We are now over halfway through the Spanish top flight season after the latest round of fixtures this weekend. With wins for Real Madrid and Sevilla, it is now really shaping up to be a two-horse title race with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona both dropping points again to fall further back. At the bottom, Levante finally won for the first time this season, ending the longest ever winless streak in Spanish top flight history. Read on for our LaLiga matchday 20 review featuring all the results, xG data, stats and team of the week.
LaLiga Matchday 20 Results & Expected Goals
Saturday 8th January 2022
Levante 2-0 Mallorca (xG: 1.32-1.17)
Real Sociedad 1-0 Celta Vigo (xG: 2.32-0.31)
Granada 1-1 Barcelona (xG: 0.75-0.97)
Real Madrid 4-1 Valencia (xG: 4.11-1.12)
Sunday 9th January 2022
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Betis (xG: 1.48-1.27)
Sevilla 1-0 Getafe (xG: 0.59-0.11)
Alaves 0-0 Athletic Club (xG: 0.59-0.46)
Osasuna 2-0 Cadiz (xG: 3.13-0.21)
Villarreal 2-2 Atletico Madrid (xG: 2.56-0.88)
Monday 10th January 2022
Espanyol 1-2 Elche (xG: 1.30-0.66)
Matchday 20 – Stats & Star Performers
|Most Possession||REAL MADRID – 67.2%|
|Highest Pass Success Rate||REAL MADRID – 91%|
|Lowest Pass Success Rate||ALAVES – 63%|
|Most Shots||REAL MADRID – 23|
|Fewest Shots||ELCHE – 3|
|Highest xG||REAL MADRID – 4.11|
|Lowest xG||GETAFE – 0.11|
|xG Over-Performer||ELCHE – 2 Goals from 0.66 xG|
|xG Under-Performer||REAL SOCIEDAD – 1 Goal from 2.32 xG|
|Highest Attendance||REAL MADRID vs VALENCIA – 40,617|
|Lowest Attendance||RAYO VALLECANO vs REAL BETIS – 8,395|
Leaders Real Madrid bounced back from a surprise defeat on matchday 19 with an utterly dominant display against Valencia. They scored four goals but still marginally under-performed their xG on a weekend which also saw them post the highest possession figures, highest pass completion rates and have the most shots in LaLiga.
By contrast, Elche’s victory on Monday at Espanyol was rather more of the “smash and grab” variety. Pere Milla scored twice in the opening fifteen minutes but Elche would only have one more attempt on goal in the entire game but held on for a vital 2-1 win to inflict a rare home defeat on Vicente Moreno’s side.
Another standout game from a statistical perspective was Sevilla’s clash with Getafe. There was only a total of 0.7 xG in the whole game, one of the least open we’ve seen this season in LaLiga but Sevilla did manage to force a breakthrough against a much improved Geta side to win the game 1-0.
|Most Shots||RAUL DE TOMAS (Espanyol) – 6|
|Most Completed Passes||TONI KROOS (Real Madrid) – 94|
|Most Key Passes||IVAN BALLIU (Rayo Vallecano) – 5|
|Most Completed Dribbles||OSCAR TREJO (Rayo Vallecano), WILLIAM CARVALHO (Real Betis) & OUSMANE DEMBELE (Barcelona) – 5|
|Most Aerials Won||JOSELU (Alaves) – 11|
|Most Successful Tackles||HECTOR BELLERIN (Real Betis) – 7|
|Most Interceptions||YERAY ALVAREZ (Athletic Club) – 6|
One of the most one-sided halves of the weekend came in Vallecas where Rayo Vallecano piled on the pressure against 10-man Real Betis. Right-back Ivan Balliu was a major threat and completed five key passes, the highest in LaLiga on MD20, and also scored the equalising goal as Rayo preserved their unbeaten home record. Oscar Trejo was also as influential as ever for Rayo with 5 successful dribbles, a joint high along with William Carvalho in the same game, as well as Ousmane Dembele who had some lively bursts for Barcelona in Granada.
There was an element of predictability about some of the other individual highs this matchday. Joselu won the most aerials, Toni Kroos completed the most passes and Raul De Tomas had the most shots.
On the defensive front, there were impressive numbers from Hector Bellerin who won 7 tackles for Betis as Rayo piled on the pressure. He also assisted Sergio Canales’ goal making it a good weekend for the former Arsenal man. Yeray Alvarez also stood out with 6 interceptions in what was a fairly direct and uninspiring goalless draw between Alaves and Athletic Club.
Sorare LaLiga Fantasy Team of the Week
It was Real Madrid’s deadly duo of Karim Benzema and Vini Junior who again posted the highest scores on matchday 20 as Los Blancos saw off Valencia with both scoring twice. No other Real Madrid players made the team of the week but there was a place for Barcelona’s Dani Alves who created his team’s goal and proved he still has plenty to offer even at the grand old age of 38.
It was a good weekend if your surname was Milla with both Luis and Pere featuring in midfield alongside Enis Bardhi who was one of the standout performers for Levante in their first win of the season, along with goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez who saved a penalty at a crucial moment in their 2-0 triumph over Mallorca.
Sorare Player of the Week: Karim Benzema (93)
It was a toss-up between Benzema and Vini for the player of the week but the Frenchman posted a marginally higher score as he took his season tally to 17 goals and 7 assists in LaLiga.
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