It was a cracking weekend of action in La Liga with several high-scoring games, two hat-tricks and an array of brilliant goals. It ended with Barcelona and Real Madrid still tied at the top as the Clasico draws ever closer. Here was the best of the action from La Liga matchday 16:
La Liga Matchday 16 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 6th December 2019
Villarreal 0-0 Atletico Madrid (xG 1.41-1.72)
Saturday 7th December 2019
Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol (xG 2.55-0.29)
Granada 3-0 Alaves (xG 2.63-0.37)
Levante 2-4 Valencia (xG 2.13-2.96)
Barcelona 5-2 Mallorca (xG 4.28-1.02)
Sunday 8th December 2019
Eibar 0-1 Getafe (xG 0.27-0.91)
Real Betis 3-2 Athletic Club (xG 1.98-0.99)
Real Valladolid 0-0 Real Sociedad (xG 0.51-1.87)
Leganes 3-2 Celta Vigo (xG 0.97-0.48)
Osasuna 1-1 Sevilla (xG 0.66-1.47)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.
Joaquín’s 19 Minute Hat-Trick
Joaquin on instagram story???? pic.twitter.com/j1GTk65e1I
— Aryan Ringshia (@aryanringshia) December 10, 2019
There was an extraordinary start to the game at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday with Real Betis racing into a 3-0 lead as 38 year old Joaquín netted a hat-trick in the space of just 19 minutes. It was a remarkable feat, not least because Joaquín is not particularly known as a prolific goalscorer having never previously netted three times in a game during a career which now spans two decades. Betis should have been home and dry at that point but they had to survive a late rally from the Basques to hold on for a 3-2 win, a third straight victory for Rubi’s side.
Messi also scores 3 but Suarez steals the Show
Can someone explain the physics behind Luis Suarez’s backheel chip against Mallorca? ?
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) December 8, 2019
Another weekend and another hat-trick Leo Messi. Not only is he now La Liga’s top scorer again despite having missed a host of games through injury but he scored two sublime long-range goals against the new boys. However even that wasn’t enough to grab the headlines with Luis Suarez scoring with a ridiculous back-heeled finish as Barcelona maintained their 100% home record with a 5-2 victory.
Óscar Screamers help Leganes to Vital Win
What a game! Leganés win 3-2, but Celta Vigo almost pulled off a comeback!
Óscar Rodríguez scored a brace, including a sweet free kick, before Rodrigues smashed in the 3rd?
— La Liga Lowdown ???⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) December 8, 2019
There were two fine long-range strikes from Óscar Rodríguez too in a massive game at the bottom of La Liga. Leganes picked up just their second win of the season with the Real Madrid loanee their main source of inspiration but like Betis they too had to survive a late rally which featured another classy strike from Iago Aspas. It was a first win for coach Javier Aguirre who has enjoyed a good week after a long-running court case centred around accusations of match-fixing from his time at Zaragoza in 2011 ended with ‘not guilty’ verdicts.
Derby Joy for Valencia
Night out watching my adopted Valencia in the derby away at Levante ( half mile up the road) pic.twitter.com/RJDosa0YRB
— John Ryan (@chipperspin) December 7, 2019
Levante were another team to race into an early lead this weekend with Roger netting twice to put them 2-0 up in the derby with Valencia. However the forward would then score at the wrong end which helped spark a stirring Valencia comeback as Los Che fought back to seal a 4-2 victory to end a 6 game winless streak in derby clashes at Levante.
Matchday 16 in Numbers
- Joaquín scored his 1st career hat-trick at the age of 38 with his 3 goals coming inside 20 minutes.
- After Saturday’s win over Mallorca, Barcelona have now won 5-2 on 3 occasions this season in La Liga at Camp Nou. Only 1 of the 380 Spanish top flight matches last season ended 5-2 (Sevilla vs Real Sociedad).
- Despite having only made 9 starts, Leo Messi is now La Liga’s top scorer with 12 goals.
- Only Rodrigo Moreno (6) has more assists than Messi (5) after the Valencia man set up 2 goals in the derby win over Levante.
- According to Expected Goals data (via Understat), no side has been more wasteful this season in La Liga than Atletico Madrid (xG: 26.91, Actual Goals: 16). The most clinical team has been Barcelona (xG: 28.06, Actual Goals: 41).
There is a full round-up of European fixtures this week with Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Getafe all faced with decisive final group games as they bid to make the knockout stages of their respective competitions. La Liga returns on Friday night as Alaves host Leganes. There are some cracking games over the weekend too with Real Sociedad entertaining Barcelona, Real Madrid travelling to Valencia and Sevilla hosting Villarreal. We’ll have match previews for all the games here.