Madrid aren’t just lying down and giving up.
Although this weekend’s results meant Tito’s team will have to wait a little longer to be proclaimed champions, Real Madrid’s win at the Vicente Calderon actually underlined Barça’s achievement, seemingly certain to retake the title under the onslaught of a great winning run from last year’s league title holders. Madrid’s 1-2 win not only extended their winning record over their city neighbours, it also stretched their unbeaten run in the league to 11 games – during which time they’ve won 10 and drawn just once. But even that remarkable run hasn’t troubled Barça, who still sit 11 points clear and when the title does come, Madrid’s second half surge will surely serve as testament to how well Barça have done to win back La Liga this season, despite their great rival’s best efforts.
Osasuna should be looking over their shoulders.
Osasuna took a point from Rayo after their 2-2 draw on Friday night, but with just one win in their last eight games, they now sit only three points off the drop zone after good results for the teams below them -Zaragoza beat Mallorca 3-2, Celta won 0-1 at Getafe, Granada surprised Espanyol 0-1 and Deportivo took a point at Betis(1-1). With trips to Valencia, Granada, and Real Madrid coming up, the Basques will surely have to ensure maximum points from their two home matches against Getafe and Seville if they are to have any hope of keeping top flight football in Pamplona for another season.
Can Manolo Jimenez do it again?
Zaragoza’s win over Mallorca was their first of 2013 and leaves them just a point behind Deportivo and safety. Under-pressure boss Manolo Jimenez was brought in to save the club from the drop last season and after Saturday night’s victory he explained: “we’re running out of time, but this result puts us back in the same situation we were in last season - finally, we got a win!”. It was all spills and thrills in the game, as Mallorca, who now sit bottom of the table, two points behind Zaragoza and Celta, took the lead and then fought back to equalise at 2-2 before Rochina secured what could be three vital points for the home side.