MADRID: Spanish hopes of a mouth watering Champions League final between Real Madrid and Barcelona evaporated this week with both sides crashing out at the semi final stage but at least Real have the consolation of being on the verge of claiming their first la liga title since 2008.
Jose Mourinho’s side now prepare to face Sevilla after their elimination by Bayern Munich knowing that they need just six points more to win the league and so if they win and Barca lose against Rayo Vallecano they will be champions. It will be a tough task for Pep Guard-iola to raise his Barca side after a couple of morale sapping games where they lost any realistic hope of winning the league with defeat in the El Clasico last weekend and then followed that up by defeat by Chelsea on Tuesday night.
An impressive run had seen Barca reduce the gap at the top to four points and they knew that a victory at the Nou Camp over Real would really put the pressure on the leaders but instead their star players looked weary and they failed to rise to the occasion. Similarly against Chelsea after a bright start where they turned the tie around to lead 2-1 on aggregate, they conceded a goal on the counter-attack and Lionel Messi missed a penalty before they ran out of steam.
The main question now at the Catalan club is the future of a project which has up until now brought an astonishing 13 trophies from 16 competitions as Guardiola is still deciding on whether to stay for another season.