• Jamie Cameron


Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Atlético Madrid have been the dominant team in La Liga all season, and despite a recent blip, they kept city rivals Real Madrid at bay for now following a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

A win for Los Blancos would’ve put them within just two points of Atlético, but in the end, they’ll probably take a draw as Karim Benzema’s late equaliser prevented a disastrous defeat.

That’ll be a source of frustration for Atlético, with a win potentially being the moment that would’ve put them within touching distance of a first league title since 2014.

With Real Madrid improved from earlier in the season, and Koeman finally getting a tune out of his Barcelona players, the Spanish title race is far from over, but this result keeps Atleti firmly in the driving seat.

The injury crisis at the Bernabéu has subsided slightly, but with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard all still out, players like Benzema and Casemiro who have been producing the goods of late will need to keep doing so if they’re to pip the team from across Madrid.

Diego Simeone’s side seem to have put the disappointing results against Levante behind them now and looked good for three points for much of the game.

Luis Suárez netted for the 17th time in the league this season, a signing which could prove the difference in the end. Barcelona selling him to a direct rival always looked like a mistake, and all season, it’s appeared to be a fatal one.

Atlético now turn their attentions to their tricky Champions League tie with Chelsea as they attempt to overturn the 1-0 deficit from the first leg.

The third and final title contender, Barcelona, sit three points behind Los Colchoneros, but are probably in the best position they’ve been in all season following another routine win, 2-0 against Osasuna. They’re also in European action this week, but look to be heading out of the competition against Paris Saint-Germain.

Although they’ve overturned a heavy defeat before, PSG made the final of the Champions League last season of course and look a different proposition now.

With that probable elimination from Europe, the in-form Catalan side are arguably better placed than Real Madrid to beat Atlético to the title.

They haven’t lost in the league since the start of December, and are still riding the crest of a wave from that comeback win over Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.

Added to that, there is some closure to the off-the-field saga with Joan Laporta elected the club’s new president after months of build-up to those elections.

As Ilaix Moriba emerges as Barcelona’s latest young talent off the production line and with all things looking up for Koeman and co, the Madrid derby result may favour them the best of the trio.