A shocking defeat for Barcelona has left them trailing in the hunt for the La Liga title. With Atletico Madrid in unstoppable form, and their Madrid rivals Real recently rediscovering their free scoring touch, Barcelona are now on the back foot with just five games of the season to go.
On paper it seemed routine for Barcelona to travel to Granada and return with the three points, however their hosts had other ideas, and Brahimi struck inside the first 20 minutes of the match. The goal stunned Barca, and a response failed to materialise for the thousands of nervous onlooking fans, fully aware of the developments at the Bernabeu.
Di Maria’s tight angled finish before the half hour mark sent Madrid in with a single goal advantage, and no doubt they would have been buoyed to hear of Barca trailing by the same scoreline. In the second half, Madrid made the game theirs, with Bale and Isco scoring two goals in the space of three minutes, and Morata put the game to bed with 5 minutes to go to sweep aside a struggling Almeria side.
Atletico Madrid would have no doubt been watching the action from the day before, and knew what they had to do as they entered their Sunday game away at Getafe. Atletico were already one goal to the good before Lafita saw red for their opponents, and thus making Atletico’s task a little bit easier as Diego Costa then secured the three points late on.
So what do these results mean for the table? Atletico hold now a three point advantage at the top of the league on 82 points. Following them, Real Madrid on 79 and Barcelona now lose ground in third on 78 points. Remember, despite Barcelona having the superior goal difference, it is head to head form that is the deal breaker in this league, separating those on even points if such an occurrence was to materialise.
At the wrong end of the table, none of the bottom three teams (Betis, Almeria and Getafe) benefitted from playing European chasing opposition. And a draw between Osasuna and Valladolid on the Friday night won’t hugely benefit themselves either, although it is another point added to the 2 point slim gap between 17th and 18th places. Granada’s win over Barcelona does now though place them in a much healthier looking 13th place, 6 points adrift of the relegation zone.
Friday 11th April
Osasuna 0 Valladolid 0
Saturday 12th April
Celta Vigo 2 Real Sociedad 2
(Agudo Duran pen.37, Aurtenetxe so.48, Mina Lorenzo 82, Canales 8, Griezmann 43)
Villarreal 1 Levante 0
Granada 1 Barcelona 0
Real Madrid 4 Almería 0
(Di Maria 28, Bale 53, Isco 56, Morata 85)
Sunday 13th April
Real Betis 0 Sevilla 2
(Perez Lopez so.27, Gameiro pen.30, 82)
Valencia 2 Elche 1
(Piatti 22, Parejo 61, Barragnan so.90+3, Corominas 28)
Getafe CF 0 Atlético Madrid 2
(Lafita so.64, Godin 40, Diego Costa 84)
Espanyol 2 Rayo 2
(Stuani 3, Colotto 88, Falque 43, Larrivey 50)
Monday 14th April
Athletic v Málaga (21:00)
Photo via: http://www.rediff.com/sports/slide-show/slide-show-1-la-liga-photos-barca-losing-momentum-after-shock-loss-at-granada-real-win/20140413.htm