It was a record breaking night in La Liga on Saturday when both Real Madrid and Barcelona won their respective matches to keep their title hopes alive. Madrid were 3-1 winners over Sporting Gijon while Barcelona needed two goals from their sensational forward Lionel Messi to beat Levante 2-1.
However, the stories making headlines were not the victories but rather the records set by rival pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Ronaldo scored his 41st goal of the season to set a new record for the most league goals he’s scored in a single season.
Messi on the other hand notched up his 6erd and 64th goals of the season to bring him with 3 goals of Gerd Muller’s all time record of 67 European goals he set as a player with Bayern Munich in the 1972-73 seasons.
The match also saw Madrid level their all time La Liga goals record of 107 goals. The two wins will definitely serve as morale boosters for the pair ahead of their tough Champions League semi final fixtures against against Bayern Munich and Chelsea respectively.
Despite the positive result, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho still failed to break his media silence choosing instead to let his assistant Aitor Karanka to do all the talking.
Speaking after the match, Karanka expressed his delight at the result while also defending his boss against claims of playing defensive football.
“The teams work and attitude throughout the season is what matters. We have a fantastic group of players that makes all of us very happy. They deserve to be champions and we must keep up the good work till the end,” he said.
“People say Mourinho has a defensive style, but 107 goals isn’t all that bad. Sporting defended well and we knew they would. A draw wouldn’t do much for them and it’s a shame they’re in that situation because of the attitude the showcased. They caused problems for us and made it difficult to win.”
Guardiola on the other hand admitted that luck played a part in their 2-1 win over Levante. Speaking after the match, Guardiola was quoted as saying that the penalty decision was so-so.
“It [the penalty decision] was so-so,”
“Regardless, we scored a great goal for the first and we earned a great result ahead of our trips to London and Madrid.”
Of course Barca rivals think otherwise, however, that is a topic for another day. That said, the mid week fixtures for both clubs could greatly enhance how they finish the season.
photo credit © LizNN7