2019/20 La Liga Matchday 17 Review – Dramatic Draws for Barça & Real ahead of Clásico

Real Sociedad stadium
Real Sociedad host Barcelona in the biggest game this weekend.

It was another entertaining weekend in La Liga. Despite many matches ending in draws, there was no shortage of drama with all of the current top three dropping points and only one team in the bottom half suffering defeat. Here was the best of the action from La Liga matchday 17:

La Liga Matchday 17 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights

Friday 13th December 2019

Alaves 1-1 Leganes (xG 1.56-0.92)

Saturday 14th December 2019

Granada 1-2 Levante (xG 1.21-0.92)

Barcelona 2-2 Real Sociedad (xG 2.88-1.18)

Athletic Club 0-0 Eibar (xG 0.36-0.28)

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Osasuna (xG 2.56-0.53)

Sunday 15th December 2019

Getafe 2-0 Real Valladolid (xG 1.88-0.44)

Celta Vigo 2-2 Mallorca (xG 2.19-1.52)

Espanyol 2-2 Real Betis (xG 1.59-0.50)

Sevilla 1-2 Villarreal (xG 1.74-1.63)

Valencia 1-1 Real Madrid (xG 2.29-1.97)

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

xG data via Understat

Barcelona held at Anoeta

Barcelona fans may reflect on another poor away showing from their side but Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Anoeta was a cracking advert for La Liga with both sides spurning chances to win the game while the Catalans had a late penalty appeal turned down. La Real impressed again with Martin Ødegaard pulling the strings in midfield. There was also a goal for his fellow Scandinavian youngster Alexander Isak as this youthful Sociedad side took the fight to Ernesto Valverde’s side and were so nearly rewarded with three points.

Benzema rescues a Point for Madrid

Like Barcelona, Real Madrid also head into the Clasico on the back of a draw. They had a last gasp Karim Benzema goal to thank for that with the Frenchman pouncing to score an equaliser with the game’s final kick after Thibaut Courtois’ leaping header was kept out by Jaume Doménech. It was a dramatic finale with Valencia having only broken the deadlock in a tight game on 78 minutes thanks to Carlos Soler’s close-range finish. It rounded off an excellent week for Los Che following a derby win at Levante and a massive result in Amsterdam to secure Champions League progress.

10 man Mallorca fight back to hold Celta

There was also a really significant game at the bottom of the table as 18th placed Celta hosted Mallorca in 17th. The Galicians looked to be on course to lift themselves out of the relegation zone with Rafinha and Iago Aspas on target but they failed to see out the game despite the visitors being reduced to 10 men as Antonio Raíllo saw red. Ante Budimir’s 83rd minute strike ensured Mallorca picked up their first away point of the campaign.

Villarreal win at the RSP

There was also a much needed victory for Villarreal who had just started to struggle after a relatively bright start to the campaign. Goals from Raul Albiol and Karl Toko Ekambi inflicted just a second home defeat of the season on Sevilla on a weekend when they had the chance to move to within a point of the top two.

Matchday 17 in Numbers

  • It was a good weekend for the sides at the wrong end of La Liga with just 1 of the bottom half teams losing – Real Valladolid vs Getafe.
  • No side scored more than 2 goals on matchday 17 with 6 of the 10 games ending up in draws.
  • No side created more xG than Real Sociedad (2.88) in their game against Barcelona while Valencia created the 3rd most with 2.29 vs Real Madrid.
  • Mallorca picked up their 1st away point of the season in their 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.
  • Borja Iglesias scored just his 2nd goal in his 16th appearance for Real Betis against his former club Espanyol. He netted 17 in La Liga for the Catalan club last season.

Up Next…

There is the small matter of the Clasico in midweek and it feels even bigger than normal given the political backdrop to the game not to mention the fact that the teams are level on points at the top of La Liga. There’s also Copa del Rey action this week with 16 top flight sides in action, mostly against real minnows of Spanish football. We’ll have live tweets and a write-up from Mallorca’s trip to El Álamo. La Liga returns next weekend with the final action of 2019 which includes Atleti’s trip to Betis and Real Madrid’s home game against Athletic Club.

We’ll have match previews for all the games here.

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About Mark Sochon 2070 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk