Hope alive: 4 Ways Barcelona can still win La Liga title
By Toju Sote
Barcelona are four points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, with only four matches to go. It seems like it’s Real’s title to lose but Barca fans can find comfort in the truism that it’s not over until it’s finally over.
Here are four ways Barcelona can still turn things around and win the title…
1. Real Madrid could slip up: League leaders Real Madrid have not been convincing in their last three games which they won by just 1-0 margins. This isn’t good enough, an unlucky day and they could have drawn, or even worse, lose especially given that the last two wins were by penalties.
2. If refereeing decisions stop going Real Madrid’s way: The last two matches by Real Madrid were won from two very contentious penalties. Ramos converted a penalty after Marcelo was stepped on in the box, yet when Ramos stepped on Garcia in his own box against Atletic Bilbao, no penalty was given. In the match a soft penalty accounted for the only goal of the match. While against Real Sociedad, there was yet another contentious spot kick. Benzema touched the ball with his hand before he scored. Real Sociedad had a goal disallowed, maybe unfairly. On the other hand for Atletico Madrid’s second penalty in the game with Barcelona that was given against Semedo didn’t seem to make any contact at all with the player that fell. All these probable refereeing mistakes may just not happen again or could turn in favour of Barca.
3. If Setien Quique tweaks his tactics to optimise Griezmann’s effectiveness: Antoine Griezmann’s integration into the team has been a problem. He just hasn’t performed as well as expected when Barcelona forked a small fortune for his signature. Even Sergio Ramos has more goals in the league than the Frenchman. Manager Setien Quique has been criticised for not knowing how to manage the players in the squad, making the World Cup winner look out of his depth. But in the game against Villarreal, the diamond formation was used with Messi behind Suarez and Griezmann and this paid off with Griezmann scoring and Barcelona having their best game since the break with a 4-1 win. Griezmann’s form could be crucial in the last four games.
4. Real Madrid have a tougher run-in in the remaining fixtures: Zinedene Zidane’s men still have two games against clubs in the top ten and Granada and Villarreal could be a real test for Los Blancos, given Real Madrid’s recent lacklustre form, while Barcelona’s remaining games are against teams in the lower ten. A good run of form, while hoping Real Madrid stumble could land Barcelona a dramatic league title. It could also be a good chance for Lionel Messi to surpass Xavi’s record of 20 La Liga assists in a season, and Pele’s record of 643 goals for one club. The Argentine is currently on 630.