La Liga Match Day 15 Review – Another Messi Masterclass

La Liga Match Day 15 Review - Another Messi Masterclass
RCDE Stadium

La Liga produced plenty of goals on match-day 15, which saw a couple of big derby clashes in Barcelona and South Madrid while there was an 8 goal thriller at Ipurua. Here were the main headlines from this weekend’s fixtures:


La Liga Match Day 15 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 7th December 2018

Leganes 1-1 Getafe (xG 1.44-0.92)

Saturday 8th December 2018

Atletico Madrid 3-0 Alaves (xG 3.06-0.98)

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla (xG 1.98-1.8)

Villarreal 2-3 Celta Vigo (xG 1.26-1.03)

Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona (xG 1.82-2.48)

Sunday 9th December 2018

Eibar 4-4 Levante (xG 5.87-1.49)

Huesca 0-1 Real Madrid (xG to come)

Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Valladolid (xG to come)

Real Betis 2-0 Rayo Vallecano (xG to come)

Monday 10th December 2018

Athletic – Girona (playing Monday)

Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official La Liga channel and may contain ads.


Pretty in Pink – Barca ease to Derby Win

A dominant 1st Half display sealed a convincing derby win for Barcelona at the RCDE Stadium. It was perhaps the first time since the departure of Neymar, that Barcelona truly ripped a side open with their front three alone as Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele all struck impressive goals for different reasons before the interval. Messi added another goal, also a direct free-kick after the break and Espanyol’s misery was complete when they had a consolation strike chalked off by VAR.

While they didn’t extend their advantage on the Madrid clubs, both of whom won to nil, Barca laid down a real marker on Saturday. It was easily one of Dembele’s most assured displays in Barca colours but reports he was late to training yet again on Sunday won’t have pleased Ernesto Valverde if true.

Late Strike denies Sevilla Victory at the Mestalla

In some respects, the clash between Valencia and Sevilla was the most intriguing this weekend. Sevilla would have made a real statement of their intent to be genuine title challengers by going to the Mestalla and winning. Valencia meanwhile could have served a timely reminder of their ability to get back into top four reckoning with a win. In the end neither quite happened. Sevilla probably come out of the game with more credit with Valencia still someway short of the level they reached last term but Mouctar Diakhaby’s stoppage time goal salvaged a point for Los Che as Sevilla failed to see the win out having led through the excellent Pablo Sarabia.

4 goals each at Ipurua!

There was no doubt about the game of the weekend though. There was goals galore at Ipurua as Eibar and Levante played out a thrilling 4-4 draw. Levante came from a goal down to lead 2-1 before Eibar seized real control of the game with a brace from Charles putting them 4-2 up and seemingly out of sight. However this Levante side can never be totally written off and they grabbed a dramatic late leveller with Borja Mayoral popping up to poke in the game’s 8th goal but his first in La Liga since joining the Valencia club from Real Madrid on loan.


Match Day 15 in Numbers

  • Barcelona made it 19 unbeaten league derbies against their city rivals with a 4-0 win.
  • Espanyol will have gone more than 10 years without beating Barca in La Liga by the time of the next meeting.
  • Real Madrid have won 8 out of 9 competitive games under Santi Solari.
  • Only 2 sides (Barca & Celta) have scored more goals than Levante this season (27) in La Liga but only 2 have conceded more (Rayo & Huesca).
  • Gareth Bale scored his 1st league goal in 99 days against Huesca.

Up Next…

The final group games in the Champions League and Europa League takes centre stage this week. However La Liga is back with Celta hosting Leganes on Friday while Barcelona return to the scene of their only league defeat last term to take on Levante over the weekend.

Keep tabs on our La Liga match predictions for more analysis ahead of the next round of fixtures.

 


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Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk

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