All hail the champions!! Barcelona have now won their 4th league title in five years. It’s absolutely incredible! This season may have been a bit weird for them, what with Tito Vilanova spending most of the season in New York for cancer treatment and the team suffering countless injuries. Nevertheless, Barça started the season strong and out paced the rest of the league by miles. Real Madrid, the defending title holders, barely put up a fight. On Saturday, Madrid’s feeble 1-1 draw with Espanyol sealed the deal for Barcelona and left a 10 point gap between 1st and 2nd place.
It was pretty evident in the first half of the season that they would win the league when Barça reached the point where they were 16 points ahead of 2nd place (Atlético Madrid at the time). However, the Catalans had to wait until this weekend to celebrate. They deserved to win. There is no doubt about that. But something feels off.
Yes, they made it to the semifinals of the Champions League for a record 6th year in a row. Yes, Lionel Messi produced more magic to score against every team in consecutive games. Yes, Barcelona will equal the 100 point record mark set by Real Madrid last season.
But the champions have a lot of questions to answer in the offseason. They were absolutely steamrolled by Bayern Munich in the Champions League semis on an aggregate 7-0. Throughout the whole season their defense never seemed as solid as it should’ve been. Last season the question was “can Real Madrid feel satisfied in their League title if they never beat Barcelona?” (They eventually did.) This season Barça managed to draw 2-2 and lose 3-1 to Madrid in the Camp Nou in the League and the Copa del Rey, respectively. At the Santiago Bernabéu, Barça drew 1-1 in the Copa del Rey and lost 2-1 in the League.
Anyways, a huge congratulations to Barcelona on their 22nd League title!
In other news around the league, Real Sociedad and Valencia are tied for the last Champions League place, both with 59 points. Right now la Real just edges Valencia out of the spot on goal differential. With three games left, both teams are going to have to fight tooth and nail for that last golden spot. At the far end of the table, Mallorca, Celta Vigo, and Deportivo La Coruña are still stuck in the relegation zone (and Celta has already played an extra game). Real Zaragoza sits barely in safety just two points clear of danger. Here are the full results from the weekend:
Celta Vigo 1-3 Atlético Madrid
Real Madrid 6-2 Málaga
Levante 0-0 Real Zaragoza
Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Mallorca
Valladolid 1-0 Deportivo La Coruña
Osasuna 1-0 Getafe
Espanyol 1-1 Real Madrid
Rayo Vallecano 0-4 Valencia
Real Betis 1-0 Celta Vigo
Atlético Madrid 1-2 Barcelona
Málaga 0-0 Sevilla
Real Sociedad 2-2 Granada
The Copa del Rey final is scheduled for this weekend at the Santiago Bernabéu between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. The Madrid teams played Málaga and Celta Vigo, respectively, on Wednesday to clear their schedules this weekend for the Madrid derby with silverware on the line. This is the only chance for either team to win a trophy this season, so the match promises to be very enticing! Be sure to catch it on Friday at 3:30 pm ET!
Photos courtesy of www.fcbarcelona.com. Check in with @AerysSoccer everyday for news on the world of soccer!