El Centrocampista

Drama, Disgrace and Goodbyes – Spanish Football around the Web

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EFE

The drama continues to build in Spain as the fight for European places and relegation spots will go down to the final day.

Graham Hunter praised Real Madrid as they clinched the La Liga title at San Mames, focusing on how Mourinho has shaped a team that has reclaimed the title from FC Barcelona.  Despite players not being first choice or completely buying in, the Special One evoked performances of the highest order both at home and on the road (where they slipped numerous times last year) to claim the championship.  The foundations are there for another magical cycle a la Inter of 2010 as Los Merengues look to stamp their authority both in Spain and in Europe.

Reading Kxevin’s review of the Barcelona game, which he described as “an extraordinary series of events that elevated a maudlin, sad event into something celebratory and memorable“,I felt disappointed that I had not found time to watch the match.  Watching the highlights and post game celebrations did not do the game or Kxevin’s post or the moment justice.  The Pep era is almost over and the players made his final game at the Nou Camp an evening of appreciation for everyone.

Chalk on the Boots was slightly more muted in his analysis of the game, reporting that both teams pressured each other but did not take advantage of some of the weaknesses (the visitors did not press high enough when Pinto had the ball at his feet and FCB exploit the width that Espanyol’s narrow formation provided).  In the end Messi was the difference as he converted the opportunities provided to give Barcelona a home win.

The one match I wanted to watch from Round 37 was Atletico Madrid against Malaga.  Life got in the way and I missed it, so I visited AtleticoFans.com for Derek’s round up of the match.  Looks like the visitors could have put the game away in the first half and were punished as Los Rojiblancos recovered to win 2-1, a victory gives them an outside shot at Champions League football next season.  Martin also wrapped up a week that sees Los Colchoneros with a chance for everything and nothing.

Eduardo Alvarez quickly moved past the top three places to look at how the “invisible hand” has shaped a truly heart-stopping relegation battle, with five teams looking to secure top flight football on the final day of the season.

Momentum is with the two teams currently in the relegation zone: Real Zaragoza and Sporting Gijon, while fortune is not favoring Rayo Vallecano or Granada.

Sid Lowe tried to come to grips with the crazy scenes following the final whistle of Granada and Real Madrid, with players and staff attacking the officiating crew, leading to the suspension of at least three players. Granada’s loss sees them well and truly sucked into the relegation battle and they play fellow struggles Rayo on the final day.  Doctor Sid gave a quick summary of the relegation possibilities:

Granada 42; Villarreal 41; Rayo 40; Zaragoza 40; Sporting 37.
• Rayo and Granada face each other, Villarreal go to Champions League-chasing Atlético, Zaragoza travel to nothing-to play-for Getafe and Sporting go to Malaga, who are also chasing a Champions League.
• If Sporting, Rayo andZaragozaall end on 40 points, Sporting survive. If Rayo, Zaragoza and Villarreal end on 41 points. Rayo go down. If Rayo and Villarreal end on 41 points, Rayo go down. If Villarreal and Zaragoza both end on 41 points, Villarreal go down. If Rayo and Zaragoza both end on 41 points, Zaragoza go down. If there is tie on 42 points between Granada and Villarreal,Granada go down.

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Pods

On Sky’s La Liga Weekly, Andy and Sid looked back at Pep’s final home match at FCB before moving on to the relegation possibilities.  Finally Sid related the poor behavior and conspiracy theories that came out of the Granada/Real Madrid match.

At Forza Futbol, Elisa and Ravi looked back at Real’s 32nd championship.  They also talked about the all Spanish Europa League Final and wrapped up with the relegation scrap and fight for Europe.




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