Analysis: Four things we learned in Spain's matchday 32

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-15 16:51:29|Editor: Yamei
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By Paul Giblin

MADRID, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Matchday 32 in the Spanish Liga Santander saw a much-changed Barcelona edge closer to the title, while at the bottom of the table, things continue to get closer with five teams separated by just four points. Here are some things we learned this weekend in Spain.

1. Last week's win over Atletico was vital for Barca

Although Saturday's 0-0 draw away to Huesca was probably disappointing for Barcelona fans, the result edged a much-changed team a point closer to this season's league title.

With a Champions League quarterfinal return leg against Manchester United on Tuesday, coach Ernesto Valverde changed 10 of the team that beat Atletico Madrid a week previously to open up an 11 point cushion at the top of the table. Four players made their first team debuts and Valverde said he was content with the result.

Beating Atletico has allowed Valverde the luxury of rotating his side and with a comfortable lead in the Liga Santander expect him to repeat the tactic if Barca reach the last four in Europe.

Beating Atletico not only gave Barca the advantage in La Liga, it has also helped them in the Champions League.

2. Caparros effect working at Sevilla

Joaqiun Caparros' return as Sevilla coach after the sacking of Pablo Machin has so far had the desired effect at the club, which climbed back into the top-four this weekend with a 3-2 win at home to bitter local rivals Betis.

Caparros may not be the greatest tactician in the world, but he embodies the spirit and passion for the club and has been able to inspire players who were looking flat and tired before his return.

The 61-year-old confirmed a week ago that he is suffering from chronic leukemia, but that has not had any effect on the effort he is making for the club and so far his work is paying dividends.

3 Relegation battle tighter than ever

Only one team in the bottom seven won at the weekend with Villarreal's 1-0 win in Girona lifting them out of the bottom three while leaving their rivals just three points above the drop zone.

Huesca took a brave point from Barcelona, while Valladolid suffered the heartbreak of conceding a 96th minute penalty to Getafe which saw them drop into the relegation zone.

With six games left to play, the battle to stay up is getting much closer and it could well go down to the last game of the season.

However, in a situation where two wins could lift a club to safety, don't be surprised to see some teams look for a quick fix and that could see coaches, Eusebio Sacristan at Girona, Paco Lopez at Levante and Sergio Gonzalez at Valladolid in danger of losing their jobs.

4. Business as usual for Atletico Madrid

Although it still promises to be a busy summer for Atletico Madrid with several players, Lucas Hernandez, Diego Godin and Felipe Luis all leaving (and perhaps more tempted to do so after a season without a title), Saturday saw a return to normality with a 2-0 win at home to Celta. With Diego Costa starting an eight game ban, Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata were decisive.

Many fans weren't happy to see Morata signed in January after his time at Real Madrid, but the Spain international is winning the doubters over in the best way possible - with his goals.

The near future may promise changes, but for the moment, it least is business as usual for Atletico.