La Liga: The 5 most thrilling title races in history
Real Madrid need just a draw against Malaga on Sunday to end a five-year wait and snatch the La Liga trophy from arch-rivals Barcelona. Madrid famously squandered two consecutive titles in 1992 and 1993 away to Tenerife, then coached by another Real great, Jorge Valdano, handing the trophy to Barcelona on the final day.
Here we look at some of the tightest La Liga finishes. La Liga, until 1995, awarded 2 points for a win and one for a draw. It resulted in some very close finishes pre-95.
1) 1993/94: FC Barcelona vs Deportivo La Coruña
Deporitvo La Coruna had a three point cushion over FC Barcelona with four games to go, requiring them to win only 2 out of their 4 remaining games. However they drew their next three games, giving Barcelona a sniff at their fourth consecutive La Liga title. Barcelona won their final game of the season but Coruna could still lift the title if they won their last game against Valencia.
Deporitvo’s Serbian defender, Miroslav Dukić squandered a penalty shattering their title dreams.
Barcelona and Deporitvo La Coruna finished level on points but the former won the title owing to a superior head-to-head record.
FC Barcelona- 56, 38 games played
Deportivo La Coruña- 56, 38 games played.
2) 2006/07: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid
It came down to the final day of the season yet again, as Barcelona squared off against Gimnástic needing a win to secure the title and Real Madrid requiring a draw against Mallorca. Despite Barcelona drubbing Gimnástic 5-1, Real Madrid overturned a 0-1 deficit to record a 3-1 win, levelling both sides on points. Real Madrid lifted the title owing to a superior head to head record against the Catalans.
Real Madrid- 76, 38 games played
FC Barcelona- 76, 38 games played
3) 2015/16: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid
The 2015/16 season of the La Liga was the closest one in nearly a decade. The penultimate match day of the season saw Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid fighting for the title. However, after a 1-2 loss to last place finishers Levante, Atletico Madrid crashed out of the title race.
Barcelona beat Espanyol 5-0 in their last game of the season, taking them one point clear of second-placed Real Madrid. The final weekend saw Barcelona beat Granada and win their 24th La Liga title, with Real Madrid taking second place.
FC Barcelona- 91, 38 games played
Real Madrid- 90, 38 games played
4) 1992/93: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid
There was an eerie sense of deja vu in the 1992/93 season as it came down to the final match day with Barcelona trailing Real Madrid by a solitary point. It seemed as though Real Madrid were poised to lift the title, playing their final game, ironically against Tenerife, who denied them the title on the final day of the previous season. Much to the shock of everyone, Tenerife beat Los Blancos 2-0, and with FC Barcelona beating Real Zaragoza 1-0, they won the championship in a similar fashion to the previous season.
FC Barcelona- 58, 38 games played
Real Madrid- 57, 38 games played
5) 1991/92: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
The season started off very comfortably for Atletico Madrid, and more so for Real Madrid, who won 12 out of their first 13 games. Their title rivals Barcelona had a poor start, losing 3 out of their first 8 games.
However, by the middle of the season, Atletico began to have a terrible run of form, and it began to look like it was Real Madrid’s title to win.
But the tide began to turn as Atletico Madrid won 7 consecutive games and Barcelona experienced a brilliant run losing only 3 out of their next 30 games.
Atletico Madrid’s title hopes were dealt a major blow when they let go of a 2-1 lead against Real Madrid and lost 2-3. However, Real Madrid dropped points against both Osasuna and Real Oviedo, taking the title race into the final week.
Going into the final match day, Barcelona trailed Real Madrid by a point. Barcelona won their final game but Real Madrid lost to Tenerife 2-3 handing the title over to Barcelona.
FC Barcelona- 55 points, 38 games played
Real Madrid- 54, 38 games played
Atletico Madrid- 53, 38 games played