Two draws Stop 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 just two goals in the past five minutes to save a point.
Then came that hugely important 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, their nearest challengers for the crown, in a game that seemed to have killed off any last resistance in their rivals. Diego Costa was dismissed before half an hour was played for the visitors, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged late aims to wrap up the points.
And it was thought that the momentum could then carry into this weekend’s match against Huesca. However, in a uncharacteristically lackluster display, the Catalan giants can just muster a goalless draw against the side bottom of the league and with only five wins to its name all season.
Bar??a’s lead stays at a healthy nine points and they ought to still go on to lift the league title sooner rather than later. They’re priced at only -200000 to do so and sponsor Real Sociedad next time out 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 seemed to have put them in good stead for this trip to Barcelona.
But a 2-0 loss to Barcelona seemed to have ended their title hopes for the year. Diego Costa’s dismissal was finally costly and Atletico couldn’t hold out for some time.
But with Barcelona dropping points that weekend, Atletico’s 2-0 win over Celta Vigo has allowed them to cut the gap to nine points. Aims from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata were sufficient to seal all three things, but Atletico’s inconsistent form over the next half of the effort has stopped them from sustaining their title challenge.
Consequently, Atletico has become all the way out at +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 visit to Eibar and it goes without saying that three points is an imperative if they are to maintain pushing Barcelona.
Actual looks out and down Just one win in the last three league games seems to have left Real Madrid out and down, and also their final few games of this season look to be largely meaningless. First came a disastrous 2-1 defeat away to an in-form Valencia facet that ended Zinedine Zidane’s bright beginning back into 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 spared their blushesthe winner eventually coming only nine minutes from time.
This made Monday night’s trip to Leganes 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 all the equalizer.
Actual is currently a huge 13 points behind Barcelona with only six matches left to playwith, and their title challenge is all around. They are now outside at +100000 to acquire 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 local rival Espanyol this past weekend. Lionel Messi bagged a brace late in the match to wrap up the things and, with just nine matches staying until the conclusion of the season, it appears like the Catalan giants are well on their approach to retaining their national crown.
But, their title challengers aren’t giving up without a struggle, together with Atletico Madrid thrashing Alaves 4-0. And Real Madrid was able to edge past Huesca with a narrow 3-2 victory, although in all honesty that the operation was far from persuasive.
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 nice free kick before making sure of the points a minute from time as the winners executed a rapid counter-attack.
The Argentine has now scored 22 goals in his last 15 trips and as Barcelona looks set to win the league crown once more, Messi’s fire indicates no indication of dimming. He’s scored 40 goals in a season for 10 years in a row.
And there’s absolutely no doubt that Barcelona has become the strongest facet in La Liga over the course of the campaign. They are the only side to have won more than 20 league games (21) and they have lost only twice all season — additionally, they’re the top scorers in the league (75) by some distance.
However, their odds on retaining their domestic crown remain the same, at a really low -20000. Next up for them is a trip 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 using Saul giving them the lead after just five minutes, and from that moment Diego Simeone’s side never looked back.
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 looked dangerous every time they entered the final third. In truth, they might have been three or four up prior to the interval.
Regrettably, the stark reality is this performance looks to have come far too late to make any difference to Atletico’s name challenge. Despite sitting second, Atletico has won fewer games than Real Madrid so far this year, and their four losses in this short space of time have hurt them badly.
They’ve 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 hasn’t been enough to mount a continuing title challenge. Their chances remain the exact same to win the crown in +4000 and they sponsor Girona in their second league outing.
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