The Paw Print
Real Madrid CF has been the dominant force in the Spanish football world throughout the 2014-2015 season so far, and their all-time rivals from Barcelona FC had an opportunity to close up the point differential gap that “Los Blancos” have at the top. FC Barcelona lost the lead in Primera Division in the 10th round, and has been struggling to utilize the chances that the team has had ever since to come back on top. The Spanish La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world where competition always exists. However, Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Athletico Madrid have established a certain level of dominance in the Spanish as well as the European football in general. In the last 4-5 seasons the league’s champion has always been decided in the last games of the season when not necessarily the best but rather more focused of the three teams ends up winning it all. This year is no different and the places from 1st to 3rd are taken by Real Madrdid CF(60 points), FC Barcelona(56 points), and Athletico Madrid(53 points) respectively standing only a few points apart at the moment. Each team is well aware that each and every weekend could easily turn out to be a championship winning game, because if one of the teams “slips” and loses points the other should be on top of its game to close down the differential. This is exactly what Barca failed to do this past Saturday on their home stadium, Camp Nou, against Malaga FC.
After Real Madrid FC lost with the astonishing 4:0 against the city-rivals from Athletico two weeks ago, FC Barcelona was able to cut Real’s lead from 4 down to 1 point, whereas Athletico’s great performance against Real Madrid was “in-vain” for the club, because it ended up losing the 3 points it won against the city-rivals in its following league game, which definitely brought a nice relief for the current leaders.
This past weekend FC Barcelona played its game before “Los Blancos” and had the opportunity to temporarily take the leader’s position at the top of the table with a home win against the visitors from Malaga. This would have put Real Madrid under pressure for their Sunday game against Elche. However, the game at Camp Nou didn’t go as planned for the home team and the young and motivated team of Malaga managed to open the score in the 7th minute. The defeat came only 3 days before the clubs 1st 1/8 final in UEFA Champions League against Manchester City. It will be interesting to see what Barca’s players’ reaction will be after the discontinuity of their 11-game winning streak. FC Barcelona has never been consistent with its response after an unexpected loss delivering mixed performances over the years. For example after the first loss for this season from Celta Vigo with 0:1, FC Barcelona played poorly in the following game against Almeria and was losing 0:1 until the closing stages of the game when it got lucky and managed to win the game. On the other hand, after a poor performance and defeat against Real Sociedad, the team played one of their best games of the season in the subsequent league game against Athletico Madrid.