Neymar, Messi, Bale and Ronaldo Watch: Dropped Points and the Race Is On

Tre' AtkinsonFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 26:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal from a free kick during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and CA Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on April 26, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

This weekend may have been the most intriguing weekend of the year in La Liga. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid drew at home, while Atletico Madrid slipped up big time losing 2-0 to Levante on the road.

The La Liga title race is far from over, with the big three in Spain now separated by only five points, while Real Madrid still have a game in hand. With six points left to play for this season, and Barcelona set to host Atletico soon, there is no way of predicting who the champions will be.

Real Madrid also featured in the Champions League this week, defeating Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Allianz to book their place in the final of the European tournament.

With all of that being said, this week's installment of the Neymar, Messi, Bale and Ronaldo watch will have intrigue and disappointment. Of course, Neymar will not feature in this article, as he is currently injured.

Now, let's take a look at how the La Liga stars performed this week.

Please note that all player statistics are courtesy of


Lionel Messi

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 03:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Nou Camp on May 3, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

While it wasn't a good week for Barcelona, Lionel is not to blame. The Catalans allowed Angel Lafita to score a late equalizer at the Camp Nou, but thanks to Atletico Madrid losing, the Catalans are still very much in the title race.

Messi showed flashes of brilliance throughout the match and was a handful for the Getafe defense all night.

The Argentine managed to win eight dribbles while getting off five total shots. He completed 83 percent of his passes on 63 touches and would have had an assist had it not been for a very poor headed attempt from Dani Alves.

Very early on, it was none other than Messi setting the tempo. Just after the 20 minute mark, Alves played a great low cross into the box which Messi met and put past the keeper with ease.

As Messi celebrated, it looked as though it was going to be one of those nights for Barcelona where everything comes easy. Regardless of the result, Messi was involved in a lot of buildup plays and put in a solid night's work.


Gareth Bale

It was a quiet week for Gareth Bale, but that didn't keep him from reaching his first ever Champions League final with Real Madrid.

The 24-year-old was one of the major cogs in the Real Madrid system that defeated Bayern Munich 4-0 at the Allianz, as Bale gave an important assist to Ronaldo and won three dribbles against the Germans.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 23: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid takes on Philipp Lahm of Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg match between Real Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 23, 2014 in Madr
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

His pace and ability to move without the ball forced Bayern Munich to be wary of the counter, and, in the end, Bale's pairing with Cristiano Ronaldo was just too much to handle in defense.

Real Madrid also returned to La Liga action this weekend following their Champions League victory. Los Blancos hosted Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu, but this time it was a different story.

Valencia struck first just before the half and were later able to score a second after Sergio Ramos had restored parity. It looked as though the visitors would be victorious, but a late strike from Ronaldo ended the match at 2-2.

Though Gareth Bale put in a decent night against Valencia statistically, he struggled to really get into the game.

The Wales international won six dribbles and got off four shots, but was only able to complete just over 70 percent of his passes. It wasn't the best night for Bale, but he definitely isn't the one to blame for dropping points.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press

Though Gareth Bale had a sub-par week by his standards, it was a week to remember for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 29-year-old managed to score three goals this weekend, as he helped Real Madrid earn a place in the Champions League final and scored the late equalizer against Valencia to avoid dropping all three points.

At the Allianz, Ronaldo was a menace. The Bayern back line could do little to stop the streaking winger, and it all paid off big time for Los Blancos. Ronaldo managed to score a brace on the night using his speed and ability to beat defenders to get himself into choice positions.

It was clear throughout the match that Ronaldo was out for blood, and Bayern was not going to be able to stop him.

Later in the week, Ronaldo was able to score yet another goal, and this one may have been one of the most important strikes of his season.

Valencia led 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu for a long stretch of the second half. Every moment that passed made it seem like the visitors were going to walk away the victors, but Ronaldo would not have it.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Marcelo sent a free kick into the box and the crowd watched as Ronaldo used the back of his heel to volley the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.

It was one of the best goals of the season, and Valencia looked absolutely stunned at what had just happened. For Real Madrid, it meant taking a point and keeping their title dreams alive for one more week.

Ronaldo was again the hero, but he may be needed more before the season is over


Which player had the best week? Can Real Madrid win the Champions League? Will Barcelona defeat Atletico Madrid when they meet at the Camp Nou? Have your say below!