Does Anyone Want To Win La Liga?

That's the question in Spain after Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico all slipped up on a weekend of shocks. Barcelona will be kicking themselves the most...

Last Updated: 06/05/14 at 11:00 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Is Toure Bringing Anything To Party?

Post comment

He's not sprinting as much as last season, he's not contributing to as many goals, he's not breaking up as many attacks. The stats tell a story of a man doing little...

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

Post comment

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

All Articles

Well, that was just plain stupid.

The usual way of chasing down leaders in a spookily relentless manner and gaining ground in the last straight is to win the dead easy games and hope for mistakes from rivals.

What the non-prescient Barcelona players didn't realise is that the second part of that strategy was to take place on Sunday with Atlético Madrid losing 2-0 at Levante in a rare sign of vulnerability, and Real Madrid stuffing things up royally with a 2-2 draw at home to Valencia.

Unfortunately for the Catalan club, this double disaster for their two rivals meant bugger all for Barcelona, a team that had made a compete hash of a match against Getafe to leave what would have been a fairly decent chance of winning La Liga in complete pee-sodden tatters.

Had bungling Barça not conceded an injury-time goal against struggling Getafe then Tata Martino's side would have been sitting pretty with 87 points, just one behind the league leaders with two games to play, including a final day showdown with Atletico. The fact that they host Atleti at Camp Nou is even more reason for Barcelona to be screaming "noooooooooo!" to the heavens on their collective knees.

"We lost the league, we've said goodbye to the season," shrugged the furious Xavi Hernández, who once again watched his dithering defence fail to deal with an aerial ball with seconds left on the clock. "We are the ones to blame," fumed Sergi Busquets, "we've made mistakes that professionals playing in these league should not be doing."

In fact, so traumatic was the 2-2 draw against a flimsy team fighting relegation, and the drop in points by both Atlético and Real, that the Barcelona press immediately started to report on talks with Luis Enrique, former player and current Celta Vigo boss, to become the team's next manager. It was almost as though they didn't want to face the awful truth of a huge opportunity missed.

Madrid were another team to fail to take advantage of Atlético's defeat, despite playing after their city rivals and knowing exactly the chance that had been handed to them on a plate with grapes as relish.

Although the 2-2 draw at home to Valencia does not exactly look great, matters could have been a whole bag of spanners worse with Madrid going into the final seconds of the game losing 2-1 to a team with supposedly nothing at stake for the rest of the season.

"We paid for it," said the regretful Ancelotti on the team's Champions League efforts against Bayern during the week. Cristiano Ronaldo was again Real's saviour by channeling his inner Zlatan with a reverse Kung Fu kick to give Madrid a last-gasp 2-2 draw.

The Champions League finalists are now in third place, five points behind Atleti but with three games left. Their game in hand is at Valladolid on Wednesday, a match that could be Spain's equivalent of the wet Wednesday night in Stoke. Except warmer. And easier.

Despite the various permutations, the team that still has destiny in its own hands is Atlético Madrid. If Diego Simeone's side wins the next two games then the Calderón club will be league champions for the first time in nearly 20 years - the first time in a decade that a third side apart from the usual Primera pair will be taking that prize.

Ever the optimist, the club's manager wanted to put a positive spin on the defeat to gritty Levante arguing that it was the best thing that could happen to his players, to help focus minds over the rest of the month in three games that could produce an astonishing double. Or nothing at all, aside from the admiration of the planet and ruining Jose Mourinho's day. Again.

Such is the madness at the top of La Liga this season, that the league title race could all be over on Sunday evening when the three teams play together, with the right set of results for Atlético, who are home to Málaga. But just as easily, there could be a massive swing in the direction of the league title, a swing that almost took place last weekend. Almost.

Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

s that Subbuteo's Shaun Wright-Phillips? Crikey, I thought he'd retired. Although I guess 'Only' QPR is like a retirement home.

duckman
The Earl Grey Gossip

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: My Chelsea team is by no means perfect says manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says he is content with Chelsea’s current position across all fronts but insists they can still improve.

Premier League: European players are suffering the loss of street football says Arsenal boss

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes societal changes and the loss of street football has affected European players..

Premier League: Pellegrini denies being under pressure on eve of Manchester derby

Manuel Pellegrini has denied feeling the pressure from recent bad results as City prepare for Sunday's Manchester derby.

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property