Upcoming fixtures
First division Day 36 11-13 Jul
First division Day 37 16 Jul
Europa League Round of 16 5/6 Aug
Champions League, R16, 2nd leg Manchester City v Real Madrid
Barcelona v Napoli
7/8 Aug

First division – day 35

Real Madrid are just two wins away from the league title after a 2-0 victory over Alavés on Friday! Benzema converted an early penalty after Ximo Navarro brought down Mendy in the area, and Marco Asensio got the second after Benzema set him up after the restart to make it eight victories (and five clean sheets) in a row since the lockdown for Zidane’s side. Two of the three Europa League spots are still in the balance though, Granada back in the fray after a 2-3 win at Real Sociedad earlier in the evening. The Andalusians went two up in the first half with a Puertas header and a Soldado strike, and although goals by Mikel Merino and Oyarzabal levelled the scores, Domingos Duarte headed the winner from a Machís cross with two minutes to go. Only five points now separate sixth placed Getafe from tenth placed Athletic. (10.07.20)

Fourth placed Sevilla moved another step closer to a Champions League spot after coming from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 1-2 on Thursday, the win, coupled with other results earlier in the week, meaning that only Villarreal can now leapfrog them in the table. Capa fired the locals into the lead after Vesga’s shot deflected to him on the half hour mark, but Banega curled in a free kick and then set up Munir to head the second in a five minute period midway through the second half. Further down the table, Leganés look set to join Espanyol in the second division after they could only draw 0-0 at Eibar, the result leaving them six points away from safety. The last relegation spot is still very open though after Mallorca beat the already safe Levante 2-0, Cucho Hernández and Kubo getting the goals at the end of the first and second halves to take the islanders to within three points of Alavés (who visit Real Madrid tomorrow), and four of Eibar and Celta. (09.07.20)

A dramatic night in the Nou Camp on Wednesday, Barcelona beating Espanyol 1-0 to send their city rivals down to the second division for the first time in twenty-seven years. Both teams were left with ten men when youngsters Ansu Fati and Pol Lozano were sent off within minutes of each other at the start of the second half, but Luis Suárez won it after combining with Griezmann and Messi to beat Diego López a few minutes later. Barça close to within a point of leaders Real Madrid pending their game on Friday, and Villarreal are now just a point below fourth placed Sevilla after a 1-3 victory at Getafe. All the goals came in the second half, Cazorla converting two penalties for fouls on Moi Gómez, Hugo Duro heading in a Portillo cross in between, and Rubén Peña making it three near the end. Villarreal move four points clear of their hosts, but the game ended in disarray, with a series of red cards after the final whistle. Elsewhere Betis beat Osasuna to secure their spot in the top flight for another season, Guido Rodríguez and Pedraza putting them two up by the break, and Aleñá rounding things off injury time. (08.07.20)

We’re already in to week 35 in this frenzied return after the lockdown, and third placed Atlético Madrid are looking good for a Champions League spot after a 1-1 draw at Celta on Tuesday night. Simeone’s side seemed to be on their way for a comfortable victory when Morata turned in Correa’s deflected cross with less than a minute on the clock, but Beltrán hooked in the equaliser soon after the restart to take the Galicians seven points clear of the drop zone. Earlier in the evening Valencia beat Valladolid 2-1 to move up to eighth, Kang-In Lee firing home the winner with a couple of minutes to go after Víctor García had cancelled out Maxi Gómez’s earlier strike. (07.07.20)


First division – day 34

Two matches on Monday night, Sevilla consolidating fourth spot with a 1-0 victory over Eibar. Ocampos got the only goal, beating Dmitrovic from a Jesús Navas cross soon after the interval, and the Argentinian striker had to save the day late on when he took over in goal from injured keeper Vaclik in time added on, saving a last gasp effort from Dmitrovic himself, who had joined the final attack. Earlier in the day Levante and Real Sociedad drew 1-1 to leave the Basque side still down in seventh place, Isak flicking in an Oyarzabal cross with his heel in the twelfth minute, but Morales running on to Rochina’s long pass to make it all square just four minutes later. (06.07.20)

Real Madrid and Barcelona are still battling it out for the league title, and both won on Sunday. Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 0-1 in the early kick-off, Sergio Ramos converting a winning late penalty for the second game in a row after Dani García tripped Marcelo in the area. It was not without controversy though, as the referee turned down a penalty at the other end minutes later for a similar incident when Ramos stepped on Raúl García’s foot in the area. Barcelona of course complained, but they responded with a 1-4 victory of their own at fifth placed Villarreal in the last match of the night. Pau Torres turned a Jordi Alba cross into his own net in only the third minute, and although Gerard Moreno equalised soon afterwards, Messi set up Luis Suárez and Griezmann for two more before the break. And youngster Ansu Fati rounded things off late on to keep Quique Setién’s side within four points of their rivals. Getafe stay a point below Villarreal though after they could only draw 0-0 at Osasuna, and elsewhere Leganés beat Espanyol 0-1 in a tense tie between the bottom two, Jonathan Silva scoring the only goal on a quick breakaway to leave the Catalans (who visit city neighbours Barcelona on Wednesday) on the verge of relegation (05.07.20)

Granada and Valencia are both in the running for the European spots, although they cancelled each other out in a 2-2 draw on Saturday night. All the goals came after the break, a Carlos Fernández penalty overturned by strikes from Manu Vallejo and Guedes, but Fede Vico saving a point for the locals with four minutes to go. Further down the table, Valladolid moved closer to salvation with a 1-0 victory over Alavés, Joaquín getting the only goal in the dying minutes after a Raul García free kick fell to him in the area. It was a fifth defeat in a row for the visitors, and coach Asier Garitano was fired soon after the game finished. They are now just six points above the drop zone, level with Eibar and with Celta, who drew 1-1 against Betis earlier in the evening. Nolito put the Galicians in front with a free kick around the defensive wall midway through the first half, but Feddal levelled it from a Canales free kick after the restart. (04.07.20)

Third placed Atlético Madrid have reacted well since the lockdown, and they are now close to a Champions League berth after a 3-0 victory over struggling Mallorca on Friday night. Morata opened the scoring from the penalty spot at the second attempt after Sedlar brought him down on the half hour mark, the referee ordering a retake for encroachment of a defender after Reina had saved his first spot kick. The Spanish striker made it two on the stroke of half time from Llorente’s cross, and Koke wrapped things up with a shot which deflected in off a defender near the end. (03.07.20)


First division – day 33

Heroes & Villains section: Top scorers, keepers, red & yellow cards, referees

Real Madrid move four points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona after a 1-0 victory over neighbours Getafe on Thursday evening! They left it late though against a physical opponent, Sergio Ramos getting the only goal from the penalty spot after Olivera tripped Carvajal in the area with ten minutes to go. Elsewhere Real Sociedad put an end to their poor recent run after coming from behind to beat bottom club Espanyol 2-1, Willian José and Isak getting the goals in the second half after David López had headed the Catalans into the lead in the tenth minute. The win takes the Basque side back up to seventh, now two points clear of their neighbours Athletic Bilbao. Osasuna can’t be ruled out of the running for the European places though after a 0-2 victory at local rivals Eibar, Rubén García scoring a goal in each half to leave the home side still only six points above the drop zone. (02.07.20)

Villarreal have been the most on-form team since the lockdown, and they moved up to fifth after a 0-2 win at Betis on Wednesday. Gerard Moreno did the damage, converting an early penalty after Bartra brought down Bacca in the area, then adding a second before the break to make it 16 points from the last six games for his side. Athletic Bilbao are also doing well recently, and they are up to seventh pending the rest of the mid-week games after beating Valencia 0-2. Raúl García got both the goals before the interval, the first from a Williams cross and the second with a shot from outside of the area, to take the Basque side above their hosts in the table. It was a bad start for Valencia’s caretaker coach Voro, and to top it all he also lost Gayà and Rodrigo for the rest of the season after both were injured. Granada are still only two points below Athletic though after they won 0-2 at Alavés, and they are one of several sides in with a chance of the European spots. Antoñin got the opener midway through the first half after Roberto saved from Puertas, and Soldado made it two on a quick counter-attack soon after the restart. Alavés drop to sixteenth, a point below Valladolid, who drew 0-0 against Levante in the last match of the evening. (01.07.20)

Barcelona’s title challenge is fading after they could only draw 2-2 against third-placed Atlético Madrid on Saturday night, a second draw in a row leaving them still a point below Real Madrid, who play tomorrow. Diego Costa deflected the ball into his own net after Busquets headed on a Messi corner in the twelfth minute, and then saw his penalty saved by Ter Stegen after Vidal brought down Carrasco soon afterwards. The referee ordered a retake however, which Saúl tucked away, and although Messi restored the lead from the spot after Felipe fouled Semedo shortly after the restart, Saúl levelled it once again with a third penalty after Semedo tripped Carrasco on the hour mark. Earlier in the evening fourth-placed Sevilla finally got back to winning ways with a 0-3 victory at next to bottom club Leganés, Oliver Torres netting twice before the break and Munir adding the third late on. And Mallorca kept their slim hopes of salvation alive with a 5-1 win against Celta, a Budimir penalty and strikes by Cucho Hernández and Pozo putting the islanders three up by the interval. Iago Aspas got one back from the penalty spot after the restart, but Budimir and Salva Sevilla added two more to close to within five points of their opponents in the table. (30.06.20)


