Barcelona have the finish line in sight, the end of the TV duopoly, prodigal Pep returns and Bilbao honour Matt Le Tissier
Barcelona scored 14 goals in two games this week to inch closer to the La Liga title.
With three games to play, the blaugrana maintain their two-point advantage over Real Madrid and are not only refusing to slip up but winning with wild abandon.
First they blitzed poor Getafe 6-0 at the Camp Nou on Tuesday before trouncing Cordoba 8-0 away on Saturday, condemning the Andalucians to the drop in the process.
Luis Enrique’s side now have to play Real Sociedad and Deportivo La Coruna at home and in between Atletico Madrid away to confirm their championship.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have Valencia and Getafe at home and Espanyol away, meaning Real will probably depend on their city rivals Atletico to do them a Judi Online favour and take points off Barça at the Manzanares.
A draw will probably not be enough for Real however, as Barcelona’s scoring fest this week has taken their goal difference to +86 compared to Real’s +73.
So assuming the freefalling Deportivo succumb inside the Camp Nou, and Atletico can only draw with Barça, Real’s hopes lie with David Moyes’ Real Sociedad, who beat the blaugrana at home earlier this season, taking points from them away from home as well.
But right now it looks like the title is headed to Catalonia. Real’s ‘March madness’, when they lost to Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona and drew with Villareal, as well as losing in Europe to Schalke, has cost them dearly.
The Getafe mauling was another embarrassing Primera mismatch as the league-leaders entered the changing-rooms at half-time five goals up. They took their foot off the accelerator in the second half and only added one more, but it was another veritable goleada as they say here.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez grabbed braces, with Neymar and Xavi adding single strikes. The Argentine opened the goal-fest in the ninth minute with a Panenka penalty after Suarez had gone to ground following a 40-pass move.
The Uruguayan’s first was a snapshot volley from a Messi chip. Neymar soon doubled their lead before Xavi scored the most beautiful goal of the evening, a curling effort into the top corner fromt he edge of the box. Three goals in six minutes and Barça were on fire.
Suarez then scored a near photocopy to complete a devastating 45 minutes, bagging his 13th goal in 25 games this season, a respectable haul given his sluggish start.
Messi made it six shortly after the restart with another far-post curler before the gods took pity on Getafe and dammed the flood.
6-0 was a bit harsh on their forward Fredy Hinestroza, who had an effort scooped off the line in the first half and hit the post in the second.
Restoring their five-point lead gives the Catalans a psychological boost once more, as Real must play catch-up.
Luis Enrique’s team look odds-on for the title in this form, but once more the top flight’s credibility is called into question. Getafe’s average crowd is barely one tenth of Barça’s and the blaugrana have scored more than four goals ten times this season already.
*Real stayed in touch by beating Almeria 3-0 at the Bernabeu. The highlight of a routine victory was a stunning volley in the D from James Rodriguez a minute before the break.
Chicharito failed to maintain his purple scoring patch but provided the assist for Alvaro Arbeloa’s clincher in the 84th minute. In between, Mauro Dos Santos added an own goal.
*Valencia leapfrogged Sevilla into the fourth and last Champions League spot by beating Granada 4-0 at the Mestalla on Monday.
*On the same night as the blue and maroon goalfest in Catalonia, the Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad ended 1-1 at the San Mames.
But other derbies have brought out some unpleasant elements. The league has reported three cross-city clashes to the Professional Competition Committee for insulting chants: Espanyol v Barcelona, Sevilla v Real Betis and Atletico Madrid v Rayo Vallecano.
* Saturday saw Barça again score a hatful and Real having to play catch-up. The blaugrana travelled to bottom club Cordoba and won 8-0, another ridiculously easy win.
That said, the intense heat of over 30 Celsius / 86 Fahrenheit and low humidity were hard to adapt to and the visitors fluffed several chances before finally scoring through Ivan Rakitic three minutes before half-time.