LaLiga 2021/22 Matchday 18 Review, Stats & Team of the Week

LaLiga MD18

The final full LaLiga matchday of 2021 took place over the weekend. We witnessed a terrific win for Sevilla over Atletico Madrid in the big game of the weekend while leaders Real Madrid surprisingly dropped points at home to Cadiz. There was also a thrilling Monday night Valencia derby. Read on for our LaLiga matchday 18 review featuring all the results, xG data, stats and team of the week.


LaLiga Matchday 18 Results & Expected Goals

Friday 17th December 2021

Celta Vigo 3-1 Espanyol (xG: 1.66-0.38)

Saturday 18th December 2021

Rayo Vallecano 2-0 Alaves (xG: 1.87-0.20)

Real Sociedad 1-3 Villarreal (xG: 1.35-3.02)

Barcelona 3-2 Elche (xG: 2.96-1.27)

Sevilla 2-1 Atletico Madrid (xG: 0.37-1.24)

Sunday 19th December 2021

Granada 4-1 Mallorca (xG: 2.72-1.09)

Athletic Club 3-2 Real Betis (xG: 1.19-2.02)

Getafe 1-0 Osasuna (xG: 1.09-0.71)

Real Madrid 0-0 Cadiz (xG: 2.80-0.24)

Monday 20th December 2021

Levante 3-4 Valencia (xG: 2.74-2.11)

xG data in this post comes via Understat. Other stats are via Whoscored.


Matchday 18 – Stats & Star Performers

Team Stats

Most PossessionREAL MADRID – 82.1% 
Highest Pass Success RateREAL MADRID – 91% 
Lowest Pass Success RateCADIZ – 54% 
Most ShotsREAL MADRID – 36
Fewest ShotsCADIZ – 4
Highest xGVILLARREAL – 3.02
Lowest xGALAVES – 0.20
xG Over-PerformerVALENCIA – 4 Goals from 2.11 xG
xG Under-PerformerREAL MADRID – 0 Goals from 2.8 xG
Highest AttendanceBARCELONA vs ELCHE – 41,664
Lowest AttendanceRAYO VALLECANO vs ALAVES – 7,911

There was an extraordinary game at the Santiago Bernabeu where Real Madrid were utterly dominant with 82% possession, 36 attempts on goal and 2.8 xG but crucially no goals in their 0-0 draw against struggling Cadiz. To some extent, it’s a reverse of what has happened in recent weeks where Los Blancos have regularly won games they were often second best in.

Villarreal’s recent resurgence continued as they inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Real Sociedad, the fourth loss in a row for La Real. The Yellow Submarine registered 3.02 xG in that game, the highest of any team in LaLiga this weekend although Mikel Oyarzabal’s red card in the 49th minute was a pivotal moment in the match.

Individual Stats

Most ShotsTONI KROOS (Real Madrid) & ENES UNAL (Getafe) – 6
Most Completed PassesTONI KROOS (Real Madrid) – 124
Most Key PassesTONI KROOS (Real Madrid) – 9
Most Completed DribblesEZ ABDE (Barcelona) & ADRIA PEDROSA (Espanyol) – 7
Most Aerials WonCASEMIRO (Real Madrid) – 14
Most Successful TacklesJUAN FOYTH (Villarreal) & HELIBELTON PALACIOS (Elche) – 7
Most InterceptionsVICTOR RUIZ (Real Betis), ERIC GARCIA (Barcelona) & IGOR ZUBELDIA (Real Sociedad) – 4

It was somewhat predictably the Toni Kroos show at the Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid against possession-shy Cadiz. The German led LaLiga this weekend in three categories, completing the most passes and key passes, as well as having the most shots along with Getafe’s Enes Unal.

Barcelona’s Ez Abde showed further evidence to suggest he is already one of the most accomplished dribblers in LaLiga by completing 7 against Elche, the joint most this matchday along with Espanyol’s Adria Pedrosa.

In terms of defensive stats, Casemiro stood out with 14 aerials won as Cadiz tried to play direct on the break. There were also impressive numbers from Juan Foyth and Helibelton Palacios who both made 7 successful tackles.


Sorare LaLiga Fantasy Team of the Week

LaLiga best XI MD18

It was quite a high-scoring weekend in LaLiga and lots of attacking players reached scores in the 80’s and 90’s as a result. Toni Kroos posted a huge all-round score of 64.5 taking him just shy of 100 in Real Madrid’s goalless draw against Cadiz. He’d have easily been player of the week had some his teammates finished better or indeed if one of his six attempts on goal had gone in.

Elsewhere, Carlos Soler and Goncalo Guedes both starred for Valencia in their comeback derby win at Levante but the latter was pipped by Granada’s hat-trick hero Jorge Molina into the team of the week. There were also big performances from Iago Aspas, Thomas Lemar and Barcelona youngster Gavi who scored a fine goal for his team against Elche.

Sorare Player of the Week: Gerard Moreno (100)

The top performer this matchday though was Gerard Moreno who headed in twice from corners before setting up Samu Chukwueze for Villarreal’s 3rd goal in their victory at La Real.

Sorare is a Fantasy Football platform with one of the most advanced scoring matrices. All players are scored from 0-100 based on performance. You can read our latest Sorare content here to find out more about it.


Read More: Manuel Pellegrini awakening the beast at Betis

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1703 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk

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