La Liga Match Day 36 Review – Rayo & Huesca Relegated, Sevilla implode

Seville football guide

Match Day 35 ended with Barcelona winning the title by beating Levante. That meant the final three weeks of the season will see focus really shift to the battle for 4th and the race to avoid the drop to the Segunda Division. The latest round of fixtures produced some significant results at both ends of the league.

Here was the best of the action on match-day 35 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:


La Liga Match Day 36 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 3rd May 2019

Sevilla 0-3 Leganes (xG 0.3-1.29)

Saturday 4th May 2019

Levante 4-1 Rayo Vallecano (xG 3.23-1.82)

Espanyol 3-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.72-0.85)

Alaves 0-1 Real Sociedad (xG 0.68-0.75)

Celta Vigo 2-0 Barcelona (xG 1.96-0.34)

Sunday 5th May 2019

Getafe 2-0 Girona (xG 2.46-0.60)

Eibar 1-0 Real Betis (xG 0.67-2.38)

Real Madrid 3-2 Villarreal (xG 3.14-0.64)

Real Valladolid 1-0 Athletic Bilbao (xG 1.16-1.34)

Huesca 2-6 Valencia (xG 2.42-2.61)

Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.

xG data via Understat


Huesca & Rayo down after Heavy Defeats

Neither Huesca nor Rayo Vallecano have disgraced themselves this season by any means but they did both bow out of La Liga with heavy defeats this weekend.

Rayo were first to go. They went into their trip to Valencia to play Levante with renewed hopes after a shock win over Real Madrid last time out. However almost from the very first whistle, they found themselves on the back-foot against the Valencia outfit who once again put in a dominant home performance just when they needed it. Having hammered Betis 4-0 at the end of last month, they cruised to a 4-1 win over Rayo with Jose Campaña impressing with a goal and two fine corner deliveries that led to headed goals.

Celta’s victory over a much weakened Barcelona later in the evening confirmed Rayo’s relegation. Huesca still had a mathematical chance heading into their game with Valencia on Sunday. However any hopes soon evaporated as Los Che went goal crazy, racing into a remarkable 6-0 lead inside 51 minutes. Huesca grabbed two consolation goals but it was a miserable way to officially end their status as a top flight club in a season where they have competed admirably in almost every match.

Valladolid leapfrog Girona

Two of the three sides that came up last season may be down but the other gave themselves a huge boost by beating Athletic Club 1-0 on Sunday. The result ensured they climbed out of the relegation zone and above Girona who were beaten earlier in the day. Valladolid’s win means there are now just 3 points separating 14th and 18th heading into the final two weeks of what is set to be a titanic struggle to avoid that final relegation place.

Read more – All the key moments in Barcelona’s title win here.

Sevilla stunned by Leganes – Advantage Getafe in Race for 4th

We’re at that stage in the season where history suggests teams with nothing to play for invariably surrender and are brushed aside by teams who do. Leganes though obviously haven’t read that particular script. They stunned Sevilla with a thumping 3-0 win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Friday in what was one of the shock results of the season. With Getafe and Valencia both winning, Sevilla slipped to 6th, 3 points behind Geta in 4th and with the inferior head-to-head record against both of their rivals. It’s now looking increasingly unlikely that Sevilla will be in the Champions League next season or that Joaquín Caparrós will be in charge.


Match Day 36 in Numbers

  • Leganes are now guaranteed to finish at least 16th, their highest ever final position in La Liga.
  • Barcelona suffered just their 4th league defeat in 2 seasons under Ernesto Valverde. 2 of those losses have come after the title had been wrapped up.
  • Betis suffered their 4th straight away defeat, going down 1-0 at Eibar. They’ve taken just 1 point from 5 league games, the worst record in the division.
  • Real Madrid have won 5 out of 5 at home since the return of Zinedine Zidane. They lost all of their final 4 home games under Santi Solari.
  • Borja Iglesias moved onto 15 league goals this season with a brace as Espanyol defeated Atletico Madrid, the same number as Antoine Griezmann.

Up Next…

The penultimate weekend sees a shift to simultaneous action with a provisional kick-off time of 18:30 on Sunday. There are so many permutations and matters that could be settled next Sunday, that there’s an awful amount to keep an eye on. Getafe will qualify for the Champions League with a game to spare if they can better Valencia’s result and match Sevilla’s. At the other end, Girona could be relegated but if they can get a result in their crunch home clash with Levante, the relegation battle will go to the final day with a host of teams potentially involved.

Our La Liga match predictions will be added here.


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Article via Mark Sochon – Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk