Most fans would be upset or disappointed with a draw. Not fans of Atletico Madrid! Their team tied with Barcelona 1-1 in the final regular season match and won La Liga and are now crowned the Spanish Champions. Barcelona had a realistic shot to take the title, but Atleti came through with the draw to win! It sounds funny I know, but Barcelona will finish the regular season tied with Real Madrid for 2nd place with 27 wins, 6 draws and 5 losses. Atletico ends the season with a 28-6-4 record. Atleti’s defense has always been the best in La Liga, only allowing 26 goals scored against them, and they proved it earlier today by holding Barcelona to just one goal. Lionel Messi was held scoreless, as Alexis Sanchez scored the first goal in the 33rd minute for Barcelona. Then in the 49th minute, veteran defender Diego Godin‘s header equalized the match for Atletico Madrid. After the match, Barcelona’s manager, Gerardo “Tata” Martino announced that he will no longer coach the team. His fear of failure had come true and he let down a team that was poised for victory. Atleti won their first La Liga title since 1996, showing how much of an upset it must have been for Barcelona’s club to fall short.
In other soccer news, Arsenal won the FA Cup in dramatic fashion against Hull City. After being down 2-0 eight minutes into the match, the Gunners came roaring back with three goals to win it all, 3-2. Santi Cazorla started off the fireworks in the 17th minute with a free kick. Fast forward to the 71st minute, Laurent Koscielny knocked in a goal and then the match went into extra minutes. Things were looking tense, until Aaron Ramsey scored the game-winner! It was a match for the ages and Arsenal ended up on top. It was a big day for soccer fans, but now they have to wait until May 24th for that ultimate showdown between Real Madrid and newly crowned La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. What a match that will be!
A lot of great matches have been played so far this season and a lot of superstars have given us exciting plays. The UEFA Champions League championship match will be held on May 24th and it will pit Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid. These La Liga rivals have been battling each other all year with Real Madrid leading the season series 2-1-1. This Champions League Final will determine who is the better Madrid of Europe. Real Madrid entered this match by defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the Quarterfinals and then they shut out Bayern Munich in both Semifinal matches to advance to the Finals. Atletico Madrid fought hard by upsetting Barcelona in the Quarterfinals and then squeaking by Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate in the Semifinals. There should be a lot of star power in this match with Cristiano Ronaldo facing off against Diego Costa. Both of these players are having memorable seasons so far.
As for elsewhere around the world, Manchester United is doing fine without their former manager David Moyes. They have won two of their last three matches. Wayne Rooney has been keeping his team together by scoring 17 goals for his club. Current manager of the Dutch national team, Louis van Gaal, will take over the team after the World Cup is over. The top three clubs in the English Premier League are all fighting for the top spot. Liverpool is currently on top with Manchester City right behind them and Chelsea closing in. There’s only one regular season game left for Liverpool when they take on Newcastle United on May 11th. After guiding his team to the best offense in the league (99 goals scored), manager Brendan Rodgers just recently signed a four-year contract extension to remain with the club. Goal scorers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge should get plenty of credit for how Liverpool has been playing this year. Suarez leads all players with 31 goals and Sturridge is right behind him with 21 of his own. Manchester City can sneak its way to the top by winning their last two games of the season. They are both home games and they are against Aston Villa later tonight and West Ham on May 11th. If they win those two games, they claim the top spot in the Premier League. As for Chelsea, they would have to hope that Liverpool and Manchester City to lose all of their games if they were to claim the regular season title. Chelsea will play at Cardiff City this Sunday for hopes of gaining the top spot.
In La Liga, Atletico Madrid remains on top, but they could fall if Barcelona plays their best futbol of the season. Madrid will play Malaga on Sunday and then the regular season title will be determined the next week after when they travel to Barcelona. That game is must-watch T.V. if Barcelona can win their next game at Elche, which should be an easy win. As mentioned earlier, Diego Costa is having a memorable season. The 25-year-old Brazilian has scored a career-high 27 goals and is also responsible for 3 assists. For Messi, he is second in La Liga with 28 goals scored. The showdown on May 18th will probably be the biggest soccer game of the season by far!
When most people think of La Liga, they think of two teams: Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, they should add in a third team to that list: Atletico Madrid. The other Madrid team has been quietly earning some respect around the country of Spain for their play lately. They are coming off a 4-2 win on the road against Rayo Vallecano. In that game, Diego Costa scored his 20th goal of the season, which is 2nd in the league. 32-year-old veteran and former Barcelona player David Villa also contributed in the win with his 11th goal of the season. Atletico Madrid has only lost one game this season and it was to Espanyol back in October of 2013. They have beaten Real Madrid once and tied with Barcelona back on January 11th. So as you can see, these guys are top contenders to knock off Barcelona and Real Madrid late in the season. After the win against Rayo, they are now tied for first in the league with Barcelona acquiring 54 points. Most of their wins this year have been blowouts, having a goal differential of 38. Coach Diego Simeone clearly has this time heading in the right direction. Ever since he took control of the club back in 2011, this team has always been a threat to Real Madrid and Barcelona. Last year, Atletico Madrid finished third in the league, their best finish since 1996 when Simeone played for the team himself. Their most recent achievements were winning the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup in 2012, and then the Copa del Ray in 2013. The team is not filled with many superstars besides Adrian and Filipe Luis, but Simeone is showing everyone that you don’t need a star-studded team to win. The club has enough talent to win the La Liga and to snatch it away from Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.
The latest news and opinions on football, basketball, and soccer!