LaLiga reached the penultimate matchday at the weekend, and on days like these there is no better way to follow the action than listening to radio commentary as it all unfolds and unravels. Two hours of trepidation, with different interests interweaving and overlapping, goals going in that are cheered in one part of the country and met with groans in others; four teams immersed in the battle to avoid the drop, three fighting for two European places. For several minutes, Betis threatened to snatch the fourth Champions League place from Sevilla. And in the middle of all of that, Getafe’s game against Barcelona - a game as tranquil as a Swiss lake; nothing happened because nothing needed to happen. A draw was good enough for both of them, and that was the outcome.
What a difference to the drama down in Cádiz, where the home team put in their best performance of the season but couldn’t put the ball away. Real Madrid, as we all know, never give anyone an inch. To achieve anything against them, you need to work hard - always, regardless of where they are in the table, whether they are champions or not, or how many of their non-regular players are out on the pitch. That’s why Cádiz had to make do with a draw - a result which means that they will go into the final day depending on what Mallorca and Granada do. Mallorca’s late winner against Rayo could now be as significant as Negredo’s missed penalty, and just to rub more salt in Cádiz’s wounds, a VAR decision not to send Hazard off. Poor old Cádiz, along with most of the clubs down in the lower end of the table never seem to get VAR decisions going their way.
Elsewhere, Alavés drop down to the Second Division, with Levante dealing them the fatal blow. Relegated last week at the Bernabéu, Levante were determined to show some dignity by winning their last home game. And that is precisely what Alavés will be attempting to do next weekend when Cádiz visit them - as will Osasuna in their game against Mallorca and Espanyol against Granada. And while they won’t be playing for anything, the competition’s credibility depends on them treating those games with the same integrity as Levante and Real Madrid did in their last outings. But the sad truth is that if two of them only need a draw, we’ll see something as turgid and uninspiring as the Getafe-Barça game.