Analysis: Four things we learned in Spain's Matchday 34-Xinhua

Analysis: Four things we learned in Spain's Matchday 34

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-06 19:04:45

MADRID, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid were crowned La Liga champions on Saturday, while Girona overtook FC Barcelona in second and Real Betis took a big step towards ensuring a top-four finish. Here are some things we learned this weekend in Spain.

1. Real Madrid crowned champions with four games left to play

The fact Real Madrid have ensured the La Liga title with four games left to play shows their superiority and perhaps highlights the poor campaigns of their main rivals, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid have signed well, with their policy of attracting young talent - such as Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Eduardo Camavinga and Jude Bellingham - paying off.

They also have a far deeper squad than anyone else in Spain, which has been showcased in recent wins over Cadiz and Real Sociedad in which Carlo Ancelotti was able to rest regular starters.

One reason for Madrid's squad depth is they have a far higher spending ceiling than any of their rivals. Real Madrid's spending limit for 2024 is 727 million euros (787 million U.S. dollars), while Atletico's is 303 million euros and Barca's 204 million euros, with the rest of La Liga a long way below those two.

Looking purely at the finances, maybe it's no surprise Real Madrid are a lot better than anyone else.

2. Girona the big success of the season

The spending limits in La Liga makes Girona's success this campaign look even more impressive: Although it is true that the powerful City Group has helped with loan signings of Savio and Yan Couto, Girona have still had to stick to a spending limit of 52 million euros (14 times lower than Real Madrid and just a quarter of what Barcelona are allowed to spend).

Saturday saw them score three goals in ten magnificent second-half minutes to beat Barcelona 4-2 - a win that ensures they will be in next season's Champions League and that lifted them above Barca into second place.

Girona have been outstanding all season, with Savio, Couto and top scorer Arten Dovbyk decisive - the problem is Savio and Couto are on loan and someone big is likely to swoop to sign Dovbyk for a big fee, meaning next season they will have to start from scratch.

3. Barca the other side of the Girona coin

Post-match images showed the frustration of Barcelona president Joan Laporta as his side were carved open in Girona to suffer their second 4-2 defeat to their local rivals this season.

Xavi Hernandez said a fortnight ago that he has reversed his decision to leave at the end of the season and that he will now be in charge of the 2024-25 campaign as well, but Saturday's display wasn't exactly a sign of better things to come.

Barca were sharp in the first half, but defensive lapses were again costly and they have been repeated time and again all season.

The good news for Barca are the performances of youngsters Lamine Yamal, Pau Cubarsi and Fermin Lopez, but with less money to spend next this than this one, Laporta and the fans are going to need a lot of patience.

4. Cadiz still favorites for drop but rivals fail to take chances

Cadiz still look favorites for relegation as they languish six points from safety with just 12 left to play for, but two of their rivals failed to take the chance to assure their top flight future, as Mallorca lost 1-0 at home to Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Almeria.

With home games against Getafe and Las Palmas, and away trips to Sevilla and Almeria, Cadiz don't have the worst run-in to the end of the season, but Mallorca also face Las Palmas, Almeria and Getafe and should get as many points as the side currently facing the drop and Rayo need just one win to ensure their survival.