A look back on the latest round of fixtures in La Liga. It was a weekend in which the sides at the top struggled as Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla managed just 1 point between them. Meanwhile at the other end, Villarreal were held on Javi Calleja’s return while Celta Vigo, Leganes and Huesca picked up key wins.
Here was the best of the action on match-day 22 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:
La Liga Match Day 22 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 1st February 2019
Huesca 4-0 Real Valladolid (xG 1-0.58)
Saturday 2nd February
Levante 0-0 Getafe (xG 0.76-0.27)
Real Sociedad 2-1 Athletic Bilbao (xG 1.23-1.93)
Barcelona 2-2 Valencia (xG 1.63-2.35)
Celta Vigo 1-0 Sevilla (xG 0.95-0.64)
Sunday 3rd February
Villarreal 2-2 Espanyol (xG 2.03-0.44)
Real Betis 1-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.12-0.53)
Eibar 3-0 Girona (xG 1.76-0.29)
Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves (xG 1.81-0.46)
Monday 4th February 2019
Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Leganes (xG 2.39-0.89)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official La Liga channel and may contain ads.
A Debut to Forget for Morata
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 3, 2019
It was a weekend that saw several players make debuts following late January moves. The highest profile of which was Alvaro Morata for Atletico Madrid. Some Atleti fans had been calling for the club not to sign Morata the previous weekend and he did little to win over his new supporters with an ineffective display as Diego Simeone’s side succumbed to a Sergio Canales penalty at the Benito Villamarin. Morata will get an immediate chance to really win over hearts and minds when he plays in the Madrid derby against his old club next weekend.
Messi Rescues Barca
?? FINAL: FC Barcelona 2 – 2 Valencia ‼️
⚽️ 3️⃣9️⃣ Messi ?
⚽️ 6️⃣4️⃣ Messi ? pic.twitter.com/afx1mMd4xu
— Ramiro Tobias (@tobiasram1r0) February 2, 2019
You’ve probably heard this one before. Barcelona were in genuine trouble when they fell 2-0 behind against an impressive Valencia side at Camp Nou. Los Che have found a new level in recent weeks and will be tough opponents for Betis in this week’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final. They really exposed a lack of pace in the Barca back-line at times with Sergi Roberto particularly poor. However as he so often does, Messi pulled something out of the bag with a brilliant 2nd goal sealing a 2-2 draw that was ultimately enough to extend Barca’s lead at the top.
Huesca Score 4!
— Carlos Akapo (@carlosakapo) February 1, 2019
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend in La Liga came in the first match as bottom club Huesca suddenly found their shooting boots to fire four goals against Real Valladolid. They remain rock bottom and 9 points from safety but if they can win next weekend at Girona, then suddenly they will believe that a miraculous escape is not impossible. They are only 4 points off Villarreal now, with Javi Calleja’s surprise return ruined by 2 late goals that saw Espanyol grab a point at the Ceramica.
Match Day 22 in Numbers
- Huesca only created 1 Expected Goal against Valladolid, which was actually lower than their season average of 1.12 but they still managed 4 goals in a rare showing of clinical finishing.
- Girona have gone 12 games without a win in all competitions, more than any other team in the Primera Division.
- It’s just 1 win in 16 league games for Villarreal, the worst record in the division over that period.
- 4th placed Sevilla have gone 8 away matches without a win in La Liga, since victory at Eibar in September.
- Valladolid now have the worst goalscoring record in the division (0.86 goals per game).
There’s the small matter of El Clasico in midweek before the Madrid derby next weekend. Both games feature in our countdown of Spanish football rivalries. We are certainly heading into a key phase in the season at both ends of La Liga and the next Primera Division game sees fellow strugglers Valladolid and Villarreal meet on Friday night.
Keep tabs on our La Liga previews and predictions for more analysis ahead of the next round of fixtures.