Coronavirus news

La Liga is coming back! After almost 3 months of lock-down, the authorities have announced that everything will resume the week commencing 8th June (pending official confirmation of the dates). This will only apply to the top two divisions however, the regional divisions having been declared closed with the exception of the promotion play-offs, which will be based on the rankings at the time of the lock-down.

Eleven weeks remain in the first division and eleven as well in the second, and it appears games will be scheduled for every day of the week, with teams playing every three or four days. Given the heat in Spain at this time of year, presumably matches will take place in the evening, behind closed doors, and with extreme sanitary precautions. In view of the circumstances, it appears that five substitutes will be allowed instead of three.

As everyone probably knows, Euro 2020 has been postponed until next year, and the remaining Champions League and Europa League ties are expected to take place in summer, once the national leagues have finished. The Spanish “Copa del Rey” cup final between local rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed indefinitely though, as the clubs have insisted that this take place in the presence of their fans, even if this is several months into the future. As a result, the Europa League spot usually awarded to the cup winner will go to the side which finishes seventh in the league. (01.06.20)


Champions League, round of 16

Atlético Madrid are into the quarter finals of the Champions League after defeating defending champions Liverpool 2-3 in the mythical Anfield stadium! After Atleti’s 1-0 win in the first leg, a headed goal by Wijnaldum on the stroke of half time took the tie into extra time, and a strike by Firmino appeared to have taken the Premier League team through. Substitute Marcos Llorente scored twice though in the next few minutes from Joao Felix and Morata assists, and Morata himself wrapped things up after Llorente set him up near the end. (11.03.20)

The second legs of the round of 16 kicked off this week, with Valencia knocked out of the competition after losing 3-4 to Atalanta. The match was played behind closed doors following the coronavirus outbreak, and fans missed an entertaining match, with seven goals in all. The Italians though were odds-on favourites after their 4-1 win in the first leg, and two penalties by Ilicic before the break put the game beyond the Ches’ reach. Gameiro did peg them back both times, and Ferran actually put the locals in front on the night, but Ilicic scored two more late on to turn things around again. (10.03.20)


Copa del Rey - semi finals

There will be an all-Basque final for the first time in the history of the cup after Athletic Bilbao knocked out Granada in the second semi-final! Carlos Fernández cancelled out Athletic’s first leg lead when he headed a Carlos Neva cross past Unai Simon at the start of the second half, and when Germán headed in a corner with a quarter of an hour to go it looked like the Andalusians were going to win. Six minutes later however Yuri ran on to Vesga’s pass to fire an angled shot past Rui Silva and make it 2-1 on the night, taking Garitano’s team through on the away goal rule. (05.03.20)

Real Sociedad are the first side into this year’s Spanish cup final after a 0-1 win at Mirandés on Wednesday evening. After the 2-1 result in the first leg, a single goal would have taken the second division team through, and Remiro had some work to do early on. With five minutes to go to the break however, the visitors were awarded a penalty after Malsa handled in the area, and Oyarzabal converted the resulting spot kick to take the San Sebastian based club into their first final for 32 years. (04.03.20)


Europa League, round of 32

Getafe and Sevilla will be in tomorrow’s draw after both won through their ties on Thursday! Getafe’s great season continued after they knocked out Ajax despite losing 2-1 in the second leg. Mata added to the two from a week ago with a vital away goal in the fifth minute, and although Pereira levelled it soon afterwards and Olivera headed an Eiting free kick into his own net later on, the Dutch side were never going to recover after that. Sevilla however just scraped through after drawing 0-0 at home to Cluj, the away goal in the 1-1 first leg seeing them in to the last 16. It could have been different though had the referee not ruled out a goal by Paun for a previous hand ball with three minutes to go after consulting VAR, and there were boos from the unhappy home fans after the final whistle. Espanyol were knocked out by Wolverhampton Wanderers though, although they did restore some pride after the 4-0 first leg defeat, Calleri helping himself to a hat-trick in a 3-2 win on the night. The striker put them ahead twice only to see the visitors peg them back both times with goals by Adama Traoré and Doherty, but he headed in Pipa’s cross in injury time for the winner. (27.02.20)


