La Liga at week twenty-seven served up the last batch of matches before the Champions League break. Ahead of those clashes the news of Neymar’s injury and surgery changed the entire competition putting Real Madrid in the driver’s seat for their clash in Paris at mid-week. Kylian Mbappe’s injury only added to the bad breaks the Parisian team is suffering.
In Spain, with Celta Vigo’s homestand against Las Palmas still to be played, the round of results featured, on Saturday, Girona’s 2-0 away win to Villarreal, Sevilla’s 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao, Leganes’ 2-0 defeat of visiting Malaga, Deportivo’s 1-1 home draw with Eibar, and Real Madrid’s 3-1 home win over Getafe (who played from the 47th minute on with 10 men) with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a brace.
On Sunday, host Valencia defeated Real Betis 2-0, Real Sociedad beat visiting Alaves 2-1, Levante were held at home 1-1 by Espanyol, and in the match of the day, Lionel Messi rescued Barcelona with a wonder free kick to win all three points at home over Atletico Madrid. In truth. the visitors played their poorest match of the season and the hosts were not at their best, making for a dour, rough match with much Barcelona-tilted officiating.
The results left Barcelona, with 69 points, on top of the table, eight points clear of Atletico Madrid (61), followed by Real Madrid at 54, and Valencia at 53 rounding out the four Champions League slots allocated to La Liga. With eleven matches to go in the season, Barca have four competitive matches left (Sevilla away, and Real Madrid, Valencia, and Villarreal at home). The Catalans would have to lose all four to end up anywhere else on the table but as champions.
Barcelona’s Messi remained the top scorer with 24 goals, followed by teammate Luis Suarez at 20, and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, each at 16, tied for third, while Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has climbed to fourth with 15 goals, one ahead of Girona’s Christian Stuani (14).