La Liga’s week ten saw Barcelona maintain their lead at 28 points while Valencia (24), Real Madrid (20), Atletico Madrid (20), and Sevilla (19) rounded out the top five.
In Saturday’s games, Valencia defeated hosts Alaves 2-1, visiting Villarreal drew with Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona eked out a 2-0 victory when hosts Athletic Bilbao lost track of Lionel Messi in the box who scampered to an open shot on goal from close in to put his side ahead at the 36th minute. The Cules then held on despite their hosts onslaught and on a three-on-two counter at the 93rd minute a Kepa Arrizabalaga save, off a Luis Suarez shot from close in, spilled out to the unmarked third man, Paulinho, who tapped into the open goal for the second score. In the final game of the day Sevilla beat visiting Leganes 2-1.
In Sunday’s games, hosts Getafe defeated Real Sociedad 2-1, hosts Girona defeated Real Madrid 2-1, Eibar and Levante tied 2-2, and hosts Malaga won 2-1 over Celta Vigo, earning three invaluable points.
In Monday’s games, hosts Espanyol defeated Real Betis 1-0, while Las Palmas lost at home 1-3 to Deportivo La Coruna.
In the biggest game of the week, Real Madrid were lucky to leave Estadi Montilivi with a 1-2 loss as the hosts were much the better team for most of the match. The loss, coupled with the team’s 8-point gap with arch-rivals Barcelona, prompted many to speculate if the La Liga competition was effectively over.