MADRID: The Spanish league goes down to the wire next weekend when Barcelona (86 points) host Atletico de Madrid (89) in a title showdown – with Real Madrid now out of it.

Atletico could have sealed the Liga crown today but, with nerves fraying, were held 1-1 at home by Malaga. Simultaneously second-placed Barcelona missed a chance to move up on to their shoulder after being held goalless at Elche.

It could have been worse for Atletico and coach Diego Simeone. Malaga snatched a 66th-minute lead through Samuel Garcia, with Atletico scrambling an equaliser eight minutes later through Toby Alderweireld.

Real, who face Atletico in the Champions League Final in Lisbon in two weeks’ time, were again massively disappointing in going down 2-0 away to Celta in Vigo on goals either side of halftime from Charles.

Ironically Celta coach Luis Enrique is expected to take over at Barcelona next season from Tata Martino.

Barcelona themselves must win next week in Camp Nou to secure a title on which they appeared, at one stage, to have lost their grip. The head-to-head rule in La Liga means Atletico need ‘only’ a draw.