There were a host of big games this weekend in La Liga with several direct rivals in the league table meeting at both ends of the table. Barcelona and Real Madrid meanwhile were both expected to win their games but a surprise result in Valencia saw top position change hands. Here is our La Liga matchday 25 review:
La Liga Matchday 25 Results, Expected Goals & Highlights
Friday 21st February 2020
Real Betis 3-3 Mallorca (xG: 2.92-0.95)
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Celta Vigo 1-0 Leganes (xG: 0.13-0.38)
Barcelona 5-0 Eibar (xG: 4.66-0.47)
Real Sociedad 3-0 Valencia (xG: 2.53-0.6)
Levante 1-0 Real Madrid (xG: 0.71-1.89)
Sunday 23rd February 2020
Osasuna 0-3 Granada (xG: 0.79-1.68)
Alaves 2-1 Athletic Club (xG: 1.89-0.55)
Real Valladolid 2-1 Espanyol (xG: 1.54-1.29)
Getafe 0-3 Sevilla (xG: 0.46-2.73)
Atletico Madrid 3-1 Villarreal (xG: 2.14-0.45)
Links lead to Youtube highlights via the official LaLiga channel and may contain ads.
Messi hits 4 as Barça take top Spot
Messi against Eibar:
19 goals. ? pic.twitter.com/mbcPn59N9Z
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) February 22, 2020
Suggestions that Leo Messi may struggle to score as many goals with Quique Setien in charge of Barcelona were largely dispelled at the weekend as the Argentine scored four as Barcelona demolished Eibar 5-0 at Camp Nou. It was a third straight league win for the Catalans who appear to be playing themselves into a bit of form just in time for a testing Champions League trip to Napoli and next weekend’s Clasico in Madrid.
Morales lands blow on Real heading into Key Week
José Luis Morales’ stunning strike handed Levante a win and Real Madrid just its second La Liga loss all season. (Video)
— Yahoo Soccer (@FCYahoo) February 22, 2020
Barcelona also received an unexpected boost on Sunday night as Real Madrid sank to a surprise defeat at Levante. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by now given Levante’s track record of upsetting the big two but few expected a Real Madrid side who had lost just one league game all season to leave Valencia empty-handed.
It was a poor 2nd Half display from Los Blancos who were defeated by a fine late strike from Jose Luis Morales, which Thibaut Courtois perhaps should have done better with. With Eden Hazard also limping off with a potentially season-ending injury, it was a miserable night all round for Zinedine Zidane and his team who slip to 2nd.
Sevilla out-Geta Getafe
FT – Getafe 0-3 Sevilla
Really strong performance from Sevilla who have matched Getafe’s workrate and defended brilliantly. Full value for the win. They leapfrog Geta into 3rd place.#GetafeSevillaFC pic.twitter.com/5GXEH8q6J0
— LaLigaExpert (@LigaExpert) February 23, 2020
The race for the top four had a significant twist this weekend too as Sevilla went to Getafe and won 3-0 to leapfrog their opponents in the table. Julen Lopetegui picked a strong midfield three and basically sent his team out to match Getafe’s physical approach and it was a tactic that really paid off as Geta suffered a rare home defeat. The momentum therefore swings back to Sevilla who will now be once again seen as favourites to join the usual ‘big three’ in next season’s Champions League.
Valladolid & Celta win Relegation Six-Pointers
— Gol Caracol (@GolCaracol) February 23, 2020
It was also a very important weekend at the bottom with two big six-pointers. The first saw Celta Vigo claim a key 1-0 win against Leganes despite being reduced to 10 men in only the 21st minute. Iago Aspas was predictably their match winner in what was Lega’s first game since they lost Martin Braithwaite to Barcelona.
They remain one place off the bottom though after Espanyol suffered a damaging 2-1 defeat away to Real Valladolid. Abelardo’s side were also reduced to ten men in the First Half as David Lopez saw red and while they held their hosts at bay for most of the game, a flurry of late goals saw Real Valladolid claim a key win with Sandro and Sergi Guardiola on target.
La Liga Matchday 25 in Numbers
- Barcelona and Real Madrid have taken just 1 point from their 4 games in Valencia this season after Los Blancos fell to defeat at Levante.
- The top 6 is now back in exactly the same order it was after matchday 20 (1. Barcelona, 2. Real Madrid, 3. Atleti, 4. Sevilla, 5. Getafe, 6. Real Sociedad).
- Leo Messi ended his longest La Liga goalless streak in 6 years, with 4 goals in 73 minutes.
- Mallorca claimed just their 2nd away point of the season in the 3-3 draw at Betis.
- Granada ended a run of 8 straight away league defeats, with a 3-0 win at Osasuna.
European football is back this week with five Spanish teams in action in the Champions League and Europa League. We will have match previews for Barcelona’s game in Naples and Real Madrid’s home clash against Man City. We’ll be back with previews for all the weekend La Liga games too including Sunday’s Clasico.