Week 36 in review
With the season nearing conclusion, two sides were in action twice in the latest round of fixtures, as proceedings began on Friday evening as Atlético Madrid hosted Sevilla, the pair facing off to complete their game postponed from earlier in the season. A single strike from experienced front man Diego Costa 4 minutes before the break was to prove the difference, the hosts winning 1-0 and pulling themselves 7 points clear of challengers Real Sociedad in the battle for the final European spot, the rearranged fixture meaning both sides have now completed the same amount of games.
With all eyes naturally on the action on Sunday, there were still some key games and results, and plenty of goals, in the action on Saturday, which began early afternoon as Real Sociedad kept their European qualification hopes on track with a 3-0 thumping of Granada, taking a 2-0 lead into the break before a late goal ensured the points. Barcelona, who have already qualified for the Champion’s League, made harder work when they travelled to face Alavés, eventually coming away with a 2-1 win after finding themselves pegged back 10 minutes after going in front. Ousmane Dembélé scored the key goal, only his 8th in La Liga of the season.
There was also a win for Real Betis, another side hunting a European spot, as travelled to Valencia to brush aside Levante 3-1, a result which means the hosts are still heavily involved in a relegation battle. Despite pulling themselves level in the first half, they conceded just a minute later before the final goal coming in the second half to condemn them to their 19th league defeat of the season. The final game of the day saw Osasuna turn in a fantastic performance as they put a dent in the qualification hopes of Athletic Bilbao, a 3-0 win at El Sadar sealed with a goal from former West Ham front man Jonathan Calleri.
The lunch kick off on Sunday saw Villarreal take advantage from Bilbao slipping up the previous day as they secured a comfortable 2-0 win away at Celta Vigo, both goals coming in the opening 20 minutes courtesy of on-loan Valencia attacker Manu Vallejo, who has continued to impress during his time with the club. The result sees Villarreal now just 1 point behind Bilbao, with the pair at present looking the most likely to battle it out for the final Europa league spot.
Next in action were Cádiz, who surprised many with their 1-1 draw at home with Atlético Madrid, the result sadly, however, not enough to save them from relegation. It was a great result for the hosts, who took the lead through a late first half penalty, before Luis Suárez grabbed the equaliser just before the hour mark which proved enough to see them go down. Cádiz, who finished 2nd last season to earn promotion from the Segunda, have drawn 10 games this season, but it is their failure to turn those results into wins, with just 4 victories so far in the campaign, which ultimately sees them return back to the second tier at the first attempt.
The title clash at the Bernabéu certainly lived up to it’s billing as current champions Real Madrid underlined their credentials with a fantastic 3-0 victory against Valencia, the result closing the gap to just a point at the top of the table now meaning the title race is far from over. Most noticeable was the form of veteran French striker Karim Benzema, who scored 2 stunning goals in the encounter to hand his side the win and maintain his sides hopes of retaining the title.
Getafe remain just a point outside the drop zone as both they and Huesca picked up a valuable point. 17th placed Getafe enjoyed a goal fest as they drew 3-3 with Valladolid, the visitors reduced to 10 men on 55 minutes allowing 2 late goals to rescue a point for the hosts, who had been 3-1 down. Just below them in the table, Huesca picked up an extremely valuable point at Sevilla, equalising just 2 minutes after falling behind, and then even more impressively holding on after having to play the final 30 minutes with just 10 men following the dismissal of Sergio Gomez.
The final game of the weekend saw Eibar have their relegation confirmed, due to the points for both Huesca and Getafe, although they did put in one of their performances of the season with a 4-0 win away at Elche, with experienced striker Kike grabbing a hat-trick, taking his tally to 20 for the season for his relegated side, a fantastic return from the 31 year old former Middlesbrough front man.Share this: