Insatiable FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid boost the race for second – Sports activities Africa

With eight matchdays to go, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Sevilla FC are all on 57 factors. With second place offering a ticket to the Spanish Super Cup, there’s a lot at stake.

FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid continued their resurgent runs of type on the weekend to clock up six wins in a row every in LaLiga Santander, making for a compelling race for second place. They have each pulled degree with Sevilla FC on 57 factors, with simply eight matchdays remaining.

Barça needed to sweat to proceed their profitable streak, lastly downing an impregnable Sevilla FC aspect 1-0 on Sunday because of an beautiful objective from Pedri within the second half. The victory took FC Barcelona degree on factors with their opponents, with Sevilla FC having occupied second place for many of the season.

It was all the time going to take one thing particular to beat Julen Lopetegui’s aspect, who boast the most effective defence in LaLiga Santander and who had been on a membership file unbeaten run stretching again 15 video games. But, teenage magician Pedri offered that one thing particular, dancing previous two defenders outdoors the world earlier than arrowing into the far nook of the web to lastly beat in-form goalkeeper Bono.

Even if it was a slim victory, it was at least Barça deserved after a dominant efficiency and it adopted up their rampant 4-0 win at Real Madrid in ElClasico. Xavi’s aspect are in unstoppable type, boasting the longest unbeaten run in Europe’s prime 5 leagues, because it’s now 14 video games since they final tasted defeat in December. They are additionally the top-scoring group in Spain, whereas Ligue 1 aspect Rennes are the one aspect in Europe’s prime 5 leagues who can higher their tally of 27 objectives within the final 10 video games.

Pedri’s return to motion after a five-month damage absence has been a key consider Barça’s revival. Since the 19-year-old got here again into the group in late January within the 1-0 win at Deportivo Alavés, Barça have received eight of 9 league video games, in comparison with seven victories in 20 matches in his absence.

“He is a superlative player and he scored an extraordinary goal,” Xavi mentioned of his midfield sensation. “He makes the difference and watching him play is a spectacle. And he is only 19. Everything he gives us is a delight.”

Yet, there are such a lot of different elements behind FC Barcelona’s return to type. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made a really outstanding impression since signing from Arsenal in January, scoring seven objectives in eight appearances, together with a double within the 4-0 win at Real Madrid and a hat-trick within the 4-1 success at Valencia CF. He has struck up a worthwhile partnership with Ferran Torres, one other January arrival from the Premier League, who has 4 objectives and three assists in eight matches.


An enchanting three-way battle

FC Barcelona, nonetheless, will not be the one group in insatiable type proper now. Atleti have additionally hit their stride on the excellent second within the season.

It has been a stop-start marketing campaign for the champions and, earlier than this current run, that they had not managed to win greater than two consecutive video games. But, there isn’t any stopping them now. Since a shock 1-0 defeat at house to Levante UD in February, they’ve received six video games in a row whereas scoring 15 objectives within the course of. João Félix has spearheaded their run, scoring six objectives in six video games in addition to contributing two assists.

While all groups will preserve combating to push leaders Real Madrid so long as attainable, the battle for second is so fascinating with FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Sevilla FC all degree on factors. With second bringing a ticket to subsequent season’s Spanish Super Cup, there’s a lot at stake.

And, on this race, don’t depend Sevilla FC out of it. Lopetegui’s aspect have struggled for outcomes, taking 13 factors from their final 10 matches, however they’ve nonetheless had an incredible marketing campaign, constructed on defensive solidity, which noticed them win 12 video games from 19 within the first half of the season.

Sevilla FC are totally centered on ending the season nicely. “Our objective has always been to achieve something historic and qualify for the Champions League three times in a row,” mentioned Lopetegui. “It’s going to be difficult, but we’re prepared to take it on. We have to compete in every game as if it were a final.”

The enterprise finish of the season is right here, but the race to complete second nonetheless has a protracted solution to run.

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