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La Liga. Ooooh. La Liga


It was a hell of a weekend for the four teams chasing victory in La Liga. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia all recorded dramatic victories over their repective opponents to push the conclusion to a dramatic finale.

Valencia set the pace for the weekend, a hard earned victory away to Mallorca coming courtesy of Joaquin’s goal in the 90th minute when David Villa’s cross was flicked on by substitute Jorge Lopez and Joaquin finished from close range. Valencia had twice seen Bosko Jankovic rattle the woodwork for the home side, but decided matters in the cruellest fashion late on.

The gauntlet was thrown down to Sevilla who played on Sunday, and who had been leapfrogged by Valencia’s last-minute win over Mallorca. A trip to Deportivo La Coruna beckoned, and the hosts, languishing in mid-table stunned the visitors when they took the lead through Bodipo’s 72nd minute volley. However, Sevilla, drawing on whatever remaining energy exists after a draining season, struck back through Renato just three minutes later. Top scorer Fredi Kanoute then struck from Jesus Navas’ pass to ensure Sevilla remained in the hunt for the title to add to their Uefa Cup success. With the Copa del Rey final with Getafe still to come, it’s been a phenomenal season so far for Juande Ramos’ team.

Real Madrid, with seven wins from their last eight league games, travelled to this season’s surprise package Recreativo de Huelva in the later kick-off on Sunday. Knowing that they had been leapfrogged by Sevilla’s win, Madrid started superbly, a Robinho strike after nine minutes putting them in front, the Brazilian heading home David Beckham’s precise cross. Robinho was felled early in the second half and Ruud van Nistelrooy made no mistake from the penalty spot, 2-0 to Madrid.

However,Recreativo stormed back into the game with two goals in eleven minutes from Jesus Vazquez from the spot and Ikechukwo Uche four minutes from time in what seemed a killer blow to Madrid’s title aspirations. However madrid were not finished and a last-gasp Roberto Carlos strike ensured they remained at the top of the table, another dramatic victory for Fabio Capello’s men.

Barcelona played in the night-time kick off on Sunday with what seemed to be the trickiest tie of the night for any of the top four teams, an away tie at Atletico Madrid. However, Atletico, perhaps conscious of their neighbour’s title dreams,were simply not good enough as Barcelona strolled to a 6-0 demolition of the side lying sixth in the table. Lionel Messi continued his excellent form of late with two goals, Zambrotta, Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Iniesta completed the rout for the Catalan side.

And so, with three games left to play La Liga currently looks like this……

Pos         Team                               P        W      D    L        F        A      +/-     Pts 

1   Real Madrid 35 21 6 8 58 36 22 69
2   Barcelona 35 20 9 6 70 30 40 69
4   Valencia 35 20 5 10 50 32 18 65

…….with Real Madrid leading by virtue of their better head-to-head record against Barcelona. It’s turning into a fantastic close to the season for La Liga’s top four.


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