Real Madrid’s defeat to Valencia last week cracked the title race wide open. Their weekend fixture against Villarreal also looked poised to end in a loss as Madrid was 2-0 down at some point in the tie, but luckily for Zidane’s side, Bale, Ronaldo, and Morata managed to bail them out.
Sevilla and Barcelona secured victories in their respective fixtures last weekend. Jorge Sampaoli’s side, though, will be more pleased having beaten local rivals Real Betis in what may turn out to be a defining win for the Seville outfit.
Sevilla-Betis might not look like a fierce derby, but it’s really intense for both sets of supporters. It’s of similar importance to both teams despite the fact that Sevilla have become a much better side than their local rivals within the past decade.
Real Madrid faltered in their midweek tie against Las Palmas at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Zidane’s men looked primed to lose the game, but they eventually salvaged a 3-3 draw.
Goals from Isco and Ronaldo (2) saw Los Blancos secure a stalemate. The draw sees Madrid sit one point behind Barcelona in the league standings with 57 points, but lest we forget, they still have a game in hand.
Sevilla are once again in contention to lift the Spanish league title as shaky performances from Barca and Madrid have made it evident that La Liga’s top two teams have on-pitch problems.
Barcelona’s weekend fixture against Atletico Madrid saw Luis Enrique switch to a 3-4-3 formation in a bid to dominate the middle of the park and control the game. The system didn’t have the desired effect as the Blaugrana had to rely on Lionel Messi to grab the three points.
The same formation was employed against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, and while Barca won with relative ease, they could’ve easily conceded at least two goals against a better side as their defending was sloppy.
Barca and Madrid’s flaws are somewhat of a reassuring factor for Sevilla. The gap at the top of the table remains minuscule. Thus, Sampaoli’s side could easily overtake their title rivals if a slip up occurs.
The Seville outfit still have the Champions League to contend with as Jorge Sampaoli will be keen on progressing into the quarter-finals, but that is unlikely to hinder them from maintaining their title bid.
The onus is on Sevilla to grab the three points at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Thursday as they host Athletic Bilbao in what is sure to be a thrilling encounter.
A win would see Los Nervionenses remain in third place, but they’d be just three points adrift of Barca at the top of the table, thus changing the dynamic of this term’s La Liga title race.