Real Madrid have wrapped up their first Spanish title since 2012 after holding off the challenge of Barcelona on the final day – can they now end another, 59-year wait?
It seems scarcely believable that Madrid have had to wait since 2012 for a Liga title given they have been crowned European champions twice in that time. Barcelona and Atlético forced the Bernabéu fans to endure four frustrating campaigns before title No33 arrived – in fact, Real have not had a wait longer than five seasons between championships since the 1980s.
Last season produced a three-horse race until the penultimate game of the season, but since Sevilla’s impressive challenge hit a wall in March, this one has essentially been about Madrid and Barcelona. Ultimately, defeats by Deportivo and Málaga undermined the defending champions from Catalonia, despite their victory in April’s five-goal thriller at the Bernabéu.
Celta Vigo wrecked Madrid’s Copa del Rey ambitions in the last eight (Alavés face Barcelona in the final on 27 May) but Madrid are in the running for a notable double nonetheless. If the Blancos beat Juventus in Cardiff on 3 June, they will win the Liga and European Cup in the same season for the first time since 1957/58. They would also be the first title holders in the UEFA Champions League era to retain their trophy.
Madrid’s attack cannot be faulted: they have scored in 63 consecutive matches in all competitions, plundering 104 Liga goals this campaign. However, there are occasional defensive lapses. Their tally of 41 goals conceded this season is more than Atlético (27), Villarreal (33) and Barcelona (37), and just two less than newly promoted Alavés (43).