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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Six times when La Liga's leader lost the title on the last day

Anirudh Menon
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Top 5 / Top 10
34.25K   //    Timeless

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, Al Capone used to drawl to his bodyguards whenever one of them got up at the end of an opera thinking the whole schebang was done for. Well, in football, it ain’t over till the man with the whistle blows that final peep. 

As we go into the last day of LaLiga 2016/17, Real Madrid lead Barcelona by three points and have surely wrapped up the league title – their first for more than half a decade. History, though, teaches us that there is no such thing as “surely wrapped up” and Real Madrid will do well to heed the eternal warning that surrounds those that choose to willingly look past the teachings of the past. On the same note, Barcelona will do well to keep their chins up and keep fighting till the bitter end. 

La Liga has gone down to the wire on 35 times, but only on 6 of those occasions has the side that’s gone into the final day leading the league, ever managed to lose it. Real Madird have done it thrice. Here’s a look at each of those momentous days:


#1. Sevilla lost out to Atletico Madrid

The year?

1939-40

What happened?

The first domestic season to be held after the end of the great Spanish Civil War, the 1939-40 one was filled with late plot twists aplenty. Going into the final day, Sevilla were leading the team then known as Athletic Aviation Club (which under the aegis of General Franco would soon become Atletico Madrid). The fixtures between the two had been incredible encounters, Sevilla beating Athletic Aviation 4-1 at home, while the Andalusians were thrashed 4-2 away. 

Raimundo Blanco’s 18 goals, and Campanal’s 16 had meant that the Andalusians went to the final day in the lead – till they choked, drawing 3-3 with Hercules whilst Athletic won their fixture against local boys Real Madrid 3-1 to end up on 29 points as against 28 for Sevilla. 

RankClub (12 team league)Points
1.Athletic Aviation Club (Atletico Madrid)29
2. Sevilla 28
3.Athletic Bilbao26
4.(Real) Madrid CF25
...9.FC Barcelona19
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