BARCELONA – La Liga ventures a change of leader on Thursday if Barcelona follows the logic and surpasses Granada (which counts its 26 visits to the Barça team by defeats) at the Camp Nou. This fact would cause Atlético de Madrid, so intractable during the first half of the course and inconsistent in the last two months, to abandon its privileged position and that five days from the end the championship had as many applicants at this point as it had not happened since the 1972-73 season, when the first four classified were separated by a single point.
Today Atlético leads the table with 73 points, two more than Real Madrid and Barça (with that game pending) and three ahead of Sevilla. And all this two weeks after Barça and Atlético meet at the Camp Nou on the one hand, and Real Madrid and Sevilla at Valdebebas on the other, in a double confrontation that can, without being definitive, clarify things a lot … O make them even more exciting in the fight for the championship.
The situation is also similar to the 2015-16 season, when in the absence of five days Barcelona and Atlético commanded the classification with 76 points and one behind was Real Madrid, with three applicants, who were not four at this point, with such competitiveness, since the 1983-84 academic year, when Athletic and Real Madrid were even with 41 points and were followed, with 38, by Barça and Atlético. At that time, however, victories were counted with two points.
The last time that the League kept four applicants until the final stretch of the tournament was in the 2006-07 season, when with four dates to play Real Madrid and Barcelona led the table with 66 points, followed by Sevilla, with 64, and Valencia with 62. The che team fell down with a defeat at Mestalla (2-3) against Villarreal and the other three kept elbow to elbow until the end.
On the penultimate matchday, Sevilla equalized (0-0) in Mallorca and the final date was reached with Real Madrid (leading by goal average) and Barcelona equalized at 73 points, with the Andalusians, 71, pending a utopian defeat in duplicate of the two great ones that did not occur.
The Madrid coached by Fabio Capello ended up being champion, winning (3-1) against Mallorca while Barça was not served by his win (1-5) in Tarragona to link what would then have been their third consecutive title.
Nothing, however, similar to what happened in the 1972-73 season, when Espanyol (today the leader in the Second Division) was closer to winning a title that ended up in the hands of Atlético de Madrid. If two courses before (1970-71), Valencia was proclaimed champion on the last day and benefiting from a face-to-face tie at the Calderón between colchoneros and culers and with Real Madrid off the hook only two days before the end of the tournament , then the situation again tightened between four applicants as it has never happened again.
Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid led in that month of April 1973, with five dates to be played, the classification with 40 points, for the 39 that Real Marid and Espanyol added, which had left its position of privilege after a controversial and protested draw (2-2) in the Betis field. It was that a League that was not decided between mattresses (ultimately champions) and culers until the last day, after a draw between the two at the Camp Nou (0-0) on matchday 31 (there were 34 at the time). it favored them to stay in first place.
Real Madrid (who drew in Atocha against Real Sociedad) and Espanyol, defeated (1-0) by Athletic, dropped out of the race two days from the end a week after the tie between the other two applicants and although on the penultimate day Atlético brushed against disaster with a tight draw (1-1) in Zaragoza, they kept an income of one point over Barça to sentence the title on the last date, beating Deportivo de La Coruña at the Vicente Calderón.
Now, almost 50 years later, the League is heading back to an exciting finale, with the usual three greats fighting for a title whose career Sevilla joins, 14 years after their last great appearance on this stage and with the dream, Who knows, to give the big blow to achieve a trophy that he only conquered in 1946 … And thanks to a draw (which was worth him) on the last day at the old Les Corts stadium against Barcelona who needed to win to be champion .