When Barcelona lost to Real Madrid on Saturday, they did themselves no favors in their La Liga title defense. The Catalans struggled in the first half, allowing Real Madrid to secure the victory and climb ahead of them in the standings. Atletico Madrid returned to the top of the standings with a 1-1 draw against Real Betis on Sunday, but the race for the Spanish league title is still wide open.
Before the season ends, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona each have eight matches left to play in order to decide the league champion. Although the obvious difficult game for both Barca and Atletico is the one on May 9th at the Camp Nou, Zinedine Zidane's men have a few tricky games ahead of them that could cost them points and cause them to lose out on the league title.
The first is a match against Cadiz, which will take place away from home on April 21st. Cadiz stunned Madrid with a 1-0 victory early in the season, becoming the first team to defeat them this season. This season, Cadiz has shocked many by defeating some of Spain's best clubs, including Barcelona. Now Madrid will have to fly to their home stadium to face them, and a victory for Los Blancos is far from certain.
The game against Sevilla on the 9th of May is Madrid's second difficult match. Madrid may have won their last three games against Sevilla, but Julen Lopetegui's side is notoriously unpredictably unpredictable. If Los Blancos aren't careful, they might lose points in this game.
Madrid's last difficult match of the season is against Athletic Bilbao. Madrid defeated Bilbao 3-1 in the league this season, but Marcelino Garcia's side shocked them 2-1 in the Super Cup at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Bilbao is attempting to clinch a European berth this season after a string of bad results, and will do all in their power to end the season strongly by upsetting Madrid.
Barca must win all of their remaining games this season in order to win the Laliga championship. The most crucial match will be against Atletico Madrid. If the Catalans win all of their games, they will be able to win the league, as Madrid will still lose points on the road.
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