Cristiano grinds teeth into dust on sidelines as Bale and Suarez go goal crazy

Nobody’s blinking in the La Liga title race, writes Tim Stannard, as the Big Three brace themselves for a final-stretch scrap...

It’s as you were once again, with the three teams at the top showing their different dance moves in La Liga: the audacious twerk for Barcelona, the edgy shuffle for Real Madrid and the Rammstein mosh pit for Atlético Madrid.

All three came through last week's matches in their own special ways to leave the battle alive and kicking in La Liga. At least for one more weekend, anyway.

It’s the scenario at the bottom too, with none of the five in the relegation game winning but Granada yet to play. Not sure what dance moves they’re all busting out, though – probably the same as La Liga Loca.

Ronaldo watches on as dastardly duo steal thunder

There were probably some gritted, but beautifully aligned and shiny Portuguese teeth at the end of the Rayo Vallecano match for Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo watched on helplessly as Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez took up the goalscoring gauntlet for Madrid in CR7’s absence.

Those teeth were probably ground to powder hours later when Luis Suárez knocked in four more for Barcelona to overtake Ronaldo, and lead the Pichichi stakes by three goals with three games left.

At least Bale would have been as pleased as punch after a week of Golf-Gate, and then being the only member of BBC on the pitch for much of the Rayo game. That almost went pear-shaped when the Vallecans leapt into a 2-0 lead after a sluggish start for Madrid, another sign of Wolfsburgian lethargy which almost cost them dearly. In the end, Bale’s brace either side of half-time helped secure a 3-2 win.

Gareth Bale, Rayo Vallecano

"I've got him! No, I've got him! ... Oh, nobody's got him"

Barcelona closed off what has been a phoney war week in La Liga with a 6-0 walkover of Sporting, meaning nobody dropped any points and only one team saw any action from the opposition. Admittedly there were some iffy decisions going in Barcelona’s favour, but as the opposition coach noted, not nearly enough to have any impact on the outcome.

Ball boy joins win-at-all-costs attitude at Atlético

Seeing as an outdated La Liga Loca doesn’t really have any cultural references to drawn upon from 2002 onwards, the blog is going to be all with the Chandler from Friends and ask if Atlético Madrid’s win against Málaga could be any more Atlético Madrid?

All the typical Rojiblancos boxes were ticked. The match in the Vicente Calderón was not exactly fun to watch; Atleti were dogged, and able to take advantage of their full squad. But most importantly of all, the result was a no-nonsense 1-0 win – a second in four days.

There were also a few dark arts that Atlético Madrid are not completely above – like a ball being rolled onto the pitch from the home team dugout, to disrupt a Málaga counter-attack (below). It has been a good few years since La Liga has seen that as far as the blog is aware, since former Atleti and Real Zaragoza boss Javier Aguirre left Spanish shores.

Investigations appear to show that it was a ball boy who was the guilty party, although Diego Simeone pleaded ignorance to the referee which resulted in a red card.

The subsequent suspension should see Simeone sidelined for three matches. Which may be a bit of a shame, as it’s three games that could see Atlético Madrid win the league… (*cliff-hanger ending*)

Levante blow enormous chance to save Primera skins

Perhaps it was tiredness. The oxygen doesn’t go to your brain and mistakes are made

- Rubi

The looks on Levante faces after the 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao were painful to see. The bottom-dwellers were leading Athletic Bilbao 2-1 with just one minute of injury time remaining, only for Mikel San José to poke one home and snatch two incredibly crucial points away.

Actually, the situation was even worse as Levante were two goals to the good with just two minutes left of normal time remaining. “Perhaps it was tiredness,” explained the crestfallen Levante manager, Rubi. “The oxygen doesn’t go to your brain and mistakes are made.”

Levante

Levante need more than prayer right now

Getafe also had that sinking feeling, with the Coliseum club holding a very credible 2-1 lead against Valencia before conceding with just six minutes left. But both sides were helped enormously by Sporting coming a very big cropper against Barcelona, and will be watching with enormous interest as fourth-from-bottom Granada take on Celta up in Vigo.  

A loss there for the Andalusians, and Rubi’s claim that Levante will simply keep on going up until the end is more than valid.

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