La Liga Match Day 21 Review – Benzema Shines, Celta & Villarreal in a Mess

Espanyol vs Athletic Bilbao Match Preview & Prediction

A look back on the latest round of fixtures in La Liga. It was a good weekend for the sides at the top with the Madrid giants, Barca and Sevilla all winning with a bit of breathing space while Valencia’s revival continued. However there is big trouble now for a couple of sides that weren’t necessarily expected to struggle.

Here was the best of the action on match-day 21 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:

La Liga Match Day 21 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Saturday 26th January 2019

Sevilla 5-0 Levante (xG 5.06-0.21)

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Getafe (xG 1.51-0.2)

Leganes 2-2 Eibar (xG 0.63-0.31)

Valencia 3-0 Villarreal (xG 1.93-0.64)

Sunday 27th January 2019

Real Valladolid 2-1 Celta Vigo (xG 1.67-0.77)

Girona 0-2 Barcelona (xG 1.05-1.8)

Real Sociedad 0-0 Huesca (xG 0.29-0.33)

Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Betis (xG 1.4-0.29)

Espanyol 2-4 Real Madrid (xG 1.01-2.4)

Monday 28th January 2019

Alaves 0-1 Rayo Vallecano (xG 0.76-1.43)

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

Mon The Benz

It was quite a weekend for Karim Benzema, with some going as far as to describe his performance at Espanyol on Sunday night as the very best of his entire Real Madrid career. That may not be too much of a stretch. For so long the provider of goals for Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema’s brilliance was often overlooked but few could argue that he has been anything other than Real’s best performer this season. The finishing touch was even there on Sunday with the Frenchman bagging a brace, the second of which was a sublime finish as Los Blancos cruised to a 4-2 win over troubled Espanyol.

Atleti see off 9-man Getafe

It’s easy to overlook Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe on Saturday as a pretty routine occurrence, particularly given the very one-sided head-to-head record between the sides. However this is a new Getafe, one that hadn’t lost away since the opening day of the season, so Atleti’s performance and victory deserves plenty of credit. They were of course helped late on by Getafe’s two centre-backs seeing red, something that could cause big problems for them next weekend when both Cabrera and Djene will be banned.

Big Trouble at Villarreal & Celta

If Getafe had a bad weekend, that doesn’t quite compare to the misery in Villarreal and Vigo right now. The Yellow Submarine lost again, this time heavily at local rivals Valencia and have subsequently made the somewhat bizarre decision to reappoint Javi Calleja, 7 weeks on from sacking him. Celta Vigo continue to badly miss Iago Aspas and lost another six-pointer against Valladolid despite having led the game 1-0. They are now in the drop-zone after Rayo won again on Monday night.

Match Day 21 in Numbers

  • Getafe lost away for the first time in 12 matches on the road in all competitions.
  • They’ve now won just 3 of their last 34 Madrid derbies in La Liga.
  • Sevilla’s 5-0 win means they have scored 11 goals in 2 league games against Levante this season, more than any other team has managed against a single opponent.
  • Celta Vigo are the only team in La Liga to have lost all of their last 5 matches.
  • No side has a worse record over the last 10 games than Espanyol (1 Win, 9 Defeats)

Up Next…

The Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals conclude before La Liga returns with some tasty fixtures at the weekend. Highlights include Valencia’s trip to Camp Nou while Atletico Madrid face a real test at the Benito Villamarin against Real Betis.

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

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About Mark Sochon 2075 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at)

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