La Liga – The League of Surprises: Few weeks ago when FC Barcelona went on an unbeaten streak of 39 games, nobody would have expected that La Liga will take an interesting turn and there might an another winner . It all started when Villarreal drew against Barcelona at Madrigal and somehow Barcelona began to tumble. Real Madrid clinched an astonishing victory at the Camp Nou with full-time scoreline 1-2 with the help of late winner by Portuguese winger, Cristiano Ronaldo. This victory was a morale boost for the newly appointed Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane. Meanwhile during the Champions League, Real Madrid made a comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu against Wolfsburg ( Agg. 3-2). Luis Enrique’s Barcelona were knocked out in the Quarterfinals of Champions League by another Madrid-based team, Atletico Madrid !
Even Though Barcelona managed to win against Atletico Madrid in the home leg ( FT 2-1), Diego Simeone’s side managed to go through with the help of a brace by Antoine Griezmann ( Agg. 3-2). Also in La Liga, Real Sociedad, and Valencia managed to grab 3 points from the Catalan side. FC Barcelona has lost 4 out of their last 5 games. At the moment, Atletico Madrid has the same amount of points as Barcelona in the points table whereas Real Madrid is just one point behind.Both Madrid sides have regained their hopes to win the league title after recent tumbling of Barcelona . Barcelona is yet to face teams like Deportivo , Espanyol where they can drop some points . On the other hand, ATM and RM have got comparatively difficult fixtures also they have the pressure of upcoming UCL Semi Finals so the road to League Title is rugged yet they have a good chance of giving a surprising end to the season.
Both Madrid sides have been given fresh their hopes of winning the La Liga title after Barcelona tumble. Barcelona is yet to face teams like RC Deportivo, Espanyol where they may drop points. On the other hand, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have got comparatively difficult fixtures. Also, they have the pressure of upcoming UCL Semifinals. So the road to League title is rugged yet they have good chance to give a surprising end.
Barcelona has been struggling with their defense throughout the season but it was overshadowed by the phenomenal performances of the famous attacking trio MSN, comprising of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar. Despite the great performance by the trio in the beginning of the season, there was a bit decline in their performance since January. Neymar is finding it difficult to get back his old form and lately Suarez and Messi aren’t performing to the expectations. The form of the elite trio is a big concern for Barcelona. Coming back to the defense, there are many weak links, first of them is Jeremy Mathieu, the former Valencia man has been so poor this season making many defensive mistakes. Also, the ever reliable left back Jordi Alba has been a matter to be worried about which is a big surprise. The only defender who is performing well throughout the season is Gerard Pique but he is also struggling lately. Things aren’t in favour of Barcelona still they are strong favorites to lift the La Liga title.
Looking at other contenders, Atletico has been struggling lately because of the subsequent injuries to the important players. Atletico Madrid is having problems with their so called biggest strength, defense. Diego Godin just recovered but still there is a question mark over his fitness. Griezmann is in decent form and the other forwards are doing great job. Other contenders, Real Madrid’s main problem is also the defence. The Captain and Spanish International Sergio Ramos isn’t having his best season at the club and offensive left-back Marcelo has been poor defensively. Pepe and Carvajal are doing fine.
Looking at other teams, Villarreal will probably finish fourth in the table to earn a Champions League berth next season. Former Europa League winners Sevilla will be fighting with Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao for a Europa League spot. Sevilla’s season will be considered as a ‘flop show’ if they finish out of a European spot. Meanwhile, Celta and Villareal will taste European football next season as surprise entries.