Barça blow Liga lead in the space of a week

When Gerard Piqué scored in the Clásico last week, Real were 13 points behind Barcelona and Atlético nine. Barça's lead has been slashed to three.

Barça blow Liga lead in the space of a week

When Gerard Piqué scored in last weeks’ Clásico in the 55th minute, Barcelona opened up a lead of 13 points over Real Madrid and had a nine-point advantage over Atlético, who had beaten Betis earlier in the day. It seemed the league was a foregone conclusion but one game and 35 minutes later Barça’s lead has been slashed to three points from Atlético and four from Real Madrid.

At one stage, Barcelona had Madrid at 12 points’ worth of arm’s length, after Luis Enrique’s side had beaten Sevilla and Real had lost to Atlético. Now the title race is firmly back on. Real had all but given up while Atlético doggedly chased the leaders in what seemed like a fruitless hunt. Now, after Barça’s draw at Villarreal and consecutive losses to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, the scent of blood is back in the chasing pack’s nostrils.

Anoeta proved decisive again. La Real have now beaten Barcelona in four consecutive home league games, extending Barça’s wait for a first victory in San Sebastián since 2007. Since then, Barcelona have lost five games at Anoeta and drawn two (in the Copa del Rey). In fact, it is the least successful ground for Barça in the league historically. There, the Azulgrana have won 17 times in 69 La Liga games, compared to 19 in the Bernabéu and 23 in the Calderón.