Atletico Madrid took on Barcelona in arguably the biggest game of the season so far in La Liga on Sunday with a decisive outcome as Leo Messi shone again. There were plenty of significant results at the other end too with Real Betis claiming a key win while Espanyol’s season sank to new depths. Here was the best of the action from La Liga matchday 15:
La Liga Matchday 15 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 29th November 2019
Celta Vigo 0-0 Real Valladolid (xG 1.43-0.26)
Saturday 30th November 2019
Alaves 1-2 Real Madrid (xG 1.11-2.09)
Real Sociedad 4-1 Eibar (xG 1.39-0.61)
Mallorca 1-2 Real Betis (xG 2.37-2.28)
Valencia 2-1 Villarreal (xG 1.59-1.94)
Sunday 1st December 2019
Sevilla 1-0 Leganes (xG 2.44-1.05)
Athletic Club 2-0 Granada (xG 1.82-0.23)
Espanyol 2-4 Osasuna (xG 1.56-3.04)
Getafe 4-0 Levante (xG 2.06-0.48)
Atletico Madrid 0-1 Barcelona (xG 1.16-1.19)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.
Messi strikes late to see off Atleti
⚽️ Scores his 30th goal of his career against @Atleti.
? Messi magic again. pic.twitter.com/k4P6CkKfeZ
— SPORF (@Sporf) December 1, 2019
In a more open game than last season’s 1-1 draw between the sides in the Spanish capital, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona traded blows for over 80 minutes with both sides spurning chances to break the deadlock. The ending should have come as no surprise by now. With the game seemingly heading for a third straight draw between the clubs at the Wanda Metropolitano, Leo Messi combined with Luis Suarez with just four minutes to go and the Argentine produced a trademark first time finish from the edge of the box to seal all three points for the Catalans.
The victory ensures Barcelona remain top of the pile and they are now in pole position to stay there heading into the Clasico later this month. For Atleti, these are slightly worrying times now with a title challenge increasingly looking like an impossible task this season. Diego Simeone’s side are down in 6th and may face a battle just to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Real Madrid claim an important Away Win
—52’: Sergio Ramos scores to put Real Madrid 1-0 up against Alaves
—63’: Sergio Ramos concedes a penalty from which Alaves equalise
Just Ramos things ?♂️ pic.twitter.com/ofNRt9RxO9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 30, 2019
Real Madrid meanwhile had already put three points on the board by the time their biggest rivals clashed in Madrid. It wasn’t an entirely convincing display but getting the win was always going to be the most important thing in a tough away game against an Alaves side that had lost just once all season at home. Sergio Ramos was heavily involved as he gave Real Madrid the lead early in the Second Half, only to give away a penalty just 11 minutes later as Alaves levelled the scoreline. There was another twist in the tale though as Dani Carvajal struck moments later to seal a valuable three points for Los Blancos.
Big Trouble for Machin’s Espanyol
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 1, 2019
These are now deeply concerning times for anyone connected with Espanyol. With only one home league game to play in 2019, they still have just one home point to their name this season after a damaging home defeat against Osasuna. The appointment of Pablo Machin has failed to put them on the right path and the former Girona and Sevilla boss himself may start to come under some pressure if results don’t turn around soon. They are now 5 points from safety and have to face Barcelona and Real Madrid within their next 4 games.
Matchday 15 in Numbers
- Leo Messi scored his 30th career goal against Atletico Madrid to seal Barcelona’s 1-0 win.
- Diego Simeone has not won any of his 16 league games against Barça as Atleti boss.
- Espanyol have now taken just 1 point from 8 home league matches this season.
- Barcelona’s return of 21 points from their last 8 games is 4 more than any other team (Real Madrid, Getafe and Sevilla all have 17).
- Only 2 teams (Leganes and Espanyol) have taken fewer points over that period than Villarreal (7).
There is no midweek action with the next games for all 20 sides in La Liga coming next weekend. There’s a big game on Friday night as Villarreal play host to Atletico Madrid at the Ceramica. Saturday’s action includes Valencia’s trip to city rivals Levante while Barcelona entertain Mallorca and Real Madrid host Espanyol. We’ll have match previews for all the games here.