All of a sudden there’s a league challenge in Spain as Atletico Madrid travel to Barcelona with a precise but herculean task of significantly padding the point difference at the top of La Liga and turn the gas seething on the Blaugrana.
Twenty four hours after the Los Rojiblancos had plumbed Leganes 4-0, Barça dropped points at the Gran Canaria on Thursday and watched their large 7-point lead at the apex get chiselled to 5 points which, considering the current smashing form of Atletico, can be further reduced on Sunday at the Camp Nou.
Diego Simone’s men had an impeccable run of results through February. Hit Sevilla 5 and scored 4 against Leganes just after a 5-1 aggregate bashing of FC Copehagen in Europa League with a 2-0 win over Atletico Bilbao inbetween. Players all in tune with the Simeone formula once again, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann particularly impressed together.
Barcelona on the flip side, seem to be labouring through a problem still unsolved as it’s invisible. The 6-1 bashing of Girona aside, Ernesto Valverde’s side seldom cast their sigil of dominance on games these days. With a little magic from the wand-like legs of Messi in a game punctured by inspiring performance and the 3-point goes home.
Atletico’s Jose Gimenez has since said “All the matches for us are finals,” then this match can’t be overhyped.
Valencia will continue their chase behind Real Madrid to wrestle the final UEFA Champions League spot off Los Blancos who floundered yet again at Espanyol in mid-week.
Girona continue their fairy-tale quest for an European spot when they travel to Villarreal and Eibar will also look to use Deportivo La Coruna as spring for their ambition.
Villarreal – Girona
Sevilla – Athletic Bilbao
Deportivo – Eibar
Leganes – Malaga
Real Madrid – Getafe
Levante – Espanyol
Barcelona – Atletico Madrid
Sociedad – Alaves
Valencia – Real Betis
Celta Vigo – Las Palmas