With Barcelona arresting their recent slump in form by thrashing Deportivo 8-0, Atletico Madrid keeping the chase up as the dark horses and Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid superstars turning the key, the title race in La Liga is fiercer than ever.
Barcelona looked to be storming away with the title a month ago but for a blip in form, which has coincided with an El Classico loss and being dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico, has seen their lead at the top be reduced to one point.
Real Madrid looked to have given up on the La Liga crown for this season and were focusing their attention on the Champions League, but now sit just two points behind leaders Barcelona, they also have the added bonus of a European semi-final tie with Manchester City in what has been a thrilling turnaround from the drab days of Rafa Benitez just months before.
Last season Barcelona romped to a treble, winning La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey, they won’t be able to achieve that feat again with Atletico’s determined victory against them in the quarter finals of Europe’s premiere club stage, though the Catalan side are still in pole position in the league and face Sevilla in this year’s Copa Del Rey final.
But it is the La Liga title race that is the most interesting aspect of Spain’s season, as it often is with the three powerhouses of Spanish football, though this season is closer than ever and there are sure to be more twists and turns over the course of the final four games for each side.
With just two points separating Barcelona in first and Real Madrid in third the title race is hotting up, with the added aspect of the La Liga rules that stipulate if more than one team finishes with the same amount of points it doesn’t first go to goal difference but to the head-to-head clashes between those clubs.
To clear that up, if Barcelona finish on equal points with either Atletico or Real they will win the title, beating Real by an aggregate score of 5-2 over the two league matches, with Atletico losing both games to Barcelona 2-1. Atletico Madrid would get one over their city rivals were they to finish on equal points, after winning one match and drawing another against Real this season.
The three managers have taken very different routes from distinguished playing careers to where they find themselves now, Luis Enrique has progressed Barcelona’s tiki-taka style of play into a ferocious beast with it’s three-heads in Suarez, Messi and Neymar.
Diego Simeone took over Atletico in dire straits and has transformed them into tireless champions despite losing star strikers and key players almost every summer. Whilst Zidane was plucked early from his days coaching Madrid’s reserve side to repair the damage done by Benitez’s tenure at the Bernabeu.
There are four games for each side to play for, 12 points to decide the title, currently just two points stand between the three giants of Spanish football, who will come out on top of the La Liga title race, Barcelona’s star-studded forward line, Atletico Madrid’s industrious underdogs or Real Madrid’s resurgent side headed by a former Galactico?