Champions League, round of 16

Real Madrid are struggling to stay in the competition after they lost 1-2 to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Wednesday! Zidane’s side were on top for most of the first half, and Isco combined with Vinicius to put them in front on the hour mark. Courtois had to make a couple of important saves though, and with twelve minutes to go Gabriel Jesús headed in a De Bruyne cross to level the scores. Soon afterwards De Bruyne got the second from the penalty spot after Carvajal brought down Gabriel Jesús, and with the game coming to an end, team captain Sergio Ramos was sent off for bringing down the Brazilian striker as he advanced on goal. He will be sorely missed when Madrid visit the Etihad Stadium in three weeks’ time. (26.02.20)

The big two entered the knock-out stage of the competition this week, with Barcelona drawing 1-1 at Napoli on Tuesday evening. The Italian side took the lead on the half hour mark, Mertens getting on the end of Zielinski cross to beat Ter Stegen. After the restart though Griezmann equalised from Semedo’s centre, and the visiting keeper made a couple of good saves after that to ensure the result. The bad news for Barça though was that Arturo Vidal got himself sent off late on after picking up two yellow cards in succession, and Busquets will also be missing from the second leg after he picked up his third booking of the competition. (25.02.20)


Spanish Super Cup

Real Madrid are this year's Spanish Super Cup winners, Zidane’s side defeating city rivals Atlético Madrid 4-1 on penalties in the final after the match itself finished 0-0. Neither keeper was particularly troubled in the first ninety minutes, Courtois saving a couple of times from Morata and from Thomas, and Oblak keeping out Casemiro, Modric and Mendy. Joao Felix, Fede Valverde and Jovic all missed chances, and with three minutes of extra time to go, Valverde (who was named man-of-the-match!) was sent off for bringing down Morata as he advanced on goal. That took it to penalties, and after Saúl hit the post and Courtois saved from Thomas, Sergio Ramos fired home the winner to hand the title to Real Madrid, who, by rights (after finishing third in the league last season), should not have even taken part in the competition! (12.01.20)

Atlético Madrid will be Real Madrid’s opponents in this year’s Super Cup final after they won 2-3 against Barcelona on Thursday. Half time substitute Koke gave Simeone’s side the lead just a minute after the restart, but strikes by Messi and Griezmann turned the scoreline around soon afterwards. Oblak had to make a couple of important saves, and Messi and Piqué had goals ruled out by VAR, but Morata levelled it from the penalty spot with ten minutes to go after Neto brought down Vitolo in the area, and Correa got the winner near the end. The result means that neither the Spanish league champions nor the cup winners will be in this season’s final, which furthermore will take place over 4,000 kilometres away in a half empty stadium. Such is the power of money. (09.01.20)

Spain’s revamped Super Cup kicked off in Saudi Arabia this week, with four teams competing for this year’s title, league champions Barcelona, cup winners Valencia, and the teams finishing second and third in the league, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid. Real Madrid are the first team through to the final after they beat Valencia 1-3 on Wednesday, Kroos starting things off with an inswinging corner which caught keeper Jaume out of position on the quarter hour mark. Before the break Isco made it two after Garay blocked a shot from Modric, and Modric himself scored the third with a shot from outside of the area after the restart. Dani Parejo got a last minute consolation for Ches from the penalty spot after Ramos handled in the area, but too late to change the result. (08.01.20)


Euro 2020 qualifiers

Spain 5 - Romania 0

Spain tied up one of the top seed spots for next summer’s European finals after beating Romania 5-0 in the last group game. Gayà had a goal ruled out and Cazorla hit the bar before Fabián opened the scoring, following up after Tatarusanu could only push out a shot from Carvajal in the eighth minute. Gerard Moreno added two more from Cazorla and Gayà centres before crossing in for Rus to turn the ball into his own net on the stroke of half time, and Oyarzábal completed the scoring with a low shot in injury time. (18.11.19)

Spain 7 - Malta 0

Spain made sure of top spot in their group after thrashing Malta 7-0 in their latest match. Morata opened the scoring midway through the first half, and Gerard Moreno had a goal ruled out before he set up his Villarreal team mate Cazorla for the second. After the restart Pau Torres, Sarabia, Dani Olmo and Moreno all got their first goals for Spain within ten minutes of each other, Torres and Olmo just minutes after coming on for their senior debut, and Jesús Navas rounded things off with a long shot near the end. (15.11.19)

