As we expected, the margin to win La Liga was razor thin this season. Real Madrid and Barcelona battled to the bitter end, but it was Los Blancos who emerged as champions. Their result against Malaga ensured that, but one match doesn't make the season.
Here are most important matches that tell the story of the La Liga title chase, as well as the other crucial storylines from Spain.
September 10: Barcelona 1-2 Alaves
Barcelona stumbled early in La Liga and stunningly dropped points on the third matchday against Alaves. The Babazorros wound up a decent mid-table team when all was said and done, but nobody expected them to beat Barca at the Camp Nou. Hell, Alaves had just been promoted the season prior! Luis Enrique gambled in the match, resting a handful of his starters after the international break and ahead of the start of the Champions League, but it wound up backfiring for Lucho early in the La Liga campaign.
October 2: Celta Vigo 4-3 Barcelona
Barca's loss to Celta Vigo in October can be attributed to a comedy of errors that the Blaugrana are still paying for. After battling back from being down 3-0, Barcelona rallied to make it 3-2 late in the match. It all went up in smoke after goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen inexplicably took his time with the ball at his feet and hoofed a late, panicked pass. With Pablo Hernandez putting pressure on the German keeper, the attempted clearance hit the Celta Vigo man square in the head and past Ter Stegen for what would ultimately be the game-winning goal.
December 10: Real Madrid 3-2 Deportivo la Coruna
Real Madrid would make a habit of scoring late goals to earn crucial points en route to their run to the title, but perhaps no match put this trait on display than their win against Deportivo in December. Staring at a loss, Real Madrid equalized in the 84th minute to at least secure a point. Then, Sergio Ramos, as he is wont to do, came up huge with a stoppage-time winner. From a goose egg to three points in a matter of moments. Impressive.
January 15: Sevilla 2-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid were riding a Spanish record 40-match unbeaten streak coming into their January match against Sevilla, but it would come to an end at La Bombonera in Seville. A Sergio Ramos error and a Stefan Jovetic goal gave the hosts a win, but Real Madrid would mount another streak following the loss. After falling against Sevilla, Real Madrid went 14 matches unbeaten in La Liga until losing at home in El Clasico.
February 26: Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona
Barcelona might not be La Liga champs, but they can take a little bit of consolation in knowing they were significantly involved in ending the hopes of one of their rivals. In beating Atletico on Feb. 26, Barca all but ended any designs Los Colchoneros had on making a run at the summit.
March 5: Sporting Gijon 0-1 Deportivo la Coruna
While much of the season's attention falls to the top of the table, relegation is still a major story for the season. Unfortunately, there wasn't much of a scrap over the course of the season. Granada and Osasuna were forced to flip flop between dead last and second-to-dead-last from the fifth matchday on. That left Sporting Gijon and Deportivo la Coruna to battle it out for the final relegation spot, which Depor took a huge step to avoiding with their head-to-head win in March. The win gave Deportivo the tiebreaker (as well as crucial points) that essentially guaranteed Sporting would drop.
March 12: Deportivo la Coruna 2-1 Barcelona
After Barcelona were humiliated 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against PSG, Luis Enrique announced he'd be leaving the club at the end of the season. Barcelona responded by rattling off four La Liga wins and a historic comeback in the second leg of their European campaign to knock off PSG. That momentum from that rally evaporated with a loss just a few days later at Deportivo.
March 19: Atletico Madrid 3-1 Sevilla
Atletico didn't have much of a chance at the title, but they still had a Champions League spot to fight for this season. Sevilla were equally interested in Europe, though. Their clash on March 19 would prove to be the watershed moment. Atletico's win allowed them to leapfrog Sevilla into third place in the table, where they've remained ever since.
April 29: Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia
Real Madrid left it late (again) vs. Valencia but ultimately prevailed. In a dogfight for points with Barcelona, Real Madrid could ill afford a setback. When Valencia's Dani Parejo knocked in a beautiful free kick to knot up the match against Real Madrid in the 82nd minute, it looked dicey for the hosts. But Marcelo put on his cape and played hero as Real Madrid survived the scare and shifted all the pressure to their rivals in Barcelona.
May 14: Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla
Despite being neck-and-neck with Barcelona atop the table, Real Madrid played most of the season with the advantage of having a match in hand. The rescheduled match against Celta was essentially like having three points in hand, but there was still pressure to deliver and precious wiggle room for the Merengues. Down the stretch, their biggest test late in the season came in form of a visiting Sevilla side. They passed that test with flying colors in a 4-1 rout, and the champagne glasses were ready for a polish.