La Liga Match Day 17 Review – Late Goals add to the Tension at the Bottom

Leganes vs Sevilla Match Preview & Prediction

The interesting action this weekend was mostly at the bottom rather than the top of La Liga. Barcelona claimed an utterly routine 2-0 win over Celta Vigo while Atletico Madrid put in a typically efficient performance to see off Espanyol 1-0 on a weekend when Real Madrid were crowned FIFA Club World Cup winners yet again. However there was plenty of late drama at the other end and some very significant goals in the scrap for survival. Here was the best of the action on match-day 17 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:


La Liga Match Day 17 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 21st December 2018

Girona 1-1 Getafe (xG 1.31-0.82)

Real Sociedad 0-1 Alaves (xG 0.78-0.65)

Saturday 22nd December 2018

Real Betis 1-1 Eibar (xG 0.8-2.27)

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol (xG 1.09-1.13)

Barcelona 2-0 Celta Vigo (xG 1.0-0.63)

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Valladolid (xG 1.3-0.87)

Sunday 23rd December 2018

Valencia 2-1 Huesca (xG 2.84-1.47)

Leganes 1-1 Sevilla (xG & Highlights to be added)

Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Levante (xG & Highlights to be added)

Villarreal host Real Madrid on 3rd January.

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


Valladolid Strike Late at San Mames

There was some really significant late action in Bilbao on Saturday. Leading 1-0 thanks to an Aritz Aduriz penalty, Athletic looked to be on their way to a 4th clean sheet in 4 games since Gaizka Garitano took charge and a 3rd win out of 4 in all competitions. However Oscar Plano struck in Stoppage Time, despite initially appearing a mile offside, to deny the hosts and seal another huge point for Sergio’s team who celebrated wildly to the dismay of the home fans. Athletic remain just a point outside the drop-zone as a result while Valladolid will be very satisfied with life heading into the break.

Piccini Goal sees Valencia rise 7 places!

There hasn’t been much joy at the Mestalla this season and only a 94th minute goal from full-back Cristiano Piccini spared them yet another home draw against bottom club Huesca. It was a somewhat familiar tale of missed chances from both sides but Cucho’s 72nd minute leveller set up a grandstand finish. Valencia remarkably rose 7 places as a result and will enjoy spending Christmas and New Year in the relative respectability of 8th rather than 15th, where they’d have been with a draw. It may be tight in the middle but it’s lonely at the bottom for Huesca who are now 5 points adrift even of 19th placed Rayo Vallecano who claimed a key 2-1 win over Levante.

Ben Yedder earns 10-man Sevilla a Point at Butarque

Butarque continues to be a bit of a graveyard for the top sides. All of the top three have now visited without winning but in the end a point would have seemed almost like a victory for Sevilla. Leganes were a goal and a man up heading into the 2nd Half following Franco Vazquez’s red card. However Sevilla showed their steel with Wissam Ben Yedder snatching a Stoppage Time leveller. The Andalusians do though now trail Barcelona by 5 points and have slipped below Atletico Madrid into 3rd as a result of the weekend action.


Match Day 17 in Numbers

  • Leganes are now unbeaten in 9 competitive games. 6 of those were draws including this weekend’s 1-1 with Sevilla.
  • Huesca suffered a 7th straight away league defeat. The’ve not avoided defeat on the road since a 2-2 draw with Athletic in August.
  • Barcelona have gone 373 minutes without conceding in La Liga since Diego Costa’s goal for Atleti in November.
  • They’ve kept 4 straight clean sheets having conceded in 11 straight league games prior to that.
  • Getafe have La Liga’s longest current unbeaten away streak – 8 matches.
  • 6 of their last 7 away league games have ended 1-1.

Up Next…

La Liga breaks up for a short winter break but a packed January awaits in Spain as La Liga continues while the Copa del Rey last 16 and Quarter-Final ties will also be played. The next match will see the final game of match-day 17 played as Villarreal host newly crowned world champions Real Madrid. That is on Thursday 3rd January 2019 and match-day 18 commences the next day with another Friday night double header.

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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