MADRID, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Spanish football can take a well-earned rest next weekend with the international break before reconvening at the start of April for the final 10 matches of the campaign. Here are some things we learned from matchday 28 in the Liga Santander.
1) The title is Real Madrid's to lose
Although on the balance of play they probably didn't deserve the three points from their 2-1 win away to Athletic Club Bilbao, the fact is that Zinedine Zidane's side have overcome perhaps the toughest away game between now and the end of the season.
Although Real Madrid still have to face Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla in the final run of matches, they face them all in front of their supporters in the Santiago Bernabeu, while on the road they will play rivals, such as Sporting Gijon, Leganes, Deportivo La Coruna and Malaga, sides who on paper at least shouldn't pose much of a threat.
There are still questions to be asked about Madrid's football after they were outplayed by Athletic for long periods, but with the points in the bag, the horizon looks relatively clear of danger between now and the end of the campaign.
2) It's a two-horse race for the title
Atletico Madrid 3-1 triumph at home to Sevilla on Sunday effectively ended Sevilla's already slim hopes of winning this season's league title, leaving them eight points behind Real Madrid with an extra game played. With 10 games remaining this season looks to be too much for Sevilla to recover, especially as Jorge Sampaoli's side appear to have hit the wall in both physically and mentally in recent weeks.
The Argentinean coach is used to squeezing every ounce of effort from his players and against Atletico and Leicester City last week they looked empty.
So with Sevilla effectively ruled out of the title race and Atletico two further points behind, it once again comes down to a two-horse race between the usual suspects: Real Madrid and Barca.
3) Atletico coming good again at the right time
Atletico may be out of the title race, but Sunday showed they are coming back to their best form at the right time. Diego Simeone's side have cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and are now pushing for third place behind Sevilla.
10 points is too much to make up on Real Madrid, but Atletico could still have a hand in the destiny of the title. With Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro both looking sharp, Godin as solid as ever in defense and Jan Oblak in fine form, April 9th sees them cross town to play in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium... Atletico may not be able to win the title, but they may be able to stop Real Madrid winning it.
4) Could Alaves sneak into Europe?
Deportivo Alaves continue to be the revelation of the season as they showed with their 1-0 win at home to neighboring Real Sociedad on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrino's side produced another organized performance and would have won by more than one goal but for a stellar performance from visiting goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli. The win leaves them tenth, but only four points behind seventh placed Athletic Club Bilbao. However, Alaves have one factor very much in their favor; they have also qualified for the final of the King's Cup knockout competition. The top six places in the league give direct access to Europe with another going to the cup winner, but with Alaves facing Barca in the Cup and with Barca virtually assured of qualifying for next season's Champions League, if Barca win the Cup, the final European place would go to the side finishing seventh and the way they are playing Alaves have the chance of doing that.