The final round of games in the La Liga SRL and Saturday night’s fixtures ended saw the end brought in magnificently. But while Barcelona won, they had to deal with the fact that Real Madrid will be crowned champions although Atletico Madrid’s win did ensure Champions League football for them.
Espanyol 1-5 Celta Vigo
It was always going to be tough for Espanyol against Celta Vigo especially with them coming into the game without a win in their last four but also with their visitors winning their last two. But a quick look at that first half and few would wonder if either side was ever going to win the game. Look a little deeper, however, and you’d find that both sides did relatively well although Celta did make the most of their form and shots, going into the break with a two-goal advantage. Espanyol for their measure did take four shots but they never came close to scoring.
That did not change in the second half as Celta scored not once or twice but thrice in the opening seventeen minutes to transform the state of the game. But despite their backs against the wall, Espanyol managed to pull one goal back before full-time handing Celta a massive win. Despite the scoreline, the statistics told us a different story with Celta creating just one more dangerous attack (55-56) and with both sides taking 15 shots a-piece.
Osasuna 2-0 Mallorca
While both sides walked in with marginally similar records, Osasuna (3L 1D 1W) had a slightly better record over Mallorca (4L 1W) which meant they had the better form. And they started the first half as the much better team, taking four shots in the opening 15 minutes. Mallorca were not to be stopped either as they responded with four of their own before the half ended. By the end of the opening 45, both sides had fired ten shots on goal although just three hit the target, which is why the first half ended scoreless.
That would eventually change in the second half although it would take a long time for both the goals to be scored. However, both sides did find their rhythm rather early in the second 45 and by the 70th minute, both sides had atleast three shots on goal. Then against the run of play and out of absolutely nothing, Osasuna broke the deadlock with a delightful strike and it left Mallorca shell-shocked. The visitors struggled to respond to that and the hosts added another in added time to seal the game.
Villarreal 2-0 Eibar
Playing against a side chasing after a potential European spot was always going to be a hard-fought battle for Eibar and played more than their fair share in the battle. Somehow, despite Villarreal walking into the game with a couple of wins in their last five games, Eibar managed to restrict their hosts to just eight shots in the opening 45. But the problem was two-fold, one that Eibar themselves managed just the two shots and the fact that Villarreal scored 23 minutes into the game.
That changed the course of the game and by the end of the first half, the momentum was with the hosts and it looked like the match was edging towards them as well. That was ratified by a 51st-minute strike from Villarreal and it effectively sealed the match despite there being the better part of 35 minutes left. Simply because from that moment onwards, Eibar gave up. The Yellow Submarines could’ve had atleast three or maybe four more goals but they took things rather easily. That combined with the fact that their 65 dangerous attacks lead to 18 shots (8 on target) as compared to Eibar’s 56 and 7 shots on goal (3 on target) meant that this was never a competition.
Deportivo Alaves 0-2 Barcelona
Not the most exciting first half if you’re a Barcelona fan because the away side truly struggled to do anything in that opening 45. That did not shock anyone especially with the La Liga title handed to Real Madrid. That proved to hurt the Catalan giants as they managed just the one shot on goal in the first half with Alaves producing six times that. Yet both sides failed to find the net and we entered the second half goalless. But, Alaves seemed to have used up all their offensive force in the first half with them taking just the five shots in the second half.
Instead, Barcelona found their footing as the La Liga giants used the half-time break to push-start their engine. It worked and 15 minutes into the restart and they had three times the shot they had in the first half. Another fifteen minutes and Barcelona had found the opening goal in the 65th minute before doubling their lead in the 80th minute. The shocker, however, was the fact that the statistics told us that Alaves not only created more dangerous attacks (52-45), had more shots on goal (11-9) and more off target (7-5) but they still lost.
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad
Not the greatest first half from a Real Sociedad point of view but when the away side got the ball, they shockingly spent 33 seconds with it trying to create something. Now those who know La Liga, Atletico Madrid and Diego Simone will not find this surprising because despite taking 30 seconds, Sociedad managed to create only 14 dangerous attacks and had four shots on goal. Los Rojiblancos, on the other hand, spent only 19 seconds in attack but opened the scoring in the 10th minute and continued to dominate the first half with 27 dangerous attacks and 10 shots on goal.
But La Real managed to pull one back just before half time and that changed the course of the second half. Not by much though as Atleti pushed ahead barely 16 minutes into the restart and their defensive dominance saw La Real struggle to impose themselves. The away side fired only three more shots on goal before the end of the second half with the final shot coming 15 minutes from time. In the end, Atleti’s defensive masterclass proved too much for their visitors to handle but they would still create 20 more dangerous attacks in the second half and yet it proved not enough.