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Spain Roundup: Top three manage two points total; Whose is it to lose?

May 4, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

Diego Simeone AP

Barcelona’s 2-2 Saturday draw with Getafe should’ve signaled a new champion. The Blaugranas couldn’t find another miracle, instead choking away a late 2-1 lead and gaining just a single point as they try to chase down Atletico Madrid for the La Liga title.

But Atletico made Barca’s choke look like a cough, losing 2-0 at mid-table Levante. It began with an own-goal before David Barral’s seventh of the season increased Diego Simeone’s plight. Atleti outshot Levante 23-7.

And to top it all off, Real Madrid couldn’t take all the points at home against Valenica. While it did give us this moment of brilliance from Cristiano Ronaldo in stoppage time — Watch, you must – it also stopped Galacticos from owning its destiny.

Now on 88 points, Atletico’s lead over Barca has shrunk to three points, and Real is five points back of Atleti with a match in hand.

What’s it all mean? Well, Atleti holds the keys. They win out, they win La Liga. If Barca beats Atleti and Real drops any points, the title remains in Barcelona.

And there’s this:

The run-in for the title:

Atletico Madrid (88 points)
May 11 vs. Malaga
May 18 at Barcelona

Barcelona (85 points)
May 11 at Elche
May 18 vs. Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid (83 points)
May 7 at Valladolid
May 11 at Celta Vigo
May 18 vs. Espanyol

ELSEWHERE

  • Rayo Vallecano 0-3 Athletic Bilbao— The match was more or less dusted by the 30th minute, when De Marcos’ sixth of the year made it 2-0. Athletic had much more to play for, and it showed; The lead over Sevilla for fourth, and the UEFA Champions League, is safe.
  • Malaga 0-1 Elche — Massive road win from a desperate Elche team has Los Franjiverdes joining its opponents in relative safety. Dutchman Garry Rodrigues provides the winner.
  • Osasuna 0-2 Celta Vigo — The hosts’ despair is high after the weekend has it poised for the drop on 35 points. Goals 15 & 16 for Nolito pace the winners.
  • Valladolid 1-0 Espanyol — Unlikely hero Antonio Rukavina netted just his second of the season in boosting Valladolid’s survival hopes. Though still in 19th, they have one more game remaining than most of its fellow relegation-scrappers; Real Madrid, Betis and Granada remain on its slate to safety.
  • Almeria 3-2 Real Betis — Already-relegated Betis gives the hosts a fight, posting a 2-1 lead in the second half, but Aleix Vidal tied it before Ramon Azeez found the winner in the 90th minute to send Almeria a point clear of relegation.
  • Sevilla 0-0 Villarreal – A draw was almost as good as a win for the hosts, who just didn’t want Villarreal to snag all three.
  • Real Sociedad vs. Granada – Monday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Atlético Madrid 36 28 4 4 75 24 51 15-3-0 13-1-4 88
Barcelona 36 27 4 5 99 32 67 16-1-1 11-3-4 85
Real Madrid 35 26 5 4 100 34 66 15-1-2 11-4-2 83
Athletic 36 20 8 8 65 38 27 13-3-2 7-5-6 68
Sevilla 36 17 9 10 66 50 16 10-4-4 7-5-6 60
Real Sociedad 35 16 9 10 59 51 8 11-3-3 5-6-7 57
Villarreal 36 15 8 13 54 43 11 8-6-4 7-2-9 53
Valencia 36 12 10 14 49 50 -1 9-3-6 3-7-8 46
Celta Vigo 36 13 7 16 46 52 -6 5-7-6 8-0-10 46
Levante 36 11 12 13 33 42 -9 6-6-6 5-6-7 45
Rayo Vallecano 36 13 4 19 45 74 -29 8-0-10 5-4-9 43
Espanyol 36 11 8 17 39 47 -8 7-4-7 4-4-10 41
Málaga 36 11 8 17 37 45 -8 7-2-9 4-6-8 41
Elche 36 9 12 15 29 47 -18 6-7-5 3-5-10 39
Granada 35 11 4 20 30 53 -23 7-1-10 4-3-10 37
Almería 36 10 6 20 41 71 -30 6-5-7 4-1-13 36
Getafe 36 9 9 18 32 53 -21 5-6-7 4-3-11 36
Osasuna 36 9 8 19 29 60 -31 5-5-8 4-3-11 35
Valladolid 35 7 14 14 34 54 -20 6-8-3 1-6-11 35
Betis 36 5 7 24 31 73 -42 4-3-11 1-4-13 22

  1. andynormile - May 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Are you sure about the goal difference comments ? The tie-breaker in La Liga is head to head record, which means the Atletico v Barca game is the key game.

  2. jerblaber - May 4, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    GOAL DIFFERENCE DOES NOT MATTER IN LA LIGA

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