La Liga: Matchday 37 Review
La Liga entered its penultimate round of fixtures over the weekend, and there was still a huge amount to play for. Barcelona might have already won the title, but there was still much to be decided in the Champions League and Europa League places, plus there was still the matter of which team will finish in 18th and therefore get relegated. Learn about everything that happened in matchday 37 of La Liga by taking a read through this page…
Atletico Seal 2nd Place as Real Lose Again
While Barcelona has already wrapped up the title, 2nd place was still up for grabs. Real Madrid would need to win their final two games to have a chance though, plus Atletico would need to lose both of their matches. What’s more, a big swing in goal difference would need to happen. Real’s dreams of 2nd were extinguished by Real Sociedad though, who beat them 3-1, with goals from Mikel Merino, Joseba Zaldúa and Ander Barrenetxea.
Atletico Madrid also got the point they needed to finish in 2nd, as they drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla. Koke scored the opening goal for the home side, however this was cancelled out in the 70th minute by Pablo Sarabia. Sevilla is now just two points from the Champions League places, so still, harbour thoughts of reaching Europe’s top club competition next season.
The results for the two Madrid teams mean that it’s another disappointing season for Real, who will now finish in 3rd. It’s clear that Zinedine Zidane has some rebuilding to do over the summer if his side is to be competitive next season.
Barcelona March On
Barcelona went into their match against Getafe reeling from their shock Champions League exit. This didn’t stop them from dispatching their opponents 2-0 though and moving onto 86 points. While the result meant nothing for Barcelona, it was massive for Getafe, as their loss, paired with Valencia’s victory, saw them drop out of the Champions League places.
Barcelona, as expected, was completely dominant, having an astonishing 80% of the overall possession. The fact that they didn’t score more is surprising. Their first goal came thanks to Arturo Vidal, while the second goal was an own goal, scored by Djene Dakonam while under pressure from Lionel Messi. It wasn’t the best of games, however at least Barca fans got to see their team revert back to winning ways.
Valencia Move into Champions League Places
It was a good weekend for Valencia, as they moved back into the Champions League places with a 3-1 victory over Alavés. The result takes them level on points with Getafe, however Valencia has a slightly superior goal difference. If they can win their next match, and keep their goal difference better than Getafe’s, they’ll be in the Champions League next season. They could also still win the Copa del Rey – they play Barcelona in the final on the 25th of May.
Valencia actually went a goal down against Alavés, as Ximo Navarro scored in the 12th minute. They were 2-1 up by half-time though, thanks to goals from Carlos Soler and Santi Mina. Kevin Gameiro then assured Valencia of the win when he scored in the 68th minute. The result doesn’t mean much for Alavés, as they’re guaranteed to finish somewhere in mid-table at the end of the season.
Girona On Brink of Relegation
Girona now looks certain to be relegated from La Liga, thanks to their 2-1 loss to Levante. They currently sit in 18th place, three points adrift of Celta Vigo in 17th, and with a far inferior goal difference. Unless they can somehow win by a huge margin, they are going to be playing their football in a lower division next season. Levante, on the other hand, will have another season in the top flight, as they now can’t be relegated.
All the action in the game started in the 60th minute when Cristhian Stuani opened the scoring for Girona. They could only hold onto their lead for two minutes though before Nogales scored for Levante. The away side would then score the winning goal in the 86th minute, as Enis Bardhi found the back of the net.
Elsewhere in La Liga…
Elsewhere, bottom club Huesca continued their poor season, as they lost 2-1 to Real Betis. Joaquin put Betis ahead in the 22nd minute before Juanpi equalised with a penalty in the 55th minute. Cruelly for Huesca, Betis would score the winning goal in the 98th minute, with Joaquin doubling his tally for the game. Huesca remains bottom, while Real Betis sit in 10th place.
Rayo Vallecano, who sits second to bottom, also lost over the weekend, going down 2-1 at home to Valladolid. They started terribly, conceding a penalty in the 6th minute, which was converted by Enes Ünal. Álvaro Medrán then equalised, however Navarro scored the winning goal for Valladolid in the 80th minute of the game.
Celta Vigo missed the chance to guarantee safety over the weekend, as they lost 3-1 to Athletic Bilbao. Raúl García scored twice in the first half for Bilbao, and Iñaki Williams scored another before half time. Celta Vigo got a consolation goal in the 89th minute thanks to Iago Aspas, however they’ll need at least a draw in the next round of matches to guarantee another season in La Liga.
There was also a win for Espanyol over Leganes, in a match featuring two mid-table teams playing for nothing more than pride. Borja Iglesias scored twice for Espanyol, while Leganes had Unai Bustinza sent off on the stroke of half time. The result puts Espanyol into 9th place, while Leganes are in 13th position.
Finally, there was a win for Villarreal over Eibar – a result that means Villarreal now can’t be relegated this season. There was only a single goal in the game, scored by Karl Toko Ekambi in the 59th minute. Villarreal is now in 14th place in the table, while Eibar sits comfortably in 12th position, one point above Leganes.