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La Liga – Week Round-Up and Weekend Preview


My sincerest apologies for the delay with game week 30’s round up edition, i’ll provide a quick round up for you before moving on into this weekend’s results.

The tail-end fixture of game week 29 was played on Monday March 24th, which saw a seven-goal thriller thrashed out between two sides with very different league priorities. Almeria, the home team, were in desperate need of three points to spark a late dash for safety whilst Real Sociedad are a team chasing for a much desired place in the Europa League.

The seven-goal swing went in favour of the underdogs, with Almeria clinching a 4-3 victory on the night thanks to a second half stoppage time winner from Hicham Khaloua. Just how important and pivotal that goal is to Almeria’s season, we shall have to wait and see for now.

Moving onto game week 30 then. The matches were played out over the course of Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and it was to be a mid-week that saw Real Madrid trailing, Barcelona rise from the dead, and Atletico Madrid emerge as the front-runner for the title.

Results were as follows:

Malaga 1-2 Espanol
Elche 0-0 Athletic
Barcelona 3-0 Celta Vigo
Rayo 1-0 Osasuna
Sevilla 2-1 Real Madrid
Atletico 1-0 Granada
Real Sociedad 1-0 Valladolid
Getafe 0-1 Villarreal
Levante 1-3 Real Betis
Almeria 2-2 Valencia

As you can see then, following their previous weekend defeat to Barcelona at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid made it two losses on the bounce as they failed to overturn Sevilla away from home. Atletico Madrid maintained their winning momentum at home to a Granada team who put up a fight to make sure Atletico only won by the smallest of margins. Barcelona also carried forward their good form to see them comfortably past Celta Vigo at home. This meant at the time three points separated Atletico in 1st and Real in 3rd. It’s somewhat surreal to think that Real had looked immovable until they met Barcelona, but it’s clear to see just what can happen after two bad results in this title race, and Real’s title bid appears to be crumbling just as Barcelona’s is finding fresh energy, and Atletico’s patience is beginning to pay off.

Continuing on from Almeria’s positive result on the Monday night that sees them jump out of the relegation zone, their rivals are also retaliating, and proving their stubbornness as they alongside Almeria, fight to retain their top-flight status. These teams in question are Real Betis and Rayo. Both surprising Levante and Osasuna alike, Betis are causing teams to start looking over their shoulders at them, despite still being 7 points adrift after all mid-week matches were settled. Rayo found themselves up in the lofty heights of 13th place, and 5 points clear of the danger zone. For a team that had been in the bottom three for quite some time, their newly found form could not have been timed any better. Their opponents Osasuna now find themselves with a real problem, being sat just outside the bottom three by a single point going into the weekend. Getafe were the new entrants into the dreaded 18th position place on 28 points following their loss at home to Villarreal on Thursday night, and they would need to do something about their poor form soon with a tough trip to Valencia awaiting them on Sunday evening.

Here’s a glance at the La Liga table:


1 Atlético Madrid 30 23 4 3 67 21 46 73
2 Barcelona 30 23 3 4 88 25 63 72
3 Real Madrid 30 22 4 4 81 32 49 70
4 Athletic Bilbao 30 16 8 6 52 32 20 56
5 Sevilla 30 14 8 8 55 45 10 50
6 Real Sociedad 30 14 7 9 53 43 10 49
7 Villarreal 30 14 6 10 50 36 14 48
8 Espanyol 30 11 7 12 34 35 -1 40
9 Valencia 30 11 7 12 43 42 1 40
10 Levante 30 9 10 11 27 38 -11 37
11 Granada 30 10 4 16 28 40 -12 34
12 Celta Vigo 30 9 6 15 33 44 -1 33
13 Rayo Vallecano 30 10 3 17 34 63 -29 33
14 Málaga 30 8 8 14 29 38 -9 32
15 Elche 30 7 10 13 24 41 -17 31
16 Almería 30 8 6 16 33 57 -24 30
17 Osasuna 30 8 5 17 25 51 -26 29
18 Getafe CF 30 7 7 16 26 47 -21 28
19 Real Valladolid 30 5 12 13 31 50 -19 27
20 Real Betis 30 5 7 18 26 59 -33 22


The fixtures for game week 31 line up as follows:

Saturday 29th March 2014
Espanyol ?v ?Barcelona
Celta Vigo ?v ?Sevilla?
Athletic Bilbao ?v ?A Madrid
R Madrid ?vs Rayo Vallecano

Sunday 30th March 2014
Valladolid ?v ?Almeria ?
Osasuna ?v Sociedad
Villarreal ?v ?Elche
Valencia ?v Getafe

Monday 31st March 2014
Granada ?v ?Levante
Real Betis v Malaga

This weekend, Atletico Madrid’s metal will be tested as they travel to Champions League chasing Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona look to stick to winning ways away at Espanol, and Real Madrid will look to bounce back on home soil against Real Vallecano. On paper, that should be a routine win, but Rayo are on form as of late. After powering away from the bottom three, they will know any kind of poor result away at the Bernabeu could draw them back into the reaches of their relegation rivals.

A couple of these rivals are Valladolid and Almeria, who face off in a real six-pointer. A win for either team would be vital, and either bring a rival closer within their grasp, or create some much needed breathing space.

Osasuna and Getafe have difficult ties against Real Sociedad and Valencia respectively. They will have to raise their game under pressure, and cause a couple of upsets if they are to start moving about the table in the right direction.

About Ian Gurney

Keen football writer and film/TV videographer. Norwich City fan and season ticket holder, dabbling in a bit of live football commentary.

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