Barcelona is only three points away from celebrating another La Liga title after a sensational 5-0 victory against Espanyol on Sunday, with the Blaugrana only needing one win against Granada next week to successfully defend their league championship. Here's a few takeaways from Sunday's amazing Camp Nou performance:
1. Barça's response to the crisis is truly remarkable
When the Champions League ended against Atlético Madrid a few weeks ago, many began to compare this season to the terrible ending of the Tata Martino Era, when Barça imploded after losing to the same Atleti in the Champions League and lost all trophies in ugly fashion. This is not a Tata Martino repeat, though. Luis Enrique's side bounced back spectacularly. Just consider the last four games, with four straight victories and a combined score of 21-0. The defense, so criticized during the slump, has now consecutive clean sheets.
The 'MSN' trio, absent during those bad times in April, is once again firing on all cylinders, and the weak bench is now full of players giving strong contributions whenever they get chances. This team is obviously better than the Tata Martino team, but that one was good enough to rebound from that crisis. And they didn't. This one did, and might finish the season with a double. Yeah, good response.
2. Luis Suárez's Pichichi run is incredible
Three weeks ago, the Uruguayan trailed Cristiano Ronaldo by four goals, and the Portuguese was once again running away with the scoring title. Four games later, Suárez has scored eleven times (ELEVEN!!!!) and has a four-goal lead of his own above Ronaldo. The Uruguayan has been the best player in the Spanish League in the last three weeks, and is perhaps the main reason for Barça's rebound. Ronaldo might score a lot against Deportivo next week, but Suárez is the clear favorite to be the Pichichi.
3. La Liga is still not over
I said week after week in this very column that Barça were already champions before the crisis started. I learned from that, and I'm not arrogant anymore. Yes, the Blaugrana are in fantastic position next week. They'll face Granada, one of the worst teams in the league, and the opponents have absolutely nothing to play for. They're safe from relegation, and will not play as hard as they would if their season was on the line. But we still need to win because Madrid will probably destroy Depor, so I won't celebrate until the final whistle goes and the title is a certainty. It might sound cliché to say Hay Liga, but this season has already proven the race is always open.