La Liga Round-Up: Atletico, Real & Barcelona fail to register victories
The league leading triumvarate of Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona failed to record one single victory this weekend. While Atletico succumbed to Levante, Barcelona and Real were held to draws by Getafe and Valencia respectively. While Atletico remain in control of the title, this would surely give Real more than a sniff at domestic glory.
La Liga just got a lot more interesting this week as neither of the top three teams could register a victory at the weekend. While league leaders Atletico Madrid uncharacteristically went down to Levante 2-0, neither Real nor Barcelona could take advantage of the slip up as both were held to 2-2 draws at home by Valencia and Getafe respectively.
Barcelona, the first of the big three to take the field this weekend on Saturday saw their final chances of going for La Liga glory vanquish. A 2-2 draw at home to Getafe leaves the Catalans 3 points adrift of Atletico with 2 games to go. A second of the night from Angel Lafita, in the dying minutes of the game was good enough to hold Barca and make their season one to forget. This meant that Atletico needed only 4 points from 3 games entering Sunday to ensure finishing above at least the Catalans.
There was however more surprise in store for us on Sunday as somebody presumably had forgotten to give Levante the script. With Levante comfortably placed in mid-table there was not much for them to play for besides pride. Levante indeed made their fans proud as Les Granotes showed some real doggedness and resilience to put the league leaders off their game. The final result was not much of a surprise as the game was an instance of uncharacteristically undisciplined football from Atletico, muddled with individual errors all across. A David Barral goal in the 69th minute following an earlier own goal from Felipe Luis was enough to see Levante emerge as victors in the game.
If you thought that drama for the weekend was over, you couldn’t be more wrong. Real Madrid entered their game knowing the results from Atleti’ game; having more than a sniff of the title. Real knew that if they won their all four games with Atletico slipping up in any of their two remaining fixtures(which includes a last week visit of Camp Nou), the title was there for the taking for Los Blancos. Real however followed the script for the weekend as they succumbed to a spirited display from Valencia at the Bernabeu.
Real were rather lucky to escape with a point courtesy Cristiano Ronaldo’s last minute equalizer. Goals from Jeremy Mathieu and Daniel Parejo gave the Valencianistas the lead on two separate occasions only for them to be pegged back first by Sergio Ramos and then in the final minute by Cristiano Ronaldo’s last gasp equaliser in the dying minutes.
Meanwhile at the bottom of the league, crucial wins for Almeria and Elche over Malaga and the already relegated Real Betis respectively saw them stave clear of the relegation spots for now. Meanwhile Valladolid; another of the bottom feeders, gave themselves a good chance to avoid the drop with a win over Espanyol.
In other results of the weekend Celta Vigo recorded a victory over Osasuna, while Seville and Villarreal played out a goal-less draw.