La Liga Table: Dissecting Updated Standings After Week 33

Sterling XieCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2014

Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina gestures during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Granada and FC Barcelona at Los Carmenes stadium in Granada, Spain, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor)
Daniel Tejedor

As the La Liga season reaches its conclusion, the weekly results become even more consequential. The three-team race at the top of the table is a surprising and captivating one, and Week 33 brought results that could potentially shift its complexion going forward:

La Liga Table
POSTEAMPLDWDLPTS
1Atletico Madrid33264382
2Real Madrid33254479
3Barcelona33253578
4Athletic Bilbao32178759
5Sevilla33168956
6Villarreal331571152
7Real Sociedad331491051
8Valencia331281344
9Espanyol331181441
10Levante3310101340
11Malaga321081438
12Celta Vigo331071637
13Granada331141837
14Rayo Vallecano331141837
15Elche338111435
16Osasuna33971734
17Real Valladolid336141332
18Getafe33871831
19Almeria33861930
20Real Betis33572122
Sky Sports

Elsewhere, the relegation race remains as muddled as ever, while the race for the fourth and final Champions League berth is still not yet settled. Here are the results that left the biggest imprint on the La Liga table.

 

Barcelona's Fatal Stumble?

Daniel Tejedor

Barcelona were seemingly back on track for the La Liga title after their Mar. 23 Clasico victory. However, on the heels of elimination from the Champions League, Barca compounded their problems with a shocking loss at Granada.

In terms of raw possession, Barcelona dominated the contest as well as one would expect. And yet, despite controlling the ball for nearly 80 percent of the contest, the championship contenders did little with their time on the offensive:

Barcelona is now in the unfamiliar position of needing help to even entertain the notion of a La Liga title. Even if they defeat Atletico Madrid in their season finale at Camp Nou, Atletico will finish ahead of them if they win their other four games.

That does not even consider Real Madrid, who now sit four points ahead of their rivals, albeit having played one extra match. Still, the loss was a debilitating misstep for Barca, one the Catalan side could ill afford.

 

Real Madrid and Atletico Take Care of Business

Andres Kudacki

Real are not in control of their own destiny either, but they at least kept pace with Atletico as expected. Real Madrid were dominant in their 4-0 demolition of cellar-dwellers Almeria and have thrived this season even without Cristiano Ronaldo:

Atletico also took care of business against a relegation-level opponent, cruising to a 2-0 win over Getafe. After 40 scoreless minutes, goals from Diego Godin and Diego Costa restored Atletico's three-point lead.

Atletico continue to infiltrate the traditional two-team race at the top of the La Liga table. Apart from the season-ending clash against Barcelona, their most difficult matches are a pair of road games against top-half clubs Valencia and Levante.  

But they will be favored in their next four contests, and so long as Atletico continue winning, Real Madrid will face tremendous pressure to win out as well.

 

Relegation Race Still Cloudy

Israel L. Murillo

Osasuna and Valladolid came into the week as the last two teams to avoid relegation. Facing each other this week, both clubs had an opportunity to create some breathing room from the perilous drop.

Naturally, they played to a scoreless draw. Osasuna controlled the majority of the possession and generated more scoring chances on their home pitch, but they failed to put away the decisive goal that could have ensured their place in La Liga next year:

Fortunately for both clubs, Getafe and Almeria faced two of the three championship-contending giants and thus could not take advantage of the brief opening. Apart from Real Betis' certain doom, little is settled in the race to avoid the bottom three.