La Liga Match Day 20 Review – Modric inspires Real Madrid as Battle for 4th opens up

Real Madrid vs Sevilla predictions

The first full match-day in the second half of the season saw La Liga break with tradition in that the fixtures weren’t the same as on match-day one. As a result Real Madrid and Barcelona both met sides that beat them in September but were able to gain revenge this weekend, despite both needing late goals to do so.

Here was the best of the action on match-day 20 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:


La Liga Match Day 20 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 18th January 2019

Getafe 4-0 Alaves (xG 2.43-0.13)

Saturday 19th January 2019

Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla (xG 1.37-0.28)

Huesca 0-3 Atletico Madrid (xG 0.72-1.79)

Celta Vigo 1-2 Valencia (xG 0.99-1.74)

Sunday 20th January 2019

Real Betis 3-2 Girona (xG 1.88-0.86)

Villarreal 1-1 Athletic Bilbao (xG 0.78-0.57)

Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Real Sociedad (xG 0.97-1.13)

Levante 2-0 Real Valladolid (xG 2.02-1.04)

Barcelona 3-1 Leganes (xG 2.46-0.78)

Monday 21st January 2019

Eibar vs Espanyol playing tonight

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


Modric Stars as Real Madrid see off Sevilla

Luka Modric was the inspiration for Real Madrid this weekend. An uneventful 1st Half against Sevilla was largely illuminated by the Croatian after the break. He did what too few senior Real players have done this season, and took on the role of leading by example with an all-action display as Los Blancos increasingly turned the screw. While Casemiro’s long-rang drive broke the deadlock, it was more than fitting that it was Modric who struck the killer blow late on. The result saw Real Madrid move up to 3rd while Sevilla are sliding somewhat with the race for 4th now on again.

Getafe’s MMA Firing

Barca had the famous MSN, Real Madrid the BBC and now Getafe have their own trident which they hope will fire them to European football in 2019. The MMA, perhaps an appropriate acronym given Getafe’s physical reputation, consists of Mata, Molina and Angel. The trio have scored 19 goals between them this season in La Liga after braces from Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata sealed an easy 4-0 win over Alaves on Friday. With a very solid defence too, they now surely have a real shot at Europa League qualification and if Sevilla’s bad patch continues, it could get even better than that!

Valencia comeback leaves Celta in Trouble

Another side that now has to be treated as genuine European contenders again is Valencia. Talented youngster Ferran Torres netted to level things up at Balaidos this weekend while Rodrigo’s late winner sealed an important win for Marcelino and his side. Los Che are up into the top half again and remarkably given they’ve only won 25% of their league games this term, are now just 7 points off the Champions League places. Celta Vigo meanwhile are in genuine trouble with the Galicians just a point and a place above the drop-zone with the absence of Iago Aspas to injury playing a key role in their recent demise.


Match Day 20 in Numbers

  • Rodrigo scored his 2nd league goal in 17 appearances to seal Valencia’s win. He hit 16 in La Liga last term.
  • Getafe are one of only 3 teams with 3 players (Mata, Molina and Angel) to have scored 5+ goals in La Liga this term.
  • Leo Messi and Luis Suarez have scored 33 goals between them in La Liga this term, more than any other team in the division.
  • Barca have now won 7 on the spin in La Liga. They’ve never won 8 straight league games under Ernesto Valverde.
  • Celta Vigo are the only team in La Liga to have lost all of their last 4 games.

Up Next…

The Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals commence this week with a repeat of last year’s final between Barcelona and Sevilla the pick of the ties. La Liga is back on Saturday with a derby clash between Valencia and Villarreal perhaps the most intriguing fixture. Girona host Barcelona in a Catalan derby on Sunday (not in Miami!) while Los Blancos are in Barcelona to take on Espanyol.

Keep tabs on our La Liga previews 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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