La Liga: Title Game Next Week at Camp Nou
Atletico Madrid dominated the final third against a feisty Malaga side that was desperate for a single point that would guarantee their survival in La Liga next season. Well, they received their wish after earning a hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Vicente Calderon. The man they had to thank for this draw was none other than keeper Willy Caballero, who had to punch away a sure winner in stoppage time from Adrian Lopez.
Real Madrid lost 2-0 at Celta Vigo which completely took them out of the title race with one game remaining while second-placed Barcelona were held scoreless in a 0-0 draw away to Elche. What this means is something brilliant for soccer fans around the world that enjoy La Liga: Barcelona are three points behind Atletico Madrid in the league standings with next week’s final game of the season potentially deciding who wins the championship. Barcelona has to win, whereas Atleti only needs a draw to guarantee their first title win in 17 seasons.
Barcelona was held scoreless in the Champions League quarterfinals against Atletico Madrid at home in the first leg before losing 1-0 in Madrid, hence exiting the competition. This game not only brings a chance at revenge, but also deletes sour memories of losing this season as they could gift their fans a second straight league title. After Tito Vilanonva passed away in recent weeks, a league title can numb some of the pain of losing one of their own.
Atletico Madrid can potentially win a double as if they win the league next week, they have the chance to win the Champions League final against a Real Madrid side who have already won the Copa del Rey and need a European title as they have been starving for one.
Atletico Madrid are living the dream right now as they will play the two most dominant Spanish forces in recent times for two of the most important prizes in European soccer: La Liga against the reigning champions on their turf, then on neutral ground against their arch city rival in the first ever UCL final to be contested by two teams from the same city. Think about that for a second: defeat the reigning champs on their turf to take their title then become the dominant side of Madrid by winning Europe’s highest competition.