La Liga is Not Apt for the Weak Hearted

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With only two matches left until the end of the Spanish soccer league (La Liga), Real Madrid and FC Barcelona were tied in the overall standings with Sevilla trailing by only two points. Because of direct, head-to-head goal differential, Real Madrid was in first place. So, with only two matches left, no one could afford to lose or tie (unless everyone lost or tied).

Tonight, Real Madrid played Zaragoza in Zaragoza, and FC Barcelona played at home against El Real Deportivo Espanyol de Barcelona. Zaragoza also needed to win in order to assure its qualification for Europe. Furthermore, Zaragoza is full of ex-Real Madrid players (Cesar, Savio, Celades, Juanfran, and Diogo) and Gabi Milito (who had signed with Real Madrid but was then rejected last minute because of “medical reasons”), so the match was also personal. And obviously, FC Barcelona versus El Espanyol is an important inter-city rivalry.

In the US, people think that European football is boring, lacks emotion … Quite the contrary, tonight was a roller coaster, not apt for the weak hearted.

I turn on my TV and the matches being.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 0:0
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 0:0
Mallorca v. Sevilla- 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
73 – Real Madrid
73 – Barcelona
71 – Sevilla

El Espanyol scores against Barcelona, meaning that Madrid provisionally has the league in its pocket.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 0:0
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 0:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla- 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
73 – Real Madrid
72 – Barcelona
71 – Sevilla

Zaragoza scores against Real Madrid, once again tying up the league.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 1:0
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 0:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
72 – Real Madrid
72 – Barcelona
71 – Sevilla

At this point if Sevilla were to score, it would take first place with 73 points.

Barcelona takes the lead by scoring and tying its match with Espanyol — giving it a temporary one point lead in the standings.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 1:0
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 1:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
73 – Barcelona
72 – Madrid
71 – Sevilla

Then Barcelona scores a second goal, 2:1, giving it a definitive lead in the Spanish league.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 1:0
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 2:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
75 – Barcelona
72 – Madrid
71 – Sevilla

Half time.

I decide to turn off the TV and read. I am weak hearted.

The second half begins.

I hear cheers from my neighbors. Real Madrid has tied the game with Zaragoza, 1:1, but is still trailing in the temporary standings.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 1:1
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 2:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla: 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
75 – Barcelona
73 – Madrid
71 – Sevilla

I turn the TV back on, but in a counter attack, Zaragoza scores another goal, stripping Real Madrid of any hopes.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 2:1
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 2:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
75 – Barcelona
72 – Madrid
71 – Sevilla

I turn the TV off again and return to my book.

I hear cheers from my neighbors and from the street. With only a few minutes left on the clock, Real Madrid scores another goal to tie the match in Zaragoza.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 2:2
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 2:1
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
75 – Barcelona
73 – Madrid
71 – Sevilla

In a question of seconds, while I am trying to turn my TV back on, I hear more cheers. El Espanyol has scored and tied the match with Barcelona. Meanwhile, Sevilla is tied 0:0. Had Sevilla won, there would be a three tie with 73 points each, and we’d have to look at the comparative goal average of each team.

Zaragoza v. Real Madrid – 2:2
Barcelona v. El Espanyol – 2:2
Mallorca v. Sevilla – 0:0

Temporary Standings (points):
73 – Madrid
73 – Barcelona
71 – Sevilla

Everything is exactly what is was before the matches began. Real Madrid and Barcelona are still tied, with Sevilla two points behind, and Real Madrid in first place. Next week, Real Madrid plays at home against Mallorca and should win. Barcelona plays away against El Nastic de Tarragona (who will be relegated to second division) and should also win. Hopefully, the experience will be less traumatic.

Ironically, none of the three teams discover to be crowned League Champions. They have all performed miserably this year. All they have achieved is to create undue drama.

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2 Comments

Filed under Football/Soccer, Living la vida española

2 responses to “La Liga is Not Apt for the Weak Hearted

  1. Great post, reflects all the tension we suffered last weekend…
    I didn’t see the post you said u were gonna write about French number system & defusing bombs… 😉

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