Match Day 27 saw the battle for 4th heat up but did little to add to the interest in the title race. Events this weekend have largely confirmed that Barcelona are going to win La Liga despite a winning return for Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0 at the Bernabeu. Elsewhere Getafe still look on course for Champions League football after a solid point at the Mestalla. Here was the best of the action on match-day 28 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:
La Liga Match Day 28 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 15th March 2019
Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante (xG 1.93-1.13)
Saturday 16th March 2019
Huesca 1-3 Alaves (xG 1.4-1.67)
Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo (xG 1.49-0.28)
Athletic Club 2-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.14-0.56)
Leganes 0-2 Girona (xG 0.84-1.23)
Sunday 17th March 2019
Eibar 1-2 Real Valladolid (xG 1.27-1.64)
Espanyol 0-1 Sevilla (xG 0.81-1.67)
Villarreal 3-1 Rayo Vallecano (xG 2.1-0.33)
Valencia 0-0 Getafe (xG 0.72-0.25)
Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona (xG 0.79-2.29)
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Betis fans serenade Messi after another magical hat-trick
Lionel Messi is ridiculous.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 17, 2019
Betis’ clash with Barcelona on Sunday was full of great goals but almost inevitably it was Leo Messi who ended up making the headlines. A sublime chip of Betis keeper Pau Lopez, who wasn’t even off his line, resulted in one of the moments of the season as Betis fans rose to salute the best player in La Liga. It was another impressive win for the Catalans as they passed another of their biggest remaining tests with flying colours.
Atleti’s problems deepen in Bilbao
— Sports World Ghana (@sportsworldgh) March 17, 2019
Barcelona’s weekend was made all the better by Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 defeat in Bilbao. The defeat ensured Barca head into the international break with a 10 point advantage at the top of La Liga and the title race is now surely over. For Atleti, these are now slightly worrying times on the back of a humbling night in Turin. Antoine Griezmann seems to be increasingly unsettled again and may rethink his ‘decision’ not to join Barcelona this summer. There has also been criticism thrown in the direction of Diego Simeone while young starlets Saul and Lucas Hernandez have also been strongly linked with summer exits.
Rayo sack Michel after 7th straight loss
Back to the future! Rayo Vallecano have reappointed Paco Jémez following last night’s sacking of Michel. Words can’t express how happy this makes me. ? pic.twitter.com/d2m7gBG3ii
— Joseph Sexton (@josephsbcn) March 19, 2019
Atletico Madrid’s problems don’t compare to those of neighbours Rayo Vallecano. The Madrid club sacked coach Michel on Monday after the 3-1 defeat to Villarreal. They have since reappointed Paco Jemez, continuing the trend of coaches returning to old jobs in La Liga this season. Jemez though may need to work a miracle to keep Rayo up. They are currently 6 points from safety with only 10 to play. Things are starting to look a bit rosier for Villarreal however after they recorded back-to-back league wins.
Match Day 28 in Numbers
- 11 coaches have now been sacked in La Liga this season, the same number as had left their positions at this stage last season.
- Rayo lost their 7th straight match in La Liga, having taken 13 points from 5 games immediately prior to that run.
- Barcelona have only dropped 4 points in their last 15 league games.
- They can afford to drop at least 9 over the next 10 games and still win the title.
- Only Barcelona and Real Madrid have won more away games this season than Girona (6) after they won 2-0 at Leganes.
The international break follows with Spain in action against Norway and Malta as they bid to make progress in their bid to reach Euro 2020. La Liga is back in a fortnight with the Barcelona derby perhaps the standout fixture although there’s another huge game at the bottom as Celta host Villarreal. Sevilla’s clash with Valencia is also a big one in the race for 4th.
Check out our Spanish football news feed for the latest goings on in La Liga.