Bale puts forward his claim for a place in the XI in Kiev
A combination of results –the 2-2 draw in the Seville derby coupled with Atlético’s 0-1 win away at Getafe, cleared up the final mystery left to be resolved in LaLiga – who would claim seventh place, the last European place up for grabs. It has been taken by Sevilla, and largely thanks to the revitalizing skills of Joaquín Caparrós. So the last weekend of the league will effectively mean nothing for teams at either end of the table. It will determine whether Barça are able to finish the campaign unbeaten (that would also involve not losing to Levante tonight) and ascertain the definitive positions of all 20 teams. That is significant in itself because it relates directly to the share of television rights - a canny manoeuvre by Tebas in the prevention of hush money incentives.
Madrid's final home game of the season
In spite of all of their efforts, it looks very difficult that Madrid will be able to dislodge Atlético from second place. For that to happen, Madrid need to win their last game away at Villarreal and hope Atlético lost at home to Eibar. Whatever happens, at least the madridistas managed a decent send-off in front of their fans in their final home game in LaLiga yesterday, putting six past an extremely weak Celta, disenchanted at missing out on the European berths. Madrid’s league and Copa del Rey campaigns were both derailed at the Bernabéu this season – and they were teetering on the brink of being dumped out of the Champions League there by Juve and Bayern. But last night the team made peace with their most loyal fans (it was a low turn-out) with an impressive display in the last home game.
Bale steps up
Gareth Bale was right at the fore, scoring the opening two goals – the second of which was a joy to behold. He has reached this final stage of the season in magnificent form – and he’s not the only one because it must be said, Zidane has done a good job of bringing players back into the side at the right moment, and it will be difficult to see him leaving out the Bale we saw on Saturday, full of drive and energy, for the final in Kiev. We’ll wait and see what Zidane decides – he’s spoilt for choice when it comes to enthusiastic, attacking players. And one last thing, the Men’s league campaign maybe sorted but we have a fascinating finale in store later today to decide the outcome of the Women’s Competition: the Liga Iberdrola has gone right down to the wire and will be decided by two games – Zaragoza vs Atleti and Levante vs Barça. That’s the kind of emotion we really love to see on the final day of the season.
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