19th October 2020
Messi in action against Mallorca
Sport

La Liga round-up: Barça and Real Madrid on form after 93 day break

La Liga finally kicked off in Spain again on Thursday evening after 93 days since matches were suspended on 12 March. Each of the top league’s 20 clubs will play their final 11 games behind closed doors. There will be matches played nearly every day for the next 39 days – concluding on Sunday 19 July.

Lionel Messi returned with a goal and two assists as Barça resumed their La Liga title challenge on Saturday with a 4-0 victory away to Mallorca.

Barça burst into the lead after just 64 seconds when Arturo Vidal headed in – and then Martin Braithwaite struck a second from a Messi headed assist.

Jordi Alba latched onto a Messi pass to add a third but not before play was briefly stopped by a pitch invader, despite the match being closed to fans. Messi then scored a fourth in injury time for his 25th goal of the season.

Messi is crucial to Barça’s hopes of holding off Madrid but their captain, who turns 33 this month, may have to pace himself, especially after an injury-interrupted season.

Messi in action against Mallorca
Messi in action against Mallorca on 13 June 2020. (Miguel Ruiz / FCBarcelona)

‘I’m happy because starting like this is an enormous boost for what’s to come,’ said Barcelona coach Quique Setien after the match.

The first match back on Thursday saw Sevilla beat Real Betis 2-0.

Mallorca’s defeat, combined with losses for Leganes and Celta Vigo, made it the perfect day for Espanyol, who made up ground on their relegation rivals by beating Alaves.

Empty stadium Mallorca v Barcelona
The empty stadium as Mallorca host Barcelona on 13 June 2020. (Miguel Ruiz / FCBarcelona)

Chinese striker Wu Lei, who tested positive for Coronavirus in March, scored on his first game back to seal a 2-0 victory and put Espanyol within three points of safety.

They are now level on points with Leganes, who lost 2-1 at home to Real Valladolid, and three behind Celta, who conceded in the 91st minute for a 1-0 defeat by Villarreal.

On Sunday, Real Madrid beat Eibar 3-1 to maintain their pressure at the top of La Liga.

La Liga results: Matchday 28 (of 38) played between 11-14 June

Played on Thursday 11 June

Sevilla 2  Real Betis 0

Played on Friday 12 June

Granada 2  Getafe 1

Valencia 1  Levante 1

Played on Saturday 13 June

Espanyol 2  Alaves 0

Celta Vigo 0  Villarreal 1

Leganes 1 Valladolid 2

Mallorca 0  Barcelona 4

Played on Sunday 14 June

Athletic Bilbao 1 Atletico Madrid 1

Real Madrid Eibar 1

Real Sociedad Osasuna 1

La Liga Table – Monday 15 June

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

Barcelona         28  19   4   5   67   31  61

Real Madrid     28   17   8   3   52  20  59

Sevilla               28  14   8   6   41  29  50

Real Sociedad   28   14   5   9   46   34  47

Getafe               28   13    7   8   38   27  46

Atletico Madrid  28  11  13   4   32  22  46

Valencia           28   11   10   7   39  40  43

Villarreal          28   12   5   11   45  38  41

Granada           28  12   5   11   35   33  41

Athletic Bilbao   28   9   11   8    30   24   38

Osasuna           28   8   11    9   35   39   35

Levante            28   10   4   14   33   41   34

Real Betis        28   8   9   11   38   45   33

Valladolid        28   7  11   10   25  34  32

Alaves              28   8    8   12   29   39  32

Eibar                 28   7   6    15   28   44  27

Celta Vigo       28   5   11   12    22   35   26

Mallorca          28   7    4   17    28   48   25

Leganes          28    5    8   15    22   41  23

Espanyol         28    5    8   15    25   46   23

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