Match Day 28 saw Messi inspire another Barcelona win as Atleti slipped up in Bilbao. We’ve had an international break since then but La Liga returned with a bang this weekend with some real drama in the race for 4th place and the battle to avoid relegation.
La Liga Match Day 29 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 29th March 2019
Girona 1-2 Athletic Bilbao (xG 0.24-1.06)
Saturday 30th March 2019
Getafe 0-2 Leganes (xG 0.79-1.28)
Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol (xG 1.36-0.28)
Celta Vigo 3-2 Villarreal (xG 1.89-2.58)
Alaves 0-4 Atletico Madrid (xG 0.86-1.92)
Sunday 31st March 2019
Levante 2-2 Eibar (xG 1.15-3.00)
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Betis (xG 2.31-0.49)
Sevilla 0-1 Valencia (xG 0.75-0.92)
Real Valladolid 1-1 Real Sociedad (xG 1.99-0.74)
Real Madrid 3-2 Huesca (xG 4.63-1.37)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official La Liga channel and may contain ads. xG via UnderStat.
Aspas reduced to tears as Celta stage vital comeback
— AS English (@English_AS) April 1, 2019
One of the most remarkable and most important games of the season took place at Balaidos on Saturday. Celta Vigo and Villarreal, the season’s two surprise strugglers clashed in a meeting between 18th and 17th. The in-form visitors stormed into a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes and at Half-Time looked to be on course to move 7 points clear of trouble and leave Celta Vigo staring deep into the misery of a likely relegation to the Segunda Division.
However in a 2nd Half that was bordering on miraculous, Celta Vigo found a level of football they’ve not produced all year as the returning Iago Aspas inspired a stunning comeback. His 86th minute penalty completed a brace for the Galician native and sealed a 3-2 victory for Celta as Aspas left the pitch in floods of tears at the emotion of what he had just done. It feels as though Celta’s entire survival hopes have centred around Aspas returning back to fitness and with huge pressure on his shoulders, he certainly delivered.
The Perfect Weekend for Valencia
— Sureoddsbet (@Sureoddsbet1) March 31, 2019
The other big remaining battle in La Liga, is at the other end, where there is an almighty scrap on for 4th place. Things really tightened up on a weekend which couldn’t have gone any better for Valencia. They won 1-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in the clash between the two sides who you’d expect to be fighting for 4th. Dani Parejo’s penalty was enough to decide the game in favour of Marcelino’s side. To cap the perfect weekend for Los Che, 4th placed Getafe were surprisingly beaten in the South Madrid derby while 5th placed Alaves were hammered 4-0 at home by a resurgent Atletico Madrid.
Zidane’s Puzzling Team Selection
2012: Ball-boy Brahim Diaz watches Isco celebrate his goal at Malaga.
2019: Brahim Diaz assists Isco’s goal at the Bernabéu. pic.twitter.com/8mCkobVJQY
— Ryan. (@Rygista) March 31, 2019
If anyone doubted who holds the power at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane provided a timely reminder on Sunday with a curious team selection that suggests he is going to experiment until his heart’s content over the remainder of the season. He handed just a second league start to his son Luca in goal, a fortnight after having given Keylor Navas a recall in his first game back. Brahim Diaz also made his first ever start in a competitive league match, either in England or Spain, and made an impression by setting up Isco for Real Madrid’s first goal in a 3-2 win.
Perhaps just as surprisingly, Gareth Bale and Marcelo started again despite the poor form of both and Bale didn’t help his relationship with the Bernabeu crowd by missing a glaring opportunity from close range. Overall it was a sloppy display from Los Blancos who at one stage looked as though they could lose the game against the division’s bottom club only for Karim Benzema to spare their blushes with a lovely late goal.
Match Day 29 in Numbers
- Rayo ended a 7 game losing streak by drawing their first match back under Paco Jemez 1-1 against Betis.
- Leganes won their 1st ever South Madrid derby in the top flight, winning 2-0 at Getafe.
- Celta Vigo ended a run of just 4 points from 12 games by winning the 1st game they’ve started with Iago Aspas in 2019.
- Leo Messi’s brace means he has now scored 13 more goals than any other player in La Liga this term. Only 5 other players have scored 13 in total.
- Atletico Madrid claimed their biggest away win of the season by beating Alaves 4-0. Not since 2017 have they won by 4 or more on the road in La Liga.
La Liga isn’t away for long. There is a full round of midweek fixtures starting with Atletico Madrid’s clash with Girona on Tuesday night. There are some really tasty clashes including Barcelona’s trip to Villarreal, Real Madrid’s game at the Mestalla not to mention another huge game at the bottom for Celta Vigo as they visit Huesca.
Check out our Spanish football news feed for the latest goings on in La Liga.