La Liga Match Day 37 Review – Girona on brink of relegation, Valencia go 4th

La Liga Match Day 37 review

Match Day 36 saw Rayo and Huesca have their relegations confirmed but it was still all to play for regarding the final relegation position heading into this Sunday’s ten simultaneous games in La Liga. It would prove a decisive day at the bottom with Girona’s clash with Levante clarifying the picture considerably. At the other end, Atletico Madrid sealed 2nd place while the results involving the sides battling for 4th sets up an intriguing final day showdown.

Here was the best of the action on match-day 37 in the 2018/19 Spanish Primera Division:


La Liga Match Day 37 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Sunday 12th May 2019

Valencia 3-1 Alaves (xG 1.68-0.72)

Villarreal 1-0 Eibar (xG 1.36-0.24)

Leganes 0-2 Espanyol (xG 0.56-2.84)

Real Sociedad 3-1 Real Madrid (xG 2.54-0.9)

Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Real Valladolid (xG 1.87-1.48)

Girona 1-2 Levante (xG 1.42-0.56)

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Sevilla (xG 1.43-0.66)

Barcelona 2-0 Getafe (xG 2.53-1.24)

Real Betis 2-1 Huesca (xG 2.01-1.52)

Athletic Club 3-1 Celta Vigo (xG 2.05-0.92)

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

xG data via Understat


Girona on the brink of Relegation

It was always going to be a key weekend in the battle for survival but a relegation scrap that seemed destined to go to the wire now looks as good as resolved after Girona were beaten at home by Levante on Sunday. A dramatic 2nd Half produced a number of twists and turns. Girona took the lead through Cristhian Stuani and at that point looked to be heading out of the relegation zone.

However Levante struck back almost instantly with a thumping header from Jose Luis Morales. Stuani spurned another good chance for the hosts before Enis Bardhi landed the killer blow in the 86th minute to condemn Girona to the brink of relegation. They will need to win their game at Alaves on the final day, hope Celta lose at home to Rayo and also force a 7 goal swing in terms of goal difference. It’s very hard to see all those things happening.

Villarreal, Valladolid & Levante Secure Safety

Girona’s misfortune was good news for Villarreal, Real Valladolid and Levante who all secured their survival on Sunday. Levante celebrated wildly at the end of their victory over Girona in the big relegation six pointer of the day. There were similar scenes in Vallecas where Valladolid won their game thanks to a late thunderbolt from Sergi Guardiola to ensure we wouldn’t end the season with all three promoted teams going down. Villarreal also survived what would have been a surprise drop with Karl Toko Ekambi’s goal enough to see off Eibar at the Ceramica.

Three-Way battle for 4th goes to the Final Day

There will at least be a grandstand finale in the battle for 4th and Champions League football next term. Valencia are now in pole position after they came from behind to beat Alaves on Sunday. They are now level on points with Getafe but with a superior head-to-head record after Jose Bordalas’ side succumbed to defeat at Camp Nou. Sevilla are also still in the hunt after Pablo Sarabia’s leveller at the Wanda Metropolitano. They will need a couple of big favours elsewhere though on the final day and they won’t get any help in their game from an Athletic side that is hoping to leapfrog Sevilla and clinch 6th place which will be good enough for direct entry into the Europa League qualifiers as opposed to an early start in the qualifying rounds.


Match Day 37 in Numbers

  • Diego Godin made his 276th Atleti appearance in La Liga on Sunday in his final home game for the club he has served so brilliantly over the past 9 seasons.
  • Real Madrid suffered their 11th league defeat of the season. It’s 20 years since they lost this many games in La Liga (12 defeats in 1998-98).
  • Girona suffered their 8th defeat in 9 matches. They only lost 10 of their opening 28 games this season.
  • Their 2-1 loss to Levante was their 10th home loss of the season, 2 more than any other team.
  • Joaquin’s brace for Betis took him onto 6 league goals for the season, his best tally in La Liga since his very first senior season for Betis way back in 2003/04.

Read more – Is this a Real Madrid season review?


Up Next…

The final weekend kick-off times have now been announced and unlike Sunday, we won’t see all ten games kick off at the same time. The main action takes place on Saturday afternoon with Getafe, Sevilla and Valencia all in action at 16:15. Girona and Celta Vigo are both in action at 20:45 with the Catalans hoping to mount a miraculous escape. The league season ends on Sunday with Real Madrid hosting Betis and Barcelona travelling to Eibar although there’s nothing really at stake in those games.

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