La Liga: Standings Heat Up, Madrid Closes Gap on Rival Barcelona

Alexander ReinhardContributor IMarch 1, 2009

Through 25 games, Barcelona has seen its mid-season lead diminish as Real Madrid closed within four points of its bitter rival this weekend win a win at Espanyol on Saturday.

Meanwhile in Madrid, Barcelona couldn't manage to come away with a win over recently ailing Atletico Madrid, dropping the three points in a 3-4 loss.

Two goals from Argentina-native Sergio Aguero, including a late dagger in the 88th minute, helped put away the Catalan giants.

After having a significant lead in the table halfway through the current campaign, Barcelona have had a tough run of luck having not won in league play since a 3-1 home victory over Sporting Gijon.

Madrid, on the other hand, is playing their best football of the season and are currently riding a 10-game winning streak in the Primera Liga. The last match they surrendered was against Barcelona all the way back in mid-December.

The remainder of the table finds itself at least nine points behind second-place Real Madrid with Sevilla and Villarreal rounding out the top four spots.

Sevilla picked up a much-needed victory Saturday with a 2-1 escape over Athletic Club Bilbao to bring their point total to 47. 

Valencia had another tough weekend losing 1-2 at home to Valladolid. They finished the week with the same point total in which they entered it, providing reason for concern after dropping behind Villarreal to sixth-place in the standings on goal differential.

Here are some featured matches to look forward to during the remainder of the 2008-2009 Primera Liga campaign: 

Saturday, March 7: Athletic Madrid at Real Madrid

Wednesday, April 22: Sevilla at Barcelona

Sunday, April 26: Barcelona at Valencia

Sunday, April 26: Real Madrid at Sevilla

Sunday, May 3: Barcelona at Real Madrid

Sunday, May 17: Real Madrid at Villarreal