There were only eight league games in matchday 34 of the Spanish La Liga but as always, the weekend gave us plenty to talk about.
1. Credit to Valverde as Barca take first step towards double
It’s hard to believe that on Saturday morning before the Cup final, the pro-Barcelona ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ newspaper headlined that coach Ernesto Valverde could face the sack if his side lost to Sevilla in the Cup final. It seems even harder to believe after Barca took Sevilla apart to win 5-0. A point in La Coruna next weekend will confirm Barcelona as La Liga champions and seal the double for the Catalan side with three games left in the season.
2 Montella in trouble at Sevilla
If the Cup final was a triumph for Valverde, it was a disaster for his Sevilla counterpart, Vincenzo Montella. Montella’s side missed the chance to qualify directly for Europe and now have a fight on their hands in order to finish in the top-seven.
Since replacing Eduardo Berizzo, who was sacked in December, Montella has guided Sevilla to the Champions League quarter-finals, picking up a famous win at Old Trafford along the way.
However, his policy of insisting with the same starting lineup game after game has left his side looking flat and lacking a spark. Against Barcelona they failed to give their fans a single moment where they could dream about winning the final and it looks unlikely he will remain at the club next season.
3 Barcelona win good news for La Liga
Had Sevilla won the Cup it would have earned them a place in next season’s Europa League and meant that only the sides finishing fifth and sixth in the La Liga would earn a European place.
With Betis and Villarreal holding a decent lead over seventh place, that would have meant the battle for Europe was all but decided. With the league title destined for Barcelona and the top four places also virtually decided, that would have meant a last month of the season with little at stake. At least now Getafe, Sevilla, Girona, Celta and Real Sociedad have something to fight for and fans have something to keep them interested.
4 Could Getafe finish seventh?
Getafe could be the weekend’s big winners as they moved level with Sevilla. Pepe Bordalas’ side was the only one of the Europa League candidates to win again this weekend. Getafe entertain direct rivals Girona next weekend and have a kind run-in to the end of the season with games against the already relegated duo of Las Palmas and Malaga and a home game against Atletico Madrid. Enditem