Group table
Senior and U21 squads
Under 21 international


2018/19 season


Club World Cup Final

Real Madrid 4 - Al Ain 1

Abu Dhabi, UAE. Real Madrid are world champions for the third year in a row and the fourth time in their history after beating Al Ain 4-1 in the final! The local champions were Madrid’s surprise opponents after they won through the previous rounds, and only Sergio Ramos’s foot prevented Elshahat from scoring early on. Just a minute later though Modric put the Liga side ahead with a shot from the edge of the area, and although Caio had a strike ruled out for offside, Benzema and Bale both had chances to extend the lead before the break. With an hour on the clock Marcos Llorente made it two with a first time volley after a Kroos corner was headed clear by Ahmed, and Sergio Ramos headed a third from a Modric corner with ten minutes to go. Shiotani did get one back with a header from Caio’s long free kick, but with the game in time added on Nader deflected a wayward shot from substitute Vinicius in to his own net for the final result. (22.12.18)


Friendly international

Spain 1 - Bosnia Herzegovina 0

Spain’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals ended when England came from behind to beat Croatia 2-1, and it will be England who go to next summer’s final four rather than Luis Enrique’s side. The coach is still building his squad however for the Euro 2020 championship, and he made nine changes for this friendly fixture against Bosnia from the team who lost to Croatia, with Mario Hermoso, Brais Méndez, Pablo Formals and Pau López all winning their first caps. The match rather vindicated UEFA’s decision to add the new competition to reduce the number of meaningless friendlies though, with little real action and multiple substitutions breaking up play. Asensio, Isco and Suso all tested Sehic before the break, and Morata missed the easiest of chances after the restart. Dzeko and Visca replied for the visitors, but the only goal came with twelve minutes to go when Méndez was in the right place to finish off after the keeper could only push out a long shot from Isco. Spain’s next match will be in March, when the Euro 2020 qualification begins. (18.11.18)


UEFA Nations League

Croatia 3 - Spain 2

Spain lost their last group match against Croatia, and they now need England and Croatia to draw on Sunday for them to qualify for next summer’s finals. Despite scoring six against the East Europeans in the first leg, a defeat against England meant that they had to win this match to be sure of finishing top of the group. However De Gea had to push an early effort from Persisic on to the post, and Kalinic was not troubled until he tipped a long shot from Isco over the bar before the break. Some ten minutes into the second half Kramaric opened the scoring for the hosts after a poor clearance from Sergi Roberto was intercepted, and although Dani Ceballos combined with Isco to make it all square just two minutes later, Jedvaj headed in a Modric cross to restore the lead soon afterwards. Rebic and Morata both missed good chances before Sergio Ramos levelled it again from the penalty spot after Vrsaljko handled in the area, but with the game in time added on Jedvaj got the winner after De Gea could only push out a shot from Berkalo. The result means that any of the three teams could finish top of the group, and the only thing for sure is that Spain won’t finish last. (15.11.18)


European Super Cup

Real Madrid 2 - Atlético Madrid 4 (after extra time)

Atlético Madrid finally beat city rivals Real Madrid in a European final, Simeone’s team scoring twice in extra time in Tallinn to take their third European Super Cup title! With less than a minute on the clock they were already in front, Diego Costa heading on a long ball and holding off his markers to beat Keylor Navas from a wide angle. The Champions League winners were missing Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time, but new coach Julen Lopetegui still put out a strong line-up, and with just under half an hour gone Benzema headed in a long cross from Bale to make it all square. Early in the second half Sergio Ramos made it two from the penalty spot after Juanfran handled a Kroos corner, but Costa appeared again to equalise following a good team move. That took the game into extra time, and Saúl and Koke latched on to assists from substitutes Thomas and Vitolo to hand their neighbours their first defeat in an international final in 18 years. (15.08.18)


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Summary of 2018/2019

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Valencia
Promoted to the first division Osasuna, Granada, Mallorca
Relegated to the second division A Rayo Vallecano, Huesca, Girona
Promoted to the second division A Racing Santander, Fuenlabrada, Ponferradina, Mirandés
Relegated to the second division B Reus, Nàstic, Córdoba, Rayo Majadahonda


Clubs taking part in international competitions in 2019/20 season
Champions League Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
Europa League Getafe, Sevilla, Espanyol
European Super Cup None
Club World Cup None

First Division
Alavés - Getafe
Atlético 1-0 Betis
Espanyol - Eibar
Granada - R Madrid
Leganés - Valencia
Levante - Athletic
Osasuna 2-1 Celta
Sevilla - Mallorca
Villarreal - Real Soc
Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona
Day 36 - 13 Jul

 

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