Global Soccer: Spanish Liga Title Chase Is a Real Page Turner

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Antoine Griezmann, controlling the ball, scored less than a minute after entering Atlético Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano. Quini of Rayo, left, and Fernando Torres of Atlético looked on.

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Susana Vera/Reuters

LONDON — The hardest league title race to call in Europe right now is in Spain. A single point separates Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid with two games each left to play, and like the plot of a decent detective thriller, this one is going all the way to the wire.

The suspense is compounded by the fact that the two Madrid teams have knife-edge semifinal second legs in the Champions League this week. And Barcelona still has the Copa del Rey final to come.

Everyone should enjoy the drama, except for Vicente del Bosque, the Spanish team national coach, because every extra game, every extra effort put on heart and mind and sinew will affect the players he needs to defend the European Championship in June.

The weekend’s La Liga games were rolled out like consecutive chapters on Saturday. Gareth Bale rose to head the winning goal in…

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