The Spanish La Liga title is well and truly heating up! Leaders Atletico Madrid appeared to be running away with the title earlier in the season, but both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are not giving up just yet. Last night, Barca beat Sevilla 2-0 to go within just two points of the leaders.
Barcelona now moves up to second place with 53 points, two points adrift of Atletico with 55. However, Atletico still has two games in hand against Barca, meaning that the gap is not really as narrow as it might seem. Likewise, Real Madrid is just a point behind Barcelona with 52, and with a game in hand.
The positions will still shuffle around once everyone has caught up with the number of matches, but the league is looking more competitive in the second half. Atletico finally showed a chink in its armour by dropping a few points in the past month. Meanwhile, Real Madrid has strung together a series of victories despite injury woes and Barcelona has found its footing after a tumultuous summer, which saw several key players leaving for other clubs.
Lionel Messi had a lacklustre start to the season after attempting to make a shock exit. He has appeared to have regained his motivation and led the club to victory against Sevilla. He created the attack that allowed Ousmane Dembele to give Barca the lead just before the half-hour mark.
Sevilla was unable to find an answer before Messi doubled the lead in the closing minutes of the match. That means Messi has now scored in a total of eight games in a row for Barca, both in open play and from the penalty spot. That's a 12-goal haul from 8 games, a sign that Messi is back in form.
That's definitely a warning sign both for leaders Atletico and defending champions Real Madrid.
The incoming Barcelona president will also have a big decision to make once he takes office. Should the club fight tooth and nail to keep Messi at the Camp Nou, or should they let him go and prioritise their plans for the future?