Messi masterclass keeps Barca in the hunt

What a game to end the La Liga weekend, as Barca took all three points at Mestalla with a fantastic performance against an energetic Valencia side.

The blaugranes need to win all of their games between now and the end of the season to stand any chance of lifting the title, but even then it may not be enough.

Their loss to Granada on Thursday leaves the destination of the title out of their hands unless Real Madrid drop points.Los Blancos have some favourable fixtures to see out the campaign, but on the weekend when Barca play leaders Atletico Madrid looking to top the table for the first time in 2020/21, Real have a titanic tussle against Sevilla.

At this stage, the Andalusians can’t even be ruled out of making a late run for the summit, such is the scenario at the top of the table in Spain at present.

It all makes for a fascinating climax to the season, and one which we’ve not seen for a good few years.

Indeed, the last time a Spanish top-flight season still saw teams with all to play for on the final day was back in 2014 when Atletico Madrid drew at Camp Nou to clinch the title ahead of Barca in front of their own fans.

There’ll be no fans at the Catalan amphitheatre next Saturday, and that may just play into the Rojiblancos hands.

Barca old boy, Luis Suarez, will be looking to score the goals that will finally kill off his old team’s hopes, with best friend Messi looking to do the damage in reverse.

If he plays anything like he did at Mestalla on Sunday night, then Atleti will need to be at their very best, which is something they’ve not been for the most part in 2020/21.

Diego Simeone has only won once against Barcelona in La Liga since taking over at Atleti, and that came earlier this season.

A draw would suit him, whereas Barca have to go for the victory.

Make no mistake, unless he’s injured in training during the week and can’t take part, Messi will be champing at the bit and doing everything possible to lead from the front again.

In a season which started ignominiously and without Messi, it could end in the best possible way for all concerned.

Every player will have done their part but they’re all following the lead of Barca’s captain fantastic, who will arguably deserve this league more than any other.

A shame titles aren’t handed out on sentiment alone…

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