Real Madrid draw hands Barça a four-point lead, while Messi weaves his magic wand to curse Guardiola’s return
Things got a whole lot clearer in the race for La Liga: After Barcelona maintained their momentum with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad, Real Madrid could only draw 2-2 at home to Valencia.
The gap at the top is thus now four Situs Judi Online points with two games to play and Barcelona have not lost for 19 matches or conceded a goal in eight. In other words, barring an incredible miracle, the title will be heading to Catalonia.
BARCELONA 90 +88
REAL MADR. 86 +73
The Manzanares is not an easy place to come away with three points from of course but even if Atletico win that one and Real beat Espanyol, the blaugrana would enter their final game with a one-point advantage.
A draw at home to relegation-fighting Deportivo therefore and a win for Real would send the title to Madrid.
But Deportivo are sitting third from bottom and have not won for fifteen games. The idea that they could draw or win at on-fire Barcelona when the blaugrana have all to play for appears fanciful.
Real had hopes that David Moyes’ Real Sociedad could take points off Barça having beaten them at the Anoeta Donastia earlier in the season.
Indeed, the Basque side held out for 50 minutes before Neymar gave the home side the lead when Mikel Gonzalez inadvertently back-headed a Messi cross into his path.
Pedro added a second with a bicycle kick in the 84th after work from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The triangulated attack Barça have used to effect this season once more bore fruit, creating space and confusion in an opposition defence forced to twist and turn.
The clinching goal had a familiar ring to it as Barça chalked up another win in a seemingly inexorable march to the finish.
Real meanwhile, perhaps wilting from the fact they were starting second again and playing catch-up, entered the dressing-rooms two goals down at the break thanks to Alcacer and Javi Fuego. A well-organised Valencia found Real’s weak spot to be diagonal balls whipped in to just outside the six-yard box and found the net twice from them.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s lacklustre penalty in first-half injury time capped the first half disaster. His run-up lacked confidence, his body language made the kick predictable and it was blocked comfortably by Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves. To cap it all he mis-kicked what had been a fortunate rebound.
Watching the title evaporate before their eyes, Carlo Ancelotti’s men came out fighting in the second half but Valencia’s massed ranks were not giving them any space and a comeback looked unlikely.
Pepe headed a simple goal back in the 56th minute but it took until the 84th minute for an equaliser. While Ronaldo was failing to shine and Gareth Bale looked shackled by the system once more, Isco shone to score an individual golazo with a delightful turn and curling shot past the diving Alves.
Bale to be fair had won the penalty Ronaldo missed and supplied Isco with the pass to score. He also drew a fingertip save from Alves, who also saved twice from Chicharito and once from Sergio Ramos.
Iker Casillas was getting stick from the home fans and the camera caught him abusing them back. All in all a far from successful night despite the two-goal fightback.
Valencia too were in a battle with Sevilla for the last Champions League spot and were not merely playing for pride. 2-2 seemed about right.
Sevilla worked wonders in Europe on Thursday but could only draw 1-1 with Celta Vigo on Sunday, meaning they stay fifth, three points behind Valencia and headed for the Europa League again.
Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 at lowly Levante with Fernando Torres rescuing a point ten minutes from time, his third goal of the season. A a point was useful to both sides. Diego Simeone’s men are four points clear of Valencia in the race for third and a passage to the Champions League group stages, while Levante moved five above the drop zone.
With Sevilla’s draw at Celta on Sunday night, Atletico are now guaranteed Champions League football next season.