Match Day 23 ended with renewed hopes of a genuine title race after Real won the Madrid derby and Barcelona dropped points again. However it has taken just one week for Los Blancos to screw things up as Santi Solari’s men suffered a shock defeat at home to Girona this weekend to slip back to 3rd, 9 points off top spot in La Liga with almost certainly an inferior head-t0-head record against Barcelona which effectively leaves them four games back.
Here was the best of the action on match-day 24 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:
La Liga Match Day 24 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 15th February 2019
Eibar 2-2 Getafe (xG 1.74-0.89)
Saturday 16th February
Celta Vigo 1-4 Levante (xG 1.81-2.37)
Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.15-0.37)
Real Sociedad 3-0 Leganes (xG 1.38-1.02)
Barcelona 1-0 Real Valladolid (xG 4.00-0.22)
Sunday 17th February
Real Madrid 1-2 Girona (xG 2.47-2.69)
Valencia 0-0 Espanyol (xG 2.27-0.58)
Villarreal 3-0 Sevilla (xG 1.12-2.43)
Real Betis 1-1 Alaves (xG 2.62-1.26)
Monday 18th February 2019
Huesca 0-1 Athletic Bilbao (xG 0.96-1.15)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official La Liga channel and may contain ads.
Girona stun Real Madrid at the Bernabeu
Real Madrid had never lost at home to Girona…
Until today ???
Real Madrid 1 ? Girona 2 pic.twitter.com/pZ6MAZM77s
— SportsKing (@alimo_philip) February 17, 2019
Just when it seemed like we would have a title race again, we are back to square one after Real Madrid suffered the most surprising of defeats against what was a badly out of form Girona. The Catalans put in an inspired Second Half display in the Spanish capital on Sunday though as Cristhian Stuani and Portu netted to seal a famous 2-1 win. It was another nightmare performance from Marcelo as Santi Solari shuffled his pack and Real’s bad day was compounded when Sergio Ramos was sent off late on.
Villarreal finally have a Result to Build from
? Villarreal make the most of a poor Sevilla (3-0).
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) February 17, 2019
Villarreal picked up a simply massive win on Sunday as they beat Sevilla 3-0 to give themselves something of a platform from which to build in their relegation fight. Having won in the Europa League a few days earlier too, there will be a sense of belief at last in the Yellow Submarine camp. They remain in the drop-zone but Javi Calleja’s men now have a few sides in their sight. Sevilla meanwhile appear to be regressing rather than progressing under Pablo Machin right now and they are only a point clear of Alaves and Getafe in the race for Champions League football. They could well slip out of the top four next weekend with Barcelona the visitors to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Big Problems for Celta
Bad news for Celta Vigo…
? Iago Aspas had suffered an injury setback and has reinjured his calf.
— La Liga Lowdown ???⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) February 17, 2019
No team in La Liga had a worse weekend than Celta Vigo. The Galicians were thumped 4-1 at home by Levante in a match they would have been really targeting three points from as they looked to pull clear of trouble. To top things off, key man Iago Aspas has suffered an injury relapse and now looks set to miss several more games leaving Celta without their forward for the next few weeks. They’ve looked short of direction without him. The Celta board has suggested they will keep faith with Miguel Cardoso for now but his position is certainly under severe strain after this latest setback.
Match Day 24 in Numbers
- Only Valladolid at Camp Nou, created fewer Expected Goals than Atletico Madrid (0.37) managed in their win at Rayo this weekend.
- Celta have collected just 10 points in 12 games under Miguel Cardoso. Antonio Mohamed was sacked with 14 from 12 games earlier in the season.
- Girona’s 2-1 victory at the Bernabeu was their first win in 14 attempts in all competitions.
- Real Madrid have suffered 13 defeats in La Liga since the start of last season, compared to Barcelona’s 3 (a 30 point difference).
- Sergio Ramos received his 20th La Liga red card this weekend. He was already the record holder.
It’s a European week with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both in Champions League action while all four Spanish sides look well placed to reach the Europa League last 16. La Liga is back next weekend with Barcelona facing a tough trip to Sevilla while Atletico Madrid take on their bogey team of recent years Villarreal.
Check out our new feature on the best games in La Liga in the 2000’s for a bit of a flashback to some epic tussles from yesteryear.