Match Day 24 saw Girona win at the Bernabeu, a result that took some of the sting out of the title race again with Atletico Madrid returning to 2nd place and Barcelona maintaining a comfortable lead. Trips to Sevilla and Real Madrid followed though for the Catalan giants and ultimately they passed the first of those tests this weekend by winning at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Here was the best of the action on match-day 25 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:
La Liga Match Day 25 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 22nd February 2019
Espanyol 1-1 Huesca (xG 0.98-0.9)
Saturday 23rd February 2019
Getafe 2-1 Rayo Vallecano (xG 0.96-0.42)
Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona (xG 1.52-1.31)
Alaves 0-0 Celta Vigo (xG 1.44-0.72)
Athletic Club 1-0 Eibar (xG 1.44-0.49)
Sunday 24th February 2019
Leganes 1-1 Valencia (xG 1.29-0.62)
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Villarreal (xG 1.22-1.38)
Real Valladolid 0-2 Real Betis (xG 1.26-0.99)
Levante 1-2 Real Madrid (xG 1.37-2.66)
Monday 25th February 2019
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official La Liga channel and may contain ads.
Messi scores 50th hat-trick in Barça Win
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) February 23, 2019
Just when you think you’ve run out of superlatives for Leo Messi, he pushes the bar higher. His latest feat was to fire his 50th and quite possibly best career hat-trick as Barcelona came from 2-1 down to win away to Sevilla this weekend. A series of sublime finishes saw off the Andalusians. Having picked up an injury, Messi hadn’t been quite at his best this month but returned to form with a bang on Saturday as Barça tightened their grip on the title race.
Even if they lose to Real Madrid next weekend, they will still have a six point lead on Los Blancos with almost certainly a superior head-to-head record. Atletico Madrid of course could also have a say but on this evidence, it’s very hard to see anyone stopping a Messi-inpsired Barcelona.
Getafe move into Champions League places
⚽️ Getafe CF v Rayo Vallecano 2:1
?La Liga ??
?El Coliseum Alfonso Pérez
EuroGeta? Looks like it could well be. And if Leicester City can win the Premier League, then why can’t Geta’ hit the UEFACL? ?#GetafeRayo #LaLiga pic.twitter.com/g8po7FnJkA
— Football Pirate (@LesterEDrake) February 24, 2019
Sevilla’s defeat ensured that they slipped out of the top four for virtually the first time this season. They were replaced by Getafe, who are emerging as genuine Champions League contenders. Jose Bordalas’ side won a Madrid derby against Rayo Vallecano. They are now 2 points clear of Sevilla and Alaves in the race for that much coveted 4th place. The goalscorers were Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina as both players moved onto 10 goals for the season in La Liga with Getafe now adding serious firepower to their solid defensive foundations.
Morata opens Atletico account
That feeling when … you score your first goal for a new club.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 24, 2019
After two false alarms in the shape of goals disallowed by VAR, Atletico Madrid new boy Alavaro Morata finally opened his account for Los Rojiblancos. He scored the first goal as Atleti beat Villarreal 2-0 to build on a brilliant Champions League team display against Juventus. The win moved Atleti on to 50 points for the season but they remain seven points off Barcelona. Villarreal meanwhile suffered their first defeat since the return of Javi Calleja and are in 18th place, two points shy of safety.
Match Day 25 in Numbers
- Leo Messi’s hat-trick was the 50th of his career.
- He has now scored 25 goals in La Liga this season, 9 more than 2nd top scorer Luis Suarez. Messi also has the most assists in the division (12).
- Of Atletico Madrid’s last 19 home wins in La Liga, 18 were to nil.
- Valencia drew for the 15th time in La Liga this term. They have drawn 60% of their matches this season in the Spanish top flight.
- Getafe have won 8 of their last 9 home games in all competitions.
- Apart from Barcelona (Messi & Suarez), they are the only team with 2 players (Mata & Molina) to have scored 10+ league goals this season.
It’s a huge week in the Copa del Rey as Barcelona travel to the Bernabeu while Real Betis are at the Mestalla on Thursday. Both ties are level from the 1st Leg. Then there is another clasico this coming Saturday as Real Madrid seek to make the league title race a bit more interesting.
Check out our Spanish football news feed for the latest goings on in La Liga.