Real Mardrid lost 1-0 on the road at Osasuna and the price they paid was high, as now Barcelona has increased their advantage to seven points.
Keeping up the pace of a team that is breaking all the records in the Liga BBVA sure was a difficult task for any of the 19 clubs competing against Barcelona, and the only team that seemed qualified to do so was Real Madrid. After this weekend it is evident that not even Real Madrid has what it takes to do so. The white team stepped into the Reyno de Navarra stadium on Sunday with the pressure of being seven points away from the leader Barcelona, and needed to win in order to maintain the four point difference that separated them prior to match day 21.
Things didn’t go well at all for Real Madrid as they lost 1-0 against Osasuna, and saw how Barcelona increased their margin of error as the defending champions won their match against Hercules on Saturday by 3-0. The last two road games for the white team have been a failure, as they tied to one against Almeria and with this loss they have seen how a two point difference turns into seven.
The road games have been the key for Barcelona, as they have a perfect record of 10-0-0 in contrast with Real Madrid’s 6-3-2. With their win against Hercules, the red and blue team didn’t just avenge the only game that they have lost this season – against Hercules 2-0 at home during match day two-, but also tied the record of most consecutive wins in La Liga, which had been established by Real Madrid in the 1960/61 season with 15 victories in a row.
In the first half of the season they also established a new record of points with 52, relegating to the second place the squads’ previous mark: the 50 points they harvested in the first 19 games of the 2008-09 season. If they keep up with this pace until the end of the season, the 99 points with which they clinched their second La Liga title in a row will definitely be surpassed.
In other important results, Villareal visited Espanyol and won three important points on the road thanks to a great goal from Guissepe Rossi after a good team play in minute 44 of the first half. With that victory Villareal keeps holding on to the third place that gives direct access to the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League. The yellow team reached the sum of 45 points, and increased the distance with Valencia to four points, as the Che team tied to one against Racing, losing two points.
Another team that took advantage of their contenders was Athletic Club that benefited from Espanyol’s loss and their victory against Atletico de Madrid by 2-0. With their win they shorten distances with Espanyol (37) that is fifth -and are now just two points away with 35- and won the battle against Atletico for the sixth place that gives access to the 2011-12 Europa League cup.
Of the three teams -Levante, Almeria and Malaga -fighting against relegation -with 18, 17 and 17 points respectively-, only Levante obtained a victory. It was a 2-0 win at home against Getafe. Malaga lost at home to Zaragoza 1-2, while Almeria lost on the road 2-0 to Real Sociedad.
Match day 22 will be played this coming weekend February 5-6 with Atletico de Madrid at Barcelona as the main dish on Saturday.