BARCELONA (Reuters) – La Liga leaders Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Saturday to move 11 points clear at the top, while Real Madrid scraped a 2-1 win over Eibar.
Here are five talking points from the weekend in La Liga:
Last year Antoine Griezmann starred in a documentary called ‘The Decision’, in which he revealed he was snubbing an offer from Barcelona to stay at Atletico Madrid.
As the Catalans put Atletico to the sword on Saturday to go 11 points clear at the top in the title race, the Frenchman may be starting to rue the choice he made.
Griezmann’s Atletico have nothing to play for in the remainder of the season, while Barcelona are setting their sights on an historic third treble.
The Atletico forward would have been perfect on the left of Barcelona’s attack, an ideal foil for Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, whose goals sunk Atletico at the Nou Camp.
Santi Cazorla has endured many tough moments in an injury-hit career, but the Villarreal veteran was at his lowest ebb on Sunday.
The playmaker missed a last-minute penalty, firing down the middle, with Real Betis goalkeeper Pau Lopez catching the ball, when he could have equalised.
Real Betis won 2-1 and the result left Villarreal level on points with Real Valladolid, 17th, but below by one place as they have a worse head-to-head record.
Cazorla was seen standing distraught in the corner of a room at the Benito Villamarin stadium after the game, utterly inconsolable.
“Nobody can take this feeling of guilt away from me, but I will get up for my team mates, and the whole Villarreal family,” Cazorla said on Twitter on Monday.
With seven games to go, the magician has time to make amends and keep his side in the top flight.
Sevilla’s comfortable 2-0 win at Real Valladolid on Sunday was put on the back-burner by coach Joaquin Caparros’s sad revelation after the game, explaining he is suffering from chronic leukaemia.
“I have caught it early and can live a normal life. I am not receiving any treatment. I want to enjoy my work,” explained the 63-year-old coach, in charge until the end of the season at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.
The football world was quick to offer its support to Caparros.
“In this game against cancer you will not fight with just 11 players, you have us at your disposition too,” former Sevilla coach Michel Gonzalez said on Twitter.
“This illness doesn’t know who it’s up against, an insatiable fighter.”
Other La Liga clubs, including Real Betis, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao sent the coach messages of support.
Real Madrid’s season has largely been a torturous affair but one player has risen head and shoulders above the rest, staking his case to head Zinedine Zidane’s new project next season.
Karim Benzema is in the form of his career and while Los Blancos struggled against Eibar on Saturday, the Frenchman was at his vibrant best.
Benzema had two goals disallowed and hit the woodwork, but scored two more which did count to earn Madrid three points and deny Eibar a first win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid will make big changes in the close season but Benzema has proven he is capable of leading the line.
If Getafe reach the Champions League next season it will be a remarkable achievement for the tiny club based in Madrid’s suburbs.
However, the football world can consider itself warned – they won’t necessarily be fun to watch.
They eked out a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to consolidate their position in fourth.
Jose Bordalas’s side play with little flair but are extremely well-drilled and are grinding their way towards Europe.
(Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Christian Radnedge)