15th September 2019
Barça celebrate
Sport

La Liga round-up: Barça within 2 wins of the title

Barça could win La Liga this week after a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday put them within reach of their 8th league triumph in 11 years.

Beating Alaves on Tuesday would be enough if Atletico Madrid then lose to Valencia on Wednesday. If Atletico prevail over Valencia, Barça’s success will be confirmed with a win at home to Levante on Saturday.

Goals from Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba did the job against Real Sociedad and the reward for winning the league early could be the chance to focus completely on the Champions League, with their semi-final against Liverpool to come, after punishing Manchester United last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have long been able to concentrate on La Liga but remain 13 points adrift of Barça, despite Karim Benzema continuing his own brilliant form by scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, when Gareth Bale was whistled by his own fans yet again.

Within two minutes of the start of the match at Camp Nou on Saturday, Barça were fully into their stride and stretching Real Sociedad‘s across the pitch. Lionel Messi had the first chance of note with his direct free-kick blocked by the visitors’ wall, as the hosts kept the pressure on throughout the opening quarter hour.

The Argentinian then delivered a sumptuous cross which Luis Suárez just failed to connect with and, after a period of play where both sides cancelled each other out, he grazed the top of the net with another free-kick.

With Ousmane Dembélé, Suárez and Arturo Vidal all on the front foot too, it seemed to only be a matter of time before the hosts opened the scoring.

On 35, Juanmi escaped Barça’s defensive clutches and was denied by a superb save from Marc-André ter Stegen. As Barça continued to probe, Messi produced a chance from nothing, though Suárez’s low drive was stopped by a strong hand from Gerónimo Rulli.

Seconds before half-time and with virtually the final touch of the half, Clément Lenglet rose highest to power home a header from a corner despite the close attentions of two defenders.

Barça celebrate
Jordi Albar, Ivan Rakitic and Clement Lenglet celebrate after one of the goals against Real Sociedad (photo courtesy of fcbarcelona.com)

Both sides had the bit between their teeth at the start of the second-half as possession consistently changed hands. Rubén Pardo’s deflected shot brought another flying save out of ter Stegen whilst Dembélé hit one just wide from Vidal’s set-up.

Just after the hour mark Juanmi got on the end of Merino’s through ball to level the scores. Any joy for the visitors was short-lived, however. Jordi Alba cut inside from the left and without hesitation drilled one home with his right foot two minutes later.

In the final 15 minutes, Ivan Rakitic shot narrowly wide after a fine run and assist from Suárez, and Vidal from almost same position put a chance over the bar. Substitute Philippe Coutinho also tried his luck as the hosts looked to get a late reward.

Real Sociedad kept pushing forward to try and grab a point but Barça’s defence held firm. The win means the ‘blaugrana’ are now just two more victories away from winning La Liga.

Spanish La Liga results up to Monday 22 April 2019

Played Sunday 21 April

Levante 2 Espanyol 2

Getafe 2 Sevilla 0

Real Madrid 3 Athletic Bilbao 0

Villarreal 2 Leganés 1

Real Betis 1 Valencia 2

Played Saturday 20 April

Celta Vigo 2 Girona 1

Eibar 0 Atletico Madrid1

Rayo Vallecano 0 Huesca 0

Barcelona Real Sociedad 1

Played Friday 19 April

Alaves 2 Real Valladolid 2

 

La Liga Table – Monday 22 April 2019

(Played, Won, Drawn, Lost, Goals For/Against, Points)

Barcelona                33  23   8   2  83  32  77

Atletico Madrid      33  20   8   5  48  21  68

Real Madrid            33  20   4   9  59  38  64

Getafe                     33  14  12  7  43  29  54

Valencia                  33  12  16  5  38  28  52

Sevilla                     33  15   7  11  54  42  52

Athletic Bilbao       33  11  13   9  36  40  46

Alaves                     33  12  10  11  35  42  46

Real Betis              33  12   7   14  39  45  43

Espanyol                33  11   9   13  39  48  42

Real Sociedad       33  10  11  12  39  41  41

Leganes                 33  10  11  12  33  38  41

Eibar                       33   9   13  11  42  45  40

Villarreal                33   8  12   13  42  46  36

Celta Vigo               32   8   8  16  45  55  32

Girona                     33  8   10  15  34  46  34

Levante                   33   8  10  15  47  61  34

Valladolid                33   7  11  15  28  47  32

Rayo Vallecano      33  7   7   19  36   57  28

SD Huesca              33  5  11  17  35  55  26

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