Matchday 31 saw both Madrid and Barca snatch 3 points from their respective games. Both sides’ recent league achievement therefore keeps the 8-point gap between them at the top of La Liga standings intact, with the Catalans now having 84 points, while Los Blancos sit behind with 76.
The hosts of the forthcoming Clasico crushed Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at the San Mames stadium, in a match that saw the return of Brazilian star Ricardo Kaka, among others. The former AC Milan attacking midfielder scored 2 penalties for his side on 14 and 54 minutes precisely, before substitute Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the victory with a third goal on 70 minutes.
Barcelona, on their side, won 3-1 over Almeria at the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana were initially dominated by a goal from their visitors early in the second half, when an unmarked Miguel Angel Corona netted his team’s first from close range, 10 minutes before the hour mark. Lionel Messi however rescued Barca with an equalizing penalty 3 minutes after; and on 64 minutes, Thiago Alcántara made it 2-1 for the home side. Late in the match, Messi rose again to increase his goal tally in La Liga this season, finishing the encounter 3-1 to maintain their authority over Real Madrid in the standings.
Barcelona have so far won 27 league games this season, drawn 3, and lost a single one. They have also scored 85 goals, while they have conceded only 16. Their goal difference also seems quite satisfying at +69, with their total amount of points elevating itself to 84.
Real Madrid’s statistics are visibly not as good their rival’s, but are still good enough to prevent the leaders from enjoying a comfortable lead at the top of La Liga table. Los Blancos have won 24 league matches until now this season, drawn 4 and lost 3—their biggest defeat being their 5-0 setback at the Camp Nou back in November 2010. Their goal difference is 19 points weaker than Barca’s—having scored 72 goals and conceded 22—whilst they occupy the second spot, 8 points behind in the standings.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: If Real Lose...
Literally, if Real Madrid lose to FC Barcelona at the Bernabeu on 16 April 2011, their league title hopes are over... A defeat will widen the gap at the top to 11 points with a maximum of only 18 possible points to grab till the end of the season. Worst of all, Los Blancos will have to eye an “impossible” domination over the Catalans in the final standings, as finishing on the same note would make them losers on head-to-head.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: If Barca lose...
If Barcelona lose to Madrid in the approaching Clasico, then their lead at the top would be cut to 5 points—an outcome dangerous enough to put their league chances at stake. One thing will at least matter though: to avoid a 6-goal margin defeat so as not to lose their head-to-head advantage.
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: If both sides draw...
Should a draw take place next up, then the race for La Liga title would still be wide open, although the favour would be floating more on the side of the defending champions. While the gap would remain intact, the only way Los Merengues could increase their opportunities of being Spanish League champions would be by hardly hitting their enemies’ moral in the 2011 Copa del Rey final. Otherwise, the situation in La Liga could stay unchanged, and thus push Barcelona towards Primera Division glory for the third season in a row.