Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance of La Liga looks to continue this season, with both sides currently leaving rivals Atletico Madrid and Sevilla behind. But with each side dropping unnecessary points so far in the season, the points gap is still small between the two. And with them still to meet in the second El Clásico of the season, that match could be as important as it has ever been.
In the run in to the end of the season, it looked like a three horse race for the title, between Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla. But three games without a win in the league for Sevilla has put daylight between them and the Spanish giants. Two successive draws to Alavés and Leganes and a loss this weekend to Atletico, means they are eight points behind Real in 1st, who also have a game in hand.
With such a gap already, the chances of Sevilla making up that ground is unlikely, which leaves the two currently at the top.
Obviously, Real Madrid are the favourites. The Galácticos look reinvigorated under Zidane this season, and after winning them the Champions League at the end of last season, they would go 40 games unbeaten in the league, which has set them up for a 33rd La Liga title.
However, since the record was broken, Madrid seem to take their foot off the gas. In recent weeks they’ve lost to Valencia and drawn to Las Palmas, giving Barcelona a route back to the top.
Unfortunately for Barcelona, they were not able to take that opportunity. A loss to Deportivo La Coruna last week meant they lost the chance to go back top of the league by a point for the time being. It’s almost as if nobody really wants to win the league this season.
Because of that loss, Barca stay two points behind their bitter rivals, with the potential of going five behind if Real win their game in hand. Madrid’s advantage, however, could be swept away on April 23rd, as the two sides meet in what could be a title deciding El Clásico at the Bernabéu. This match has produced many memories in the past, in a game that showcases the best talent football has to offer.
A win for Barcelona will bring them just two points off the top, meaning they would be eagerly anticipating any slip up from Zidane’s men. A win for Real would all but secure them the title.
In the first Clásico of this season, a late goal from who else but Sergio Ramos meant that the points were shared at the Camp Nou, and looking back, it was another important goal that the Spanish defender scored. With the next game between the two at the Bernabeu, you would have to think that it is advantage Real.
With the stakes so high in this game, it is important to remember that this is not the first time that a title has been decided from an El Clásico match. A similar situation to this occurred in April 2012, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner at the Camp Nou in a 2-1 victory, with Madrid then going on to comfortably win the league.
Will Barcelona be able to rectify their loss in 2012, or will Real Madrid ease their way to another La Liga title with a win against their sworn rivals? Whatever happens, it is sure to be an entertaining end to the La Liga season.