In the resumption of the La Liga season Barca, Valencia and Sevilla all took the field and each one had a harrowing day in trying to either advance of hold fast on the table. With only Real Madrid idle out of the top 4 the other 3 teams had a chance to put Real Madrid in a bad spot coming back to play on the 3rd of January but the table only got more convoluted after a day’s worth of play on Saturday.
Barca only managed to draw Villareal in a match that could have easily put them up 5 points on Real Madrid going into Sunday and they ran into my biggest question of the past year (which will apparently continue headlong into 2010) and that is:
Why do good teams have such a hard time with teams that are clearly inferior to them?
Sevilla had the same problem with Atletico in a match they should have won and one in which Atletico really had no business being on the field with their opponent and Sevilla found a way to lose the match. I could give credit to Atletico, but I think it is quite evident that when superior teams lose that the superior team deserves to be panned for not showing up to the match in the right shape or right frame of mind.
With only Valencia winning against Espanyol that means that the Top 4 teams on the table are now only separated by 10 points and Valencia has managed to jump Sevilla on the table to take 3rd place with 32 points (only 8 points behind Barca.) Does this mean that Valencia is suddenly going to surge up the table and overtake somebody else? Probably not. What does it mean?
Well, it means that when we get down to deciding who wins this league that teams like Barca and Sevilla need to step up their game or they will be stuck trying to explain to reporters and an angry fan base why they gave away a game against a team they were supposed to beat. Yikes!