Finally, and admittedly with a huge sigh of relief, the La Liga title race is well and truly back on. A reality that Diego Simeone is fully aware thereof as he lamented his side’s wastefulness as Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 stalemate away to Getafe. Although still league leaders, the gap between the leaders and their relentless pursuers is rapidly diminishing.
Simeone’s words to the reporters after the match, relayed via Goal, clearly indicate that he is indeed very wary and watchful of his rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid in hot pursuit. The Argentine manager said to the press that Atletico will “have to be calmer” in their domestic league conquests this season.
Atletico Madrid still sit atop La Liga on 63 points, four clear of second-placed Barcelona and six clear of Real Madrid in third. Whilst previously holding a much larger lead over their rivals with games in hand, their recent draws against Getafe, Real Madrid, Levante, Celta Vigo as well as loss to Levante have seen a considerable drop from their initial pace.
And the door, once only slightly ajar, is now certainly open for Barcelona and Real Madrid, especially the former, who have looked very sharp in recent weeks. Simeone has clearly taken notice of it as well, as he said:
“People were saying Barcelona were bad and look what they did in Paris. They have a new president and excitement is growing.”
After a promising display against PSG, especially in the return leg of the last-16, Barcelona have confidently consolidated their newfound optimism under a revitalized Lionel Messi with a 4-1 rout of Huesca which has propelled them back to second in the table.
The Blaugrana predators are now threshing the waters, sensing blood and looked geared up to bring their A-game with some crucial games coming up, especially the El Clasico in April.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia