This was a weekend that was always likely to be dominated by a series of really interesting fixtures on Sunday. That was largely how it proved although the ease of Getafe’s victory over Valencia was certainly very significant on Saturday and raises the possibility that Geta could be in the Champions League next term. All of the five Sunday games had their fair share of talking points with a Basque Derby, a relegation six-pointer and potentially tricky road games for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Here is our La Liga matchday 23 review:
La Liga Matchday 23 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 7th February 2020
Alaves 2-1 Eibar (xG: 1.46-0.15)
Saturday 8th February 2020
Levante 2-0 Leganes (xG: 0.89-1.11)
Getafe 3-0 Valencia (xG: 3.18-0.25)
Real Valladolid 1-1 Villarreal (xG: 0.66-1.38)
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Granada (xG: 0.87-0.90)
Sunday 9th February 2020
Espanyol 1-0 Mallorca (xG: 1.91-0.69)
Real Sociedad 2-1 Athletic Club (xG: 2.11-0.63)
Osasuna 1-4 Real Madrid (xG: 0.65-2.70)
Celta Vigo 2-1 Sevilla (xG: 1.35-1.13)
Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona (xG: 1.06-1.87)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.
Isak Inspires La Real to Basque Derby Win
Alexander Isak has now scored in six consecutive games across all competitions for Real Sociedad:
⚽️ vs. Espanyol
⚽️ vs. Mallorca
⚽️⚽️ vs. Osasuna
⚽️ vs. Leganés
⚽️⚽️ vs. Real Madrid
⚽️ vs. Athletic Club
In the form of his life. pic.twitter.com/l0iICNbhXG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 9, 2020
It has been a brilliant week for Real Sociedad and they ended it in the best possible way with a 2-1 victory over Athletic Club in the Basque derby. It may just be that we see a repeat of the fixture in the Copa del Rey Final in April but it was a game that struggled to explode into life. It took the 2nd Half introductions of Alexander Isak and Inaki Williams for that to happen. Both men got on the scoresheet but it was Isak’s impact that really turned the game in La Real’s favour with the young Swede also teeing up Portu for a goal as the hosts won 2-1 to strengthen their bid for European qualification and put a big dent in Athletic’s hopes of making Europe, at least via the league.
Espanyol & Celta claim key Victories at the Bottom
Imagina dudar que este hombre va a salvar al Espanyol, don Raúl de Tomás. pic.twitter.com/nyLx3jGzyR
— Áʟᴠᴀʀᴏ. (@RodriguezRMCF) February 9, 2020
It was also a really significant Sunday at the bottom of the table. First up we had Espanyol against Mallorca as the side with La Liga’s worst home record played host to the team with the worst away record. Espanyol slashed ticket prices to just €5 during the week before the game and it paid off as the RCDE Stadium was full to see Raul De Tomas score his 4th goal in 4 games since joining from Benfica, to seal a priceless 1-0 win.
Espanyol fans would have been less pleased with developments later that day though as Celta Vigo’s late rally saw them come from behind to defeat Sevilla at Balaidos. Predictably it was Iago Aspas who started the turnaround but Pione Sisto’s cool finish in Stoppage Time sealed a massive three points for the Galicians.
Barça win Feisty Clash with Betis
After his hat-trick of assists in Barcelona’s 3-2 win at Real Betis on Sunday night, Lionel Messi became just the second player, after Jadon Sancho, in Europe’s top five leagues to register double figures for both goals (14) and assists (11) this season pic.twitter.com/KVq22mJWxO
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 10, 2020
The late game was always likely to be a heated affair as Quique Setién returned to the Benito Villamarin for the first time since his Betis sacking. He did so under pressure at Barcelona after a slow start to his reign but the Catalans did claim a much needed victory to remain three points behind Real Madrid in the title race.
That came only after an eventful game as Barcelona twice came from behind to win 3-2 with Clement Lenglet’s header ultimately settling things. That wasn’t the end of the controversy though as the Frenchman saw red just seven minutes after his goal and only a few minutes after Nabil Fekir’s bizarre dismissal.
Referee Sánchez Martínez won’t be in charge of any games this coming weekend after his poor display.
Matchday 23 in Numbers
- Leo Messi chipped in with 3 assists for Barcelona at Betis, more than the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Dani Parejo, Iker Muniain and Koke have managed all season in La Liga (all 2 assists).
- Espanyol won their 1st home game of the season at the 12th time of asking.
- Celta Vigo ended an 8 game winless streak in La Liga with Pione Sisto’s 91st minute goal sealing a 2-1 win over Sevilla.
- 20 year old Alexander Isak has scored 8 goals in his last 6 matches and 12 in his last 12 (all competitions) after coming off the bench to change the course of the Basque Derby.
- Getafe claimed a 4th straight league win to nil. They’ve scored 9 goals without conceding since losing to Real Madrid in early January.
There’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final action this week as this season’s remarkable competition continues with an unlikely last four line-up. We will have match previews for both cup games plus all of next weekend’s league matches which starts with a tasty Friday night game at Mestalla as Valencia host Atletico Madrid.