Title race still too close to call/ Weekend La Liga Round-up

Anything you can do, we can do better. Or exactly the same as it would seem in La Liga, after matchday 29 on which the two giants Real Madrid and Barcelona won their respective games by the same amount of goals for the fourth consecutive week.

The sides, seperated only by Real’s superior goal difference, once again swept aside their opposition and remain locked on points heading into the business end of the season. The two meet on April 10th at the Bernabeu in a clash which is almost certainly going to go a long way into determining the destination of the La Liga crown this season. Unlike the Premier League, if sides are locked on points at the end of the season in Spain then the title is decided by the head to head record of the clubs involved from that season. Having lost 1-0 at the Nou Camp in the reverse fixture, it is vital that Real Madrid win the game with so little to to choose between the two and the chances of finishing joint on points with Barcelona looking all the more likely.

Real overcame their bitter rivals Atletico Madrid 3-2 on Sunday, but did had to overcome an early scare as Jose Antonio Reyes gave Atletico an early lead. The league leaders hit back thanks to goals from Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa and Gonzalo Higuain, before a Diego Forlan penalty ensured a tense finale to the Madrid derby.

The game of the weekend came in Monday’s clash, as Athletic Bilbao beat Racing Santander 4-3 to move within two points of fourth place. The two sides played out a thriller at San Mames, with the in-form Fernando Llorente again amongst the goals for the home side, scoring twice. The goal of the game came from Racing’s Ivan Bolado, scoring a spectacular over-head kick for one of his two strikes.

Barcelona kept the pressure up on Real as they won 1-0 away to Mallorca, thanks to a goal from Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, who is starting to find his form again in recent games. It was an impressive win for the champions as they were on the back foot for much of the clash and had the woodwork and keeper Victor Valdes to thank for not falling behind in the first-half.

Sevilla and Deportivo both had their European hopes dashed with crushing defeats. Sevilla, who seem have hit the self-destruct button in recent weeks following their Champion’s League exit and sacking of their coach, were soundly beaten 3-0 away to Villarreal. Getafe took Deportivo apart with a resounding 3-1 victory in the Riazor, restoring their own hopes of a late push for Europe.

At the bottom end, Xerez’s recent revival of late continued as they took their tally to seven points in a week with a 3-0 win at home to Valladolid. Having beaten third bottom Tenerife last week, the bottom side beat the team directly above them and have moved to within seven points of Real Zaragoza who lie in 17th.

Zaragoza scored a massive victory in their own race to survive, as they upset third placed Valencia with a 3-0 win at home on Saturday night, moving four points clear of the drop zone.

Tenerife could only manage a point as they were held 1-1 away to Malaga. In the two dead rubbers in mid-table, Walter Pandiani scored the winner for Osasuna as they beat Almeria 1-0, whilst Espanyol and Sporting Gijon played out a dull 0-0 draw.


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