La LigaDownload App

La Liga Table 2014 Week 38: Updated Standings Following Matchday 37

Elche's Manuel Herrera Yague blocks a shot by Barcelna's Lionel Messi from Argentina during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Martinez Valero stadium in Elche, Spain, Sunday, May 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Alberto Saiz/Associated Press
Steven CookContributor IIIMay 11, 2014

Entering the final stretch and heading into Week 38, the 2013-14 La Liga title is set to come down to one final game.

Barcelona were held to a scoreless draw at Elche, which gave Atletico Madrid the opportunity to effectively win the title with a victory at home versus Malaga. Instead, Atletico couldn't take advantage, which sets up a final-weekend duel with Barcelona in Matchday 38 to decide the title.

Bleacher Report UK summed up the looming match:

If Atletico hold out to a draw, they will win the title on a higher points total. A Barcelona victory would tie them in points with Atletico and give them the championship on a superior goal differential. 

Real Madrid could have kept in it with three points over Week 37, but a 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo ended their title hopes as they look forward to a Champions League final with Atletico later in May.

Seven simultaneous games over Sunday's slate helped to clear up the title picture heading into the final weekend. Let's break down all of the results and look forward to what it means for a now decisive Week 38 slate. 

2013-14 La Liga Table: Week 38
POSTEAMPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico Madrid3728547625+5189
2Barcelona3727559932+6786
3Real Madrid37266510137+6484
4Athletic Bilbao3720986639+2769
5Sevilla37179116651+1560
6Real Sociedad371611106153+859
7Villarreal37168135843+1556
8Celta Vigo37147164852-449
9Levante371212133542-748
10Valencia371210154952-346
11Rayo Vallecano37134204578-3343
12Espanyol37119174048-842
13Malaga37119173846-842
14Elche37913152947-1840
15Almeria37116204371-2839
16Getafe37109183353-2039
17Granada37115213156-2538
18Osasuna3799193061-3136
19Real Valladolid37715153859-2136
20Real Betis3767243576-4125
ESPN FC

 

Note: La Liga table information courtesy of ESPN FC

 

ELCHE, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Cesc Fabregas of FC Barcelona is brought down by Carles Gil of Elche FC during the La Liga match between Elche FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on May 11, 2014 in Elche, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Imag
David Ramos/Getty Images

A stunning slate of seven games all happening at once Sunday figured to possibly decide the title, but instead, chaos ensued.

Atletico Madrid entered halftime tied 0-0 against Malaga, and despite Barcelona's scoreless result at half setting Atletico up for a potential title win with a victory, they couldn't take advantage early on.

Then, the wheels fell off.

Malaga went up 1-0 in the 64th minute off Samuel's goal, and suddenly Atletico were looking square in the face of a two-game losing streak heading into the final weekend.

Atletico were soon saved at home, however, as Toby Alderweireld put the two clubs level just nine minutes later, as ESPN FC noted:

The equalizer proved to be enough to get Atletico one point, and things set up favorably for them in the final minutes when Malaga's Marcos Angeleri was sent off in the 88th minute.

That gave Atletico the space to push for a late winner one after another, and that gave them a few great late chances—including a brilliant save on Adrian from Malaga goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero to preserve the away side's point:

But after a late push, Atletico's performance Sunday wasn't quite enough to give them their first league title since 1995-96—yet.

Failing to get all three points at home meant Barcelona could keep their title hopes alive with any sort of result Sunday.

Barcelona couldn't get a goal on the road at Elche, but the tied scoreline gave La Blaugrana a crucial point that kept them just three points of Atletico. That means that if Barcelona win against Atletico next weekend, a favorable goal differential will give them the La Liga title.

ELCHE, SPAIN - MAY 11:  Marc Bartra of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between Elche FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on May 11, 2014 in Elche, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Meanwhile, both teams failing to get a victory over the weekend meant Real Madrid could re-emerge as in play for the title with three points on the road at Celta Vigo.

And if there was any doubt before that this season isn't all about the Champions League and their looming final, there shouldn't be anymore.

Real Madrid came out with an uninspiring 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo, with Charles scoring in both the 43rd and 62nd minutes to preserve victory for the home underdogs, as the Real Madrid Twitter reported:

With Los Blancos bowing out of the title picture, the only thing that stands between Atletico and ending their near 20-year title drought is one final match—and it's only fitting who it comes against.

Barcelona have struggled mightily this season, especially down the stretch. But the window is still open for them to repeat at champions, if Lionel Messi can get it together and muster up enough goals to hold off a hungry Atletico team. 

Playing at home will suit Barcelona well, as they should be able to set up their dominating possession game and force the visitors into a defensive stance. Just as well, that could open things up for Atletico's dangerous counter attack led by Diego Costa.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices