La Liga SRL Round-Up | Real Madrid clinch title, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao register wins and much more
Real Madrid claimed the title with a game to spare|
Real Madrid secured the title with a 2-1 win over Villarreal and Barcelona registered a 4-1 victory over Osasuna in the Saturday kick-offs. In the other games, Real Betis thrashed Alaves, while Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo also bagged wins from their fixtures with though Sevilla dropping points.
Real Betis 6 - 0 Deportivo Alaves
A dominating performance would be an understatement as far as Real Betis concerned with them running riot in Alaves box throughout the entire span of the game. The 12th-minute goal was all when it started and there was no looking back from there on, as goals followed at regular intervals. While they were 2-0 up by the 20th minute of the game, the penalty conceded by Alaves in the 35th minute of the game alongside a red card, sealed their fate for the day.
Even though Betis missed the penalty, they scored a couple more and went into half-time with a four-goal lead. The second half was no different, as Betis played with authority and added the fourth and the fifth towards the stoppage time to complete a rout.
Athletic Bilbao 2 - 1 Leganes
This was Bilbao’s game to lose and as a matter of fact, they were on the brink of dropping points, but a late rescue saved them their blushes. The first half saw the hosts dictate terms, creating goal-scoring opportunities, which included 10 shots at the goal, while Leganes managed only four in the same time frame. With the scores tied at 0-0 at the break, Bilbao had amends to make in the second period.
They eventually did and took a stride forward by netting the first goal in the 56th minute, via a penalty kick. The fact that they would concede and the scores would be level once again after just six minutes was beyond their imagination. But the onus was on Athletic Bilbao to maintain normalcy, which they did by scoring the winner, just a minute away from full time. Leganes was statistically inferior in each department of the game.
Celta Vigo 2 - 1 Levante UD
Celta Vigo’s attempt to bubble out of the relegation zone seemed to be too little too late, but they would be happy to sign-off on a positive note. The first half was as boring as it could get, with both the teams taking a total of seven shots at the goal combined and the scoreline of 0-0 was justified.
The second half was more lively with box to box action from both sides, but the game really came alive in the last 20 minutes. Celta Vigo fired one past the goal-keeper in the 73rd minute to take the lead. It was the hosts turn to play out the minutes, but they conceded the equalizer in the 84th minute from a penalty. Trying to make amends in a jiffy, Celta Vigo netted the winner just two minutes later and ensured they walked away with all three points.
Real Sociedad 1 - 1 Sevilla
Sevilla did put their top-four finish in jeopardy by playing out a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad away from home. Even though the away side hit the right notes in the opening stages of the game, it was the hosts who struck first in the 13th minute to take the lead against then run of play. Desperate to make a comeback, it took 18 minutes for Sevilla to restore parity and eventually walk towards the dugout on equal terms after the first 45.
While Sevilla was still the better side in the scorn half, the hosts also had their share of luck, but neither managed to get past the net, keeping the scores intact until the final whistle was blown. The visitors took 17 shots at goal, out of which 6 were aimed at the target, while Sociedad’s ration was 5 to 3. On the other hand, Sevilla registered 62 dangerous attacks, 10 more than the hosts.
Barcelona 4-1 Osasuna
An uphill climb for Barcelona when you consider their position in the race for the league title but with Real Madrid playing simultaneously, all the La Liga giants needed was a win. And they got their win, by utterly dominating their visitors in both the first and the second half. The first half proved why on their day, Barcelona can be so destructive but struggles to find the net did hurt them. But, two goals before the end of the first 45 meant that the Catalans went into the break ahead and it left Osasuna with all the work to do.
And they struggled in that opening half with just 19 dangerous attacks at an average of nine seconds per attack. Not exactly world-class stuff and that didn’t change in the second half with Barcelona doubling their advantage 15 minutes into the restart. That was really that for the visitors and while they pulled one back minutes before full-time, it was too little too late.
Real Madrid 2-1 Villarreal
As first halves go this one was not the worst of the lot but from Real Madrid’s point of view it was down-right terrible. Sure it looks like the La Liga giants dominated that game and they did do their best with 25 dangerous attacks averaging 18 seconds per attack but Villarreal matched them. They created 20 at an average of 17 seconds per move but had only two shots on goal in that first 45. Both hit the target and it also saw them take the lead just before the 15-minute mark.
That’s despite Real Madrid’s domination with the Los Blancos taking eight shots before the half was over. Things changed in the second half but not by much with Villarreal taking a stand. They found their footing and tried to increase their lead but luck wasn’t on their side. Instead, Zinedine Zidane and his men found their groove and scored the equalizer just after the 60th-minute mark. The winner came about twenty minutes later and Zidane and company had run away with the win and the title.