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Despite Barcelona winning 5-1 against Gimnastic and finishing with the same points as Real, La Liga uses head to head results before considering goal difference and so Barca lost out on that head to head criteria. So the loss by Barca at the Bernabeu proved very costly.
I still think that Real were very fortunate to win the title this year because they got some very late goals to win matches in the last month whilst Barca drew matches also in the dying minutes of matches to lose their lead. One match in particular was the match between Real and Espanyol. Espanyol, with one eye on the UEFA Cup final led 3-1 in the second half only for Real to come and win 4-3 in the dying minutes of that match.
Barcelona on the other hand against the same team were leading 2-1 until the last few minutes of that that match only to draw 2-all and that draw proved costly because on the same day Real had drawn 2-all against Real Zaragoza.
Some may argue that in a league format spanning thirty eight matches head to head should not be considered especially if you consider that Barca had a 45 goal difference compared to Real's 26. Maybe the lesson is that you shouldn't lose to league title rivals or else that may cost you the title.
Having said that, Fabio Capello has to be commended for coming and winning the the La Liga title on first attempt again despite his job not looking very safe for much of the season with every draw or loss. This is the second title he has won with Real Madrid and I hope that the powers that be at the Bernabeu will allow him to continue and build a strong Real team that can once again challenge for the Champions League crown.
I thought that ESPN's coverage of La Liga throughout the season was great but I expected them to at least show the
goals from Barcelona's match instead of just announcing the result on the screen. That was was done very well by Sky
Sports on the last day of the Championship season for example and made it very interesting.
Yeah Real played better in the second half of the championship, and they were lucky to come out with some of those wins, but thats what makes soccer interesting....
Capello talks too much, he needs self-control lessons, seek to understand before you seek to be understood, all his rejects Ronaldo, Beckham are playing well....
Real should let people establish legacies like at Milan, Real you play and you are discarded regardless of your contribution.....
Makelele,Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, Roberto Carlos, unless if you are Spanish like Raul, and Casillas
You make an interesting point Mbareboy about the way Real discards its players. I also bet that the likes of Roberto Carlos would still have been there if it was AC Milan, after all Cafu was on the bench for the UCL final for Milan. You wander how Raul has managed to hang on for so long even when he wasn't scoring and yet Ronaldo was never given that many chances just after a few blips despite being the clubs' top goal scorer for most of his time at the Bernabeau.
I also don't quite like the head to head system for leagues but maybe I am a bit used to the English premiership where you need to have a better goal difference. But those were the rules at the start of the season and Barca like every team in the league knew them.
This is also exactly the same situation between Espanyol and Mallorca and nobody is talking about them I guess because there is no title involved.
Good you pointed out the Espanyol/Mallorca, no title or European place involved but also it is just a one goal difference.
I think the rule is intended for Barca and Real, the probability of them fighting for the championship is 99%, so that makes their clashes more intense hence keeping the reputation of their matches every season....
Thats why its so cheap to watch the La Liga matches (makes some the matches not worth anything much), you wait for those two matches thats all....
Look at it, despite its appeal La Liga generates significantly less revenue than the EPL, and the teams are bailed out now and then by the councils...Real despite having good players and winning in Europe had to sell stadia assets in leaseback fashion to survive...
I still contend that head to head works for a few team group format, not for the league championships as employed not only in the EPL but all over the world...