarreal with two goals in the past 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 final resistance from 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 these things.
And it had been presumed that the momentum could then proceed into the weekend’s match against Huesca. But in a uncharacteristically lackluster screen, the Catalan giants could only muster a goalless draw from the side of their league and with just five wins to its title all season.
Bar??a’s lead remains at a healthy nine things and they should still go on to lift the league title sooner rather than later. They’re priced at just -200000 to do so and host Real Sociedad next time outside looking to move 1 step closer to the crown.
Atletico keeps up the fight
Atletico has also played 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 great stead for that trip to Barcelona.
But a 2-0 loss to Barcelona seemed to have finished their title hopes for the year. Diego Costa’s dismissal was finally costly and Atletico couldn’t hold out for a point.
However, with Barcelona falling 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 enough to seal all three things, but Atletico’s inconsistent form within the second half of this campaign has stopped them from sustaining their name challenge.
Consequently, Atletico is now all the way out in +20000 to acquire their first La Liga title in half a decade and only a brave soul would back them to do so at this late juncture. Their next league game is a visit to Eibar and it goes without mentioning that three factors is an imperative if they are to keep pushing Barcelona.
Actual looks out and down Only one win in their last three league matches looks to get left Real Madrid down and out, and their last couple games of this season seem to be mostly meaningless. First came a disastrous 2-1 defeat away into an in-form Valencia facet that ended 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. Actual was made to come from behind in the second half and only a brace from Karim Benzema spared their blushes, the winner eventually coming just nine minutes from time.
This made Monday night’s trip to Leganes even more critical, 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.
Real is now a huge 13 points behind Barcelona with only six games left to play, and their name challenge is all around. They are presently outside at +100000 to acquire the crown along with next time out they take on Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona maintained its 10-point direct at the top of La Liga with a comfortable 2-0 win over local rival Espanyol last weekend. Lionel Messi bagged a brace late in the game to wrap up the things and, with only nine matches staying until the conclusion of the season, it appears like the Catalan giants are well on their approach to keeping their domestic crown.
But, their title 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 using a narrow 3-2 victory, although in all honesty that the performance was far from convincing.
Barca beats Espanyol to maintain lead
Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half as Barcelona listed a 2-0 win over Espanyol last weekend. Messi scored a nice free kick before making sure of the points a moment from time since the winners implemented a rapid counter-attack.
The Argentine has now scored 22 goals in his last 15 outings and as Barcelona seems set to win the league crown once again, Messi’s flame indicates no indication of dimming. He’s scored 40 goals in a season for 10 years in a row.
And there is no doubt that Barcelona has been the strongest side 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 season — additionally, they’re the leading scorers in the league (75) by some space.
But their chances on retaining their domestic crown remain the same, in a really reduced -20000. Next up for these is a trip to an out-of-form Villarreal outfit.
Atletico gets back to winning ways
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid put an end to some 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 just 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 answer to their rampant visitors. Atletico attacked in waves and looked dangerous every time they entered the last third. In fact, they might have been three or four up before the interval.
Regrettably, the stark truth is this performance looks to have come far too late to make any real difference to Atletico’s name challenge. Despite sitting second, Atletico has won fewer games than Real Madrid so much this season, and their four losses in such a brief space of time have hurt them badly.
They’ve scored only 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 acquire the crown at +4000 and they host Girona in their next league outing.
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