La Liga leaders Barcelona escaped with a 3-2 win from Sevilla after what appeared to be a rout at one point turned into a nerve-wracking end to an entertaining match. On the other hand, Real Madrid dismantled Athletic Bilbao 5-1 to keep the pressure on leaders Barca with one point separating both sides. The title’s destination will be decided next weekend when the Catalans host Valladolid and Los Galacticos travel to play Malaga with two sides expected to win convincingly against the struggling sides as Valladolid and Malaga are fighting for survival with clubs placed 18th and 16th respectively in the league.
Despite the two clubs being at risk of relegation the firepower of Barca and Los Galacticos along with their defensive line ought to be more than capable of seeing off the two strugglers. The Catalans will once again rely on the goals and inspiration of Lionel Messi who opened the scoring against Sevilla while Los Blancos will look to their record signing Cristiano Ronaldo to provide the goals and added impetus to the club’s attack. Ironically, the Portuguese star also opened the scoring for Real and the two stars have duelled in the last two season over individual honours while this season has seen them go head-to-head on two occasions and compete over la Liga title.
Both title challengers are firing on all cylinders with Barca putting behind their disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Inter to dismantle Villarreal 4-1 and record a precious 3-2 win against Sevilla while Real inflicted the third home defeat on Mallorca in convincing manner following a 4-1 romp. While Los Galacticos have the best attack led by Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain who have combined for an impressive 51 goals in the league, Barca have the league’s best defensive record and their star player Messi has managed to score 31 la Liga goals.
The fact Real are still within a point of Barca is quite remarkable considering the Catalans have taken the six points from their two duals in El Clasico this season. Next weekend will witness the crowning of the league champions and it would be hard to bet against the Catalans retaining their title considering their stunning home form and the weak attacking record of the visitors who have scored a measly 37 times to rank as one of the league’s weakest attacking sides. Likewise, Los Galacticos will unlikely face difficulty in overcoming a Malaga side with 15 defeats in the current campaign and suffering from inconsistent form at home.
The title will go down the wire but unless Valladolid can spring a shocking result then the destination of the winner will be a mere formality as Barcelona will likely end up winning the match and celebrating a second consecutive la Liga championship at the Camp Nou.