Madrid Giants Seize Their Opportunity to Make Up Points on Barcelona

Tre' Atkinson@@TreAtkinsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 15:  Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring his team's opening goal during the Copa del Rey Quarter Final, 1st leg match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 15, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

La Liga was shaken up on Saturday when undefeated Barcelona was finally defeated by Real Sociedad. At the midway point of the La Liga season, almost everyone agreed that Barcelona had already won.

In fact, the only question being asked was if Barcelona could finish undefeated. But with Barcelona having a very difficult week, it appears they are human after all.

It was then up to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to make up points on Sunday as the two clubs were finally given an opportunity by Barcelona. If the two Madrid clubs could pull three points back on Barcelona, the league could possibly open up a bit.

However, not only did the two squads pull points back, they have shown that La Liga is not over just yet.

Atletico Madrid entered Sunday a full 11 points behind the previously undefeated Barcelona. For the entirety of the season, no one has been ready to claim that they were title contenders.

But after a solid 2-0 defeat of a strong Levante side, it is clear that Atletico Madrid is no joke. This club is very solid at every position and is now only eight points behind the Catalan club.

If Atletico manage to beat Barcelona in the second encounter of the season, the lead would fall to only five points. This sounds much more capable to overcome than the previous 11 points.

Granted, claiming that Atletico Madrid could beat Barcelona is pure speculation. There is a lot of work left for the Rojiblancos to do, but the Barcelona loss has breathed new life into Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid also took their chance to make up ground on Barcelona with a 5-0 thrashing of Valencia.

Not only did Los Blancos destroy the Valencia side, they showed just how dangerous they really are. With the massive victory in Valencia, fans finally saw the Real Madrid of last season—and just how good Cristiano Ronaldo really is.

Seeing Barcelona lose might have put new fire under Real Madrid. There was clearly a change in the play of the reigning champions. Real Madrid looked hungrier and more passionate than ever.

Even though the Whites are still 15 points behind bitter rivals Barcelona, this win shows that points can be made up.

If Real Madrid continues to play the way they have lately, it will be hard for any team in La Liga to stop them. The season could ultimately be defined by the final Clasico of the year.

With Barcelona’s dismal defeat at the Anoeta, the Madrid-based clubs absolutely had to have strong showings. Neither club disappointed.

Though it is still extremely unlikely that any club will catch Barcelona, both Madrid sides took their chances and made destiny their own. The two clubs must be praised for capitalizing on the shocking chance that Barcelona gave them.

All eyes will now be on Barcelona. The Catalans can either continue to falter and allow rivals to catch up, or they can turn things around and show that La Liga is already theirs.

But one thing is for sure, there is still plenty of life in La Liga. The clubs trailing Barcelona are hungry and looking for every chance to begin a comeback. But will Barcelona allow the gap to be shortened?

La Blaugrana has proven time and again that they own La Liga, but the big two of Madrid have now stated that they are not going down without a fight.

Any points dropped by Barcelona will now almost guarantee that points will be made up by their rivals. No matter which club you support, La Liga just got a bit more interesting. 


How big were the victories for Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid? Could they make up more ground? Don't forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.


Tre' Atkinson, The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report. 

Check out my latest articles here. 

Reasons for the Catalans' Loss at Anoeta

Winner and Losers of La Liga So Far

Will Pep Guardiola Try to Lure Barcelona Players to Bayern Munich?


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