The Early Sub: La Liga Recap

Another week has passed in La Liga and a lot has happened in the league after a dramatic round of Champions League games for Real Madrid and Barcelona. The title race continues but after the weekend’s results, Real Madrid sit two points above their eternal Catalan rivals with a game in hand. This is what we’ve learned after this week’s round of games.

Real-Madrids-defender-Sergio-Ramos-R

Ramos Late Heroics Tighten Grip on La Liga

It’s almost like clockwork, Madrid needs a vital goal late in the game and up appears Captain Sergio Ramos, delivering powerful headers into the back of the net with ease. Real Betis are the latest victims of the Spaniard’s heroics as his headers continue to power the world’s top side to the top of La Liga. Real still own a game in hand over Barcelona and they sit two points above them. Barcelona appear to be Madrid’s final test in reaching the peak of the league for the first time since 2012. Zidane’s men seem to be well on their way to reaching that goal as they push on in the league and in Europe.

 

Barcelona Suffer Hangover Loss to Deportivo

After the comeback of the ages, Barcelona suffered a hangover loss to La Liga bottom dwellers Deportivo who sat 17th coming into the game against the Catalans. Their loss gifted Madrid the top of the league once again as Los Blancos have complete control now after Barca’s slip. What’s unfortunate was Gerard Pique’s reaction, stating that this loss is fine due to their comeback on Wednesday. I beg to differ. The league matters just as much as the Champions League, domestic dominance sends a message to Real Madrid and now they’re in danger of surrendering that. No loss should be acceptable, especially to a side that sits in the bottom half of the bottom half of the table. Barcelona will need a different attitude coming into their match against a newly motivated Valencia if they want to avoid another slip.

Sevilla Submit, Slip Away From Title Race

It’s harsh, but that’s how easy it can be. Taking two consecutive draws to two mid table sides will end a title race very quickly, especially when you’re racing Madrid and Barcelona who rarely slip. Drawing two straight games to Alaves and Leganes officially ends the Sevilla title as they fall to five points behind Los Blancos and Madrid have a game in hand. Sevilla are very good, and continue to improve, and they’ll at least have a spot in the Champions League Quarterfinals as a consolation but they aren’t ready quite yet to compete for Spain’s coveted award.

Atleti Win, Eye 3rd Place

Los Rojiblancos were able to lock up a routine Atleti 1-0 win over Granada as Antoine Griezmann netted the match’s only goal. Atletico won’t have much of a say in the title challenge this season as they trail their Madrid rivals by 10 points but they are sure to lock up a top 4 spot and look to chase down the recently skidding Sevilla who sit 5 points above Atleti. Simeone’s men next turn to Bayer Leverkusen this week as they lead 4-2 on aggregate and also eye a date in the quarterfinals. They’ll take down Sevilla soon enough and lock up their place in Spain’s top 3.

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