2019-11-25 by W.M.
La Liga Winners and Losers After Final 2019 Week 14 Table
Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to set the pace at the of the table in Spain after Week 14’s round of fixtures.
Champions Barca came from behind to beat Leganes 2-1 at Butarque, while Real Madrid also conceded first but went on to see off Real Sociedad 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid dropped points again in a 1-1 draw against Granada and have been leapfrogged in the table by Sevilla following their victory over Real Valladolid.
Winners: Luka Modric and Karim Benzema
Real Madrid secured an impressive 3-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday with Luka Modric and Karim Benzema both playing crucial roles for Los Blancos.
Willian Jose gave the visitors a surprise lead inside two minutes, but Real Madrid hit back when Modric’s free-kick was chested home by Benzema for his 10th La Liga goal of the season:
Modric then grabbed another assist when Fede Valverde’s deflected strike put Real Madrid 2-1 up, and he then volleyed home Real Madrid’s third from a Benzema knockdown:
It was a return to form for Modric and a reminder of the quality the Croatian possesses. Meanwhile, Benzema remains in a rich vein of form with six goals and four assists in his last five outings.
Loser: Atletico’s title hopes
Atletico Madrid’s hopes of winning La Liga suffered a blow after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Granada. The results sees them slip three points behind the leaders having played a game more than Barca and Real Madrid.
Diego Simeone’s side invested heavily in the summer but have now drawn three of their last four games in La Liga and have not won away in the league since September.
They have also see Sevilla move ahead of them in the standings and are only two points clear of Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.
The Rojiblancos now face two testing fixtures in what is a demanding week. They travel to Juventus on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League and then host leaders Barcelona.
Simeone has never beaten Barcelona in La Liga but will know another defeat on Sunday to the defending champions will leave his side with a mountain to climb if they are to win the title.
Winner: Sergio Canales
Sergio Canales scored a brilliant 94th-minute winner for Real Betis on Saturday to seal a comeback win against Valencia.
Los Che went ahead through Maxi Gomez but were pegged back five minutes later when Joaquin equalised for the hosts.
Manager Rubi came into the match under pressure after a poor start to the season despite only being appointed Betis boss in June. El Chiringuito (h/t Colin Millar at Football Espana) reported that he would be replaced by Quique Setien if he did not get a result against Valencia.
Betis looked to be heading for a draw until Canales popped up with his match-winning strike. The 28-year-old curled the ball into the top corner from a tight angle and drew comparisons with Lionel Messi:
The win was enough to give Rubi’s side all three points and move them into 15th place in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Losers: Osasuna’s home record
Osasuna were promoted to La Liga for 2019-20 as champions in a campaign where they did not lose a single home match. The team won 19 of their 21 games at El Sadar and have continued their strong home form in the current campaign.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side had won three and drawn four of their seven home matches so far in La Liga to extend their unbeaten run to 31 games but finally tasted defeat against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.
Gaizka Garitano’s side ran out 2-1 winners to inflict a first home loss on Osasuna for 602 days:
Athletic are one of the few teams who seem to enjoy trips to El Sadar. They have now won of their last four visits and move into fifth place in the table.