• Dan Tracey


At the end of last weekend’s pivotal moment in the La Liga title race, it really was a case of as you were and after all three title rivals only managed to add a point to their respective tallies, the Spanish status quo remained unchanged for now.

However, with midweek action on the agenda, there is and was the potential for change and with Barcelona taking to the field on Tuesday night, they had the perfect opportunity to at least move to the top of the table on a short-term basis.

An opportunity that Ronald Koeman’s men have subsequently turned down and after playing out a six-goal thriller with Levante, the Catalan outfit have to once again make do with a frustrating share of the points.

Because if last Saturday’s encounter with Atletico Madrid can be described as a stalemate, the clash with Levante was the complete opposite and once again, Barcelona’s defensive woes have come back to haunt them.

Just like when they recently lost to Granada, the Camp Nou outfit found themselves in a state of relative plain sailing and whereas before, they only had a solitary goal advantage before collapsing to defeat, this time around they engineered a two-goal head start.

A lead that saw Lionel Messi and Pedri breach Levante’s defence in the first half and if you were a betting man, it would have made sense to place the house on Barcelona boosting their La Liga hopes.

However, if you did place such a bet, you would be rather fearful of your foundations going elsewhere and with Levante restoring parity with two second half goals after the break, it was a case of the more things change with Barcelona, the more things stay the same.

While although their Achilles heel was once again offering vulnerability to their opposition, there is no doubt that Barcelona are always good for a goal and when it really matters, they do have a habit of doing something special.

Something that Ousmane Dembele thought he found just four minutes after Levante drew level at 2-2 and with the French international slotting home, it was once again advantage Barcelona, not only on the night but also in the title race.

An advantage that was nullified by late drama at the Estadi Ciutat de València and with Sergio Leon scoring an equaliser six minutes from time, there would be a roar of celebration across the whole of Madrid.

Now Barcelona are hoping for nothing short of a miracle and after only managing a draw with Levante, both Atletico and Real can turn the screw with victories over Real Sociedad and Granada, respectively.

For the current league leaders, they play host to the San Sebastian outfit this evening and with crosstown rivals Real playing a night later, Diego Simeone’s men have a perfect opportunity to turn the screw further.

Not only that but if Atletico can come out on top tonight, they will only be two wins away from winning this season’s edition of La Liga and although they have stuttered as of late, they would certainly be worthy champions in the end.

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