La Liga Match Day 26 Review – Barça win another Clasico, Celta sack Cardoso

Real Madrid vs Manchester City Match Preview & Prediction

Match Day 25 saw Barcelona come back to win at Sevilla while Getafe moved into 4th. The race for the Champions League took another big swing away from the Andalusians this weekend with Valencia cementing their challenge while Alaves and Getafe both won again. However inevitably the clasico took up much of the focus as Barcelona completed their 2nd win in the space of 4 days at the Bernabeu having won the Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg last week.

Here was the best of the action on match-day 26 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:

La Liga Match Day 26 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 1st March 2019

Rayo Vallecano 0-2 Girona (xG 0.56-1.12)

Saturday 2nd March 2019

Espanyol 3-1 Real Valladolid (xG 2.71-1.77)

Villarreal 1-2 Alaves (xG 0.99-1.09)

Huesca 2-1 Sevilla (xG 1.34-3.17)

Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona (xG 1.18-0.91)

Sunday 3rd March 2019

Eibar 1-0 Celta Vigo (xG 2.36-0.69)

Real Betis 1-2 Getafe (xG 0.87-2.27)

Real Sociedad 0-2 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.18-1.0)

Valencia 2-0 Athletic Bilbao (xG 1.31-0.27)

Monday 4th March 2019

Leganes 1-0 Levante (xG 1.29-1.04)

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Barcelona win at the Bernabeu (again)

Barcelona become the first side ever to win on 4 straight league visits to the Bernabeu with their 1-0 victory over Los Blancos on Saturday. Ivan Rakitic’s goal proved decisive and effectively knocked Real Madrid out of the title race, just 3 days after they’d been knocked out of the Copa del Rey by the same opposition. What may hurt Real fans most is that winning at the Bernabeu almost feels like a routine now for Barcelona, whose celebrations suggested their victory was no great surprise. They did a better job of keeping Vinicius quiet this time around and Los Blancos seldom threatened to get back into the game once they’d fallen behind.

It essentially means Atletico Madrid are now the only side who can stop Barcelona from winning another league title and the odds are firmly stacked against them after Barca emerged from a testing week unscathed.

Celta sack Cardoso after Eibar defeat

Celta Vigo are another side in crisis right now after the Galicians were on the end of a deserved 1-0 defeat at Eibar. The Basques missed a penalty through Charles before finally breaking through thanks to Sergi Enrich with only 3 minutes left. Celta responded by sacking coach Miguel Cardoso and appointing former Villarreal boss Fran Escriba. He now has 12 games to try and keep Celta in the top flight but initially at least he will be without the injured Iago Aspas, key to their hopes of survival.

Huesca strike late to sink Sevilla

The battle at the bottom grows ever more intriguing and Huesca now have to be viewed as a team with a genuine chance of beating the drop. They rode their luck at times this weekend against Sevilla but ultimately claimed a dramatic 2-1 win with a 98th minute goal from Chimy Ávila. The result only adds to the woes of Pablo Machin with the Sevilla boss starting to feel the heat after his side slipped down to 6th, 5 points off the Champions League places.

Match Day 26 in Numbers

  • Real Madrid created more Expected Goals than Barcelona in both Clasicos last week (2.18-0.92 in the cup & 1.18-0.91 in the league) but lost both games to nil with an aggregate score of 0-4.
  • Barcelona now lead the overall Clasico H2H with 96 wins to Real Madrid’s 95.
  • Celta Vigo took just 11 points from 14 games under Miguel Cardoso, losing 8 of their final 10 under the Portuguese boss.
  • Huesca have doubled their season points tally with 11 points from their last 6 games (11 from 20 prior to that).
  • Rayo have now suffered 5 straight defeats having taken 13 points from the 5 games prior to that.

Up Next…

Next weekend in La Liga features several regional derbies. Atletico host Leganes in Madrid, Basque rivals Alaves and Eibar face off in Vitoria while there’s a crunch bottom half clash in the Valencian community as Villarreal head to Levante. Keep an eye on our match predictions ahead of the weekend action in Spain.

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About Mark Sochon 2072 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)