La Liga, week nineteen
La Liga’s week nineteen did not bring much change to the table hierarchy of the Spanish domestic season but it did showcase Real Madrid’s complete fall from grace in a wicked 0-1 home loss to Villarreal.
On Friday, Getafe defeated visiting Malaga 1-0. On Saturday, a consistent Girona exploded for six goals in a 6-0 home win over La Palmas. Madrid had its home meltdown. Eibar lost at home to visiting Atletico Madrid, and Valencia won away to Deportivo 2-1.
On Sunday, visiting Celta Vigo beat Levante 1-0, short-handed Alaves defeated visiting Sevilla 1-0, Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao tied 1-1, and visiting Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 4-2.
The week’s best matches were each six-goal-games. Barca began losing away 2-1 at halftime only to have Luis Suarez equalize at the 50th and put the visitors ahead at the 71st. The Catalans, who again managed to win more fouls in an away game than any other team in the competition, also did their usual last-ten-minutes goal-padding which saw Lionel Messi pad his league-leading numbers as the top scorer, at that crucial 85th minute.
At Girona, the hosts rode Stuani’s 25th minute penalty score to the half and then exploded for goals at the 57, 64, 70, 74, and 79. Somehow, no goal-padding was needed in the last ten minutes.
At week’s end Barcelona topped the table with 51 points, followed by Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and Real Madrid.