LaLiga matchdays 35 and 36 are now complete and we have to just one week left to go in the 2019/20 season. Most matters are still to be revolved but the action over the past week has at least cleared up the identity of one of the relegated teams, while the race for Champions League qualification is also now over following Monday night’s results.
LaLiga matchday 35 & 36 results
Tuesday 7th July
Wednesday 8th July
Thursday 9th July
Friday 10th July
Saturday 11th July
Sunday 12th July
Monday 13th July
Links lead to the official Youtube highlights.
LaLiga Weekly Review – Matchdays 35 & 36
by Mark Sochon
Real Madrid 2 Points from the Title
— Ferland Mendy (@ferland_mendy) July 14, 2020
It’s 9 wins out of 9 for Real Madrid since the restart after they sealed two more wins over the past week. Their 2-0 victory over Alaves on Friday was relatively comfortable and their trip to Granada looked set to be equally routine when they raced into an early two goal lead with Ferland Mendy scoring his first goal for the club in sublime fashion.
However, surprise European hopefuls Granada really made Zinedine Zidane’s side work for their victory. Darwin Machis got them back in the game early in the 2nd Half and they really had Los Blancos under the cosh late in the game with a terrific save from Thibaut Courtois and a goal-line clearance from Sergio Ramos needed to preserve Real Madrid’s 100% record since the restart and sustain their 4 point advantage on Barcelona.
With the superior H2H record, Los Blancos now just need to win one of their final two games, or draw them both to claim the title. They will first get the opportunity to seal the league when they host Villarreal this Thursday.
Sevilla & Atleti seal UCL Qualification
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) July 13, 2020
The only matter that has been fully resolved is the identity of Spain’s Champions League participants for the 2020/21 season. Barcelona and Real Madrid have long since secured their places and they will be joined by Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, after their nearest rivals Villarrreal lost 2-1 at home to Real Sociedad on Monday.
It’s worth a reminder that just 2 points separated 3rd and 6th places at the time LaLiga resumed last month. Therefore Sevilla and Atletico Madrid will both be delighted to have ultimately booked their places amongst the European elite with such ease.
Victories over Athletic and Mallorca over the past week mean Sevilla have now won 4 on the spin and Julen Lopetegui’s side are now unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions since a defeat in Vigo back in February. Atleti meanwhile are unbeaten in 16 games if you include the 2nd Leg of their Champions League clash with Liverpool which they won 3-2 after Extra Time.
Europa League Places still up for Grabs
— Real Sociedad (@RealSociedadEN) July 13, 2020
The struggles of the likes of Real Sociedad, Getafe and Valencia are also a factor in why Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have ultimately secured UCL football with relative ease. Those sides now face a scrap for Europa League places.
Villarreal look virtually guaranteed Europa League football and are in pole position for 5th place and a direct path into the group stage. Getafe and Real Sociedad currently occupy 6th and 7th places and 4 points from their final 2 games will be enough to see them into Europe. La Real had looked in danger of sliding right out of contention but finally looked more like their old selves with an impressive 2-1 win at the Ceramica on Monday night.
Athletic, Valencia and Granada are in theory ready to pounce should Real Sociedad and Getafe slip up in this final week. An abject display and defeat for Los Che at struggling Leganes on Sunday though did great damage to Valencia’s European hopes and heightens the sense of crisis on and off the pitch at Mestalla.
Espanyol Relegated after 26 Years
Espanyol relegated after 26 years in Spain's top-flight.https://t.co/XR65IgdvqB
— Get Spanish Football News (@GSpanishFN) July 8, 2020
The past week has also seen Espanyol have their relegation to the Segunda Division confirmed. They put in one of their better showings of the season in the Barcelona derby at Camp Nou last Wednesday but a 1-0 defeat still ensured their drop out of LaLiga for the first time in 26 years.
It has been a nightmare season for Espanyol who’ve had 4 coaches but only 5 league wins. They can at least take some heart from having bounced back to the top flight at the first attempt on the four previous occasions when they have been relegated.
Their relegation means there are now just four clubs who have been ever presents in the Spanish top flight in the 21st Century – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Athletic Club.
Leganes & Mallorca take their Fight to the Final Week
⛔️ Pichu Cuéllar ? pic.twitter.com/r3SUxAtBUe
— C.D. Leganés (@CDLeganes) July 13, 2020
The two sides that will be joining Espanyol in dropping down to the Segunda still look most likely to be Leganes and Mallorca. However unlike the Barcelona club, both sides are showing plenty of spirit and fight and retain an element of belief heading into the final week of the season, despite both being 4 points from safety.
Mallorca have played some genuinely impressive football at times over this final chunk of the season with Take Kubo starring with some performances of real quality for the Balearic Island club. Back-to-back home wins over Celta Vigo and Levante should give them confidence heading into this Thursday’s crunch clash with Granada at Son Moix. Realistically they will need to win that and then win at Osasuna at the weekend to stand any chance of survival.
Leganes meanwhile kept their hopes alive at the weekend by seeing off Valencia 1-0 at Butarque despite being reduced to 10 men early in the 2nd Half. Given their almost total lack of goal threat, it would be remarkable if they managed to stay up but it still looks an almost impossible task with their final games away to Athletic and at home to Real Madrid.
Work to do for Celta & Alaves
Here's the bottom of the table after Alavés 0-0 Getafe at Mendizorroza. Two rounds of games to go and still just a tiny bit of hope for Leganés and Mallorca… pic.twitter.com/p8TgXMv7Ib
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) July 13, 2020
The only other two sides that remain in any relegation danger are Alaves and Celta Vigo. Alaves at least managed to halt a 6 game losing streak as VAR ruled out a late goal in their home game against Getafe which ended goalless. One victory will keep them up but it’s tough to see where it will come from with a trip to Betis and a home game against Barcelona to come.
Like Alaves, Celta also have 36 points. They are winless in 5 games now following defeat at Osasuna this weekend. They had appeared to have turned a corner but they remain a frustrating team, not least for coach Oscar Garcia who must be perplexed by some of their recent showings. Remaining games against Levante and Espanyol in the final week at least present them with excellent chances to pick up that elusive final victory which will ensure they don’t need to rely on other results to secure their top flight status for another year.