Week twenty-two in La Liga saw a return to past rhythms. On Friday, Real Sociedad took out its frustration at its previous weekend’s loss with a 5-0 home drubbing of Depor. On Saturday, Eibar had the surprise match of the week with a devastating home win, 5-1 over Sevilla. Real Betis won 2-1 at home over Villarreal, Alaves did the same in a 2-1 win over visiting Celta Vigo, and Real Madrid returned to their usual selves with a 2-2 draw with lowly Levante.
On Sunday, Getafe and Leganes tied 0-0, Espanyol held visiting Barcelona to a tough 1-1 draw with many a rough play and ugly altercations throughout, Girona continued its special debut first division season with a 2-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid won at home 1-0 over Valencia, and on Monday, Las Palmas won 1-0 at home over Malaga.
The results kept Barcelona on top at 58 points, followed by Atletico Madrid 49, Valencia 40, Real Madrid 39, Villarreal 37 and Sevilla 33. The top scorer (and assist man) remained Barcelona’s Lionel Messi with 20 goals and 10 assists, followed by teammate Luis Suarez at 16 goals, Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas at 15, Girona’s Christian Stuani at 12, and Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose in fifth with 11 goals.
The stories of the weekend were the bad blood in the Catalan derby between Barca and Espanyol, the debacle that saw Real Madrid lose two points in the last few minutes of their match to an easy Levante goal, and Eibar’s surprising demolition of Sevilla with a 3-1 first half (Kike 1st, Orellana 17th, Sarabia getting one back at the 21st on a penalty and Ramis 32nd padding Eibar’s lead) and a second half that saw Eibar adding a second Orellana goal at the 61st and an Arbilla score at the 83rd to close out the final score line.
Real Madrid will have another swipe at redemption over the next three weeks as they play the 10th, 12th,15th and 16th teams on the La Liga table in succession. They will play their postponed match against Leganes on Wednesday the 21st after having played Real Betis on the 18th and then follow up with meetings against Alaves on the 24th and Espanyol on the 27th. Finally, their Valentine’s Day home match against PSG in the Champions League will add to their stress levels in February.