After a thrilling weekend of La Liga action the title race may be over, but the chase for the top four, and the relegation battle are amazingly close.
The big match of the weekend saw the top 2 face off, as Barcelona hosted Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp, and despite the away side taking the lead they eventually succumb to a 4-1 defeat.
Colombian striker Falcao gave Atletico the lead in the 31st minute, before a terrific strike by Adriano, and a Sergio Busquets goal gave Barcelona a halftime lead.In the second half the inevitable happened, and Lionel Messi netted a double to kill off any chance of a comeback, giving Barcelona a flattering 4-1 win.
That left the gap between the top two at nine points, and an even bigger gap of thirteen points to champions Real Madrid, after Jose Mourinho’s men once again dropped points.Real hosted struggling Espanyol, with everyone expecting a crushing home win, but the away side shocked the Bernabeu twice to come away with a 2-2 draw.
Espanyol took the lead in the 31st minute through Sergio Garcia, but goals by Portuguese pair Ronaldo and Fabio Coentrao seemed to have restored normality.However in the 88th minute substitute Juan Albin took advantage of a goalmouth scramble to give the team in 19th a precious point.
After the match manager Jose Mourinho conceded that their chance of reclaiming the title was over calling their challenge “impossible”.
While the title race may be over the challenge for top four is set to go down to the wire, with Malaga currently leading the charge.The Andalusian derby between Sevilla and Malaga took place on Saturday, and despite being second best for most of the match it was the away side who triumphed 2-0
Sevilla started brightly, but couldnt net, with Alvaro Negredo putting in his contender for miss of the season, as he rounded goal keeper Willy Caballero before hitting the bar with the net gaping.
Malaga improved in the second half, and Martin Demichelis netted the opener with a header, before Fazio tripped Joaquin in the box, earning himself a red card, before Eliseu slotted home to give Malaga a 2-0 win.
They remain level on points with Real Betis who managed to win 1-0 over Celta Vigo on Monday, thanks to a late Jorge Molina goal.
Ernesto Valverde tasted defeat for the first time as Valencia boss, after a late Alejandro Dominguez penalty was enough to give Rayo Vallecano a 1-0 win at the Mestalla.Rayo were the better team on the night, and Valencia can have no complaints as they slide to 11th, with the Vallecano leapfrogging them into 9th.
Levante kept up their challenge for the top four, as youngster Ruben Garcia’s 2nd goal in as many league games was enough to see them beat Real Zaragoza, who crash back down to earth after their impressive win over Rayo Vallecano last week.
Mallorca lost yet again, this time 1-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao, meaning its now eleven league games without a win, and the axe is getting ever closer for manager Joaquin Caparros.
Elsewhere Getafe and Osasuna drew 1-1 after a Kike Sola strike was cancelled out by a 90th minute Diego Costa penalty, while Deportivo v Valladolid, and Granada v Real Sociedad both finished 0-0.
It may have been the lowest scoring game week so far this season with only 17 goals scored, but this week may have been absolutely crucial in the title race.
Player of the week- Jordi Amat
The Rayo Vallecano defender was absolutely brilliant as his side recorded a famous 1-0 win over Valencia at the Mestalla, as the youngster threw himself into challenge after challenge.
Goal of the week- Adriano v Atletico
The right back cut in from the right before unleashing a curling shot into the top corner to equalise for Barcelona, brilliant goal.