La Liga officially ended today, with the thirty-eighth round of matches completed and Barcelona winning the domestic title with 93 points and a +70-goal differential. Atletico Madrid at 79 points, Real Madrid at 76, and Valencia at 73, rounded out the UEFA Champions League slots while Villarreal and Real Betis clinched Europa League spots. Malaga, Las Palmas, and Deportivo were relegated. We await the results of the final matches of Segunda Division and their playoffs to find out which three teams get promoted to next year’s competition.
The surprising, rookie side, the first-time promoted Girona, maintained its middle of the table slot for the duration of the season ending at number ten; Real Madrid, after an incredible start to the season with blowout wins over Barcelona and Manchester United to win the Spanish and UEFA Super Cups respectively, were eliminated from both the domestic league and cup competitions early while making it to the final of the Champions League next week; and Atletico Madrid won their third Europa League trophy, continuing the decade-plus Spanish dominance of European club play.
Among the headlines of the domestic year were Lionel Messi’s leading of the La Liga scorers’ table from beginning to end, Neymar’s departure and Phillipe Coutinho’s eventual arrival at Barcelona, the folly of Real coach Zinadine Zidane, the return to officiating largess in favor of and unsportsmanlike play by Barcelona, and the Real Deal Real Madrid.
The scores in the final round were, on Saturday, Celta Vigo beat visiting Levante 4-2, Leganes, at home, held off Real Betis 3-2 despite a red card, Las Palmas lost at home against Girona 1-2, Malaga did the same against Getafe by a 0-1 score, Sevilla edged out visitors Alaves 1-0 and Villarreal came from two goals down to tie with visiting Real Madrid. On Sunday, Valencia, playing at home, dispatched relegation bound Deportivo 2-1, Espanyol won 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid, with a red card, managed a 2-2 home draw with Eibar thanks to two goals from the departing Fernando Torres, and Barcelona closed out Andres Iniesta’s domestic career with a 1-0 home win over Real Sociedad.
The top scorers remained intact for the umpteenth consecutive week with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi at 34 goals, followed by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo at 26, Barca’s Luis Suarez at 25, Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas at 22 and Girona’s Cristhian Stuani at 21 rounding off the top five.