Real Madrid took care of business, but so did Barcelona. Now the focus will be on the biggest game of the season in a fortnight's time.
Here are five things we noted from this match:
- Some questions arose beforehand whether it was wise of Zidane to march out his best possible XI, but it was the right call. Had Barcelona - somehow - slipped against Granada, this would've been three of the most important points that the Club has ever picked up. Then there are other angles to consider - the UCL final isn't until the 28th, and there's ample time for rest and recover in between. Plus, it is nice to give the starters one last burn to keep their rhythm flowing from now until the match in Milan.
- A very subdued Deportivo was met with an efficient Real Madrid ready to grab their three points as quickly as possible. The front three in particular were extra sharp. It was fun seeing Bale switch to the left and skin defenders throughout the match, and it was equally fun to see Ronaldo trying to chase the pichichi award until he left the match at half-time. All in all, Real Madrid did what they were asked to do, and it seems like they had accepted their fate in the 2nd half. Zidane pulled the plug - taking off Ronaldo, Kroos, and Bale - and Real Madrid were happy (or not) to take their foot of the pedal with the Champions League in mind.
- Be proud of this team. One month ago Real Madrid weren't supposed to be in this position, and Barcelona weren't supposed to be sweating it out on the last matchday of the season. There is a lot to cheer for, still, given the circumstances of the team just a few months ago.
- Underrated story: This is the last time we'll see Manuel Pablo. It is amazing that he's still playing La Liga football at the age of 40. He was a special part of that Super Depor squad that Zidane had to face as a player, and now he's set to retire. It was a time, Manuel!
- Notes from the backline: Pepe quietly had a brilliant game, and he's been in proper form for a key stretch here to end the season, further proving he'll be the best option to partner Ramos in the final. Keylor Navas was also brilliant, capping off the terrific season he had in La Liga