|Europa League||Quarter finals||10/11 Aug|
|Champions League||Quarter finals||12-15 Aug|
|Second division||Play-offs||13 Aug|
Barcelona will be joining Atlético Madrid in the quarter final play-offs in Portugal after beating Napoli 3-1 in the Nou Camp on Saturday! The Catalans quickly built on the 1-1 draw from the first leg, Lenglet heading in a Rakitic corner and Messi holding off six defenders to curl a shot past Ospina with only a quarter of the game gone. With half time approaching Luis Suárez made it three from the penalty spot after Koulibaly brought down Messi in the area, and although Insigne got one back with a second penalty for a foul by Rakitic on Mertens before the break, Setien’s team held on to set up a quarter final tie with Bayern Munich next Friday. (08.08.20)
Real Madrid are out of the Champions League after they lost 2-1 at Manchester City when the competition finally resumed this week! Needing to overcome a 1-2 defeat from the first leg, this was always going to be an uphill battle, and things got even more difficult when Gabriel Jesús won the ball off Varane to set up Sterling for the opener early on. Benzema headed the equaliser from Rodrygo’s cross on the half hour mark, but another mistake by Varane allowed Gabriel Jesús to nip in and beat Courtois after the restart. (07.08.20)
With the extended league season now over, it was time for the European competitions to resume, albeit in a much-changed format. The Europa League games will take place over one leg in Germany, with Getafe and Sevilla still involved. Getafe are out though after they lost 2-0 to Inter Milan on Wednesday, Lukaku putting the Italians ahead before the break. Jorge Molina did have a chance to level it from the penalty spot after Godín handled in the area later on in the second half, but he put his spot kick wide, and Erikson wrapped things up near the end. Five-time champions Sevilla are through to the quarter finals however after they won 2-0 against Roma, with Reguilón and En-Nesyri getting the goals before the break, and Koundé and Banega hitting the woodwork as well. Lopetegui’s side will meet Wolverhampton Wanderers next Tuesday for a place in the semis. (06.08.20)
Spain is rapidly becoming the laughing-stock of Europe after the latest round of infighting, complaints and cock-ups! The disciplinary committee overruled the League’s decision to cancel the Deportivo - Fuenlabrada game, which eventually took place today. Both squads were already on holiday though, and with several players still recovering from Covid-19, Fuenla were only able to muster 7 first team players, who were joined by 6 players from their junior teams. Even so they went ahead though Ciss, and were on track for a place in the play-offs (they only needed a draw) before Beauvue scored two late goals for the Galicians to make it 2-1, the second a controversial injury time penalty. That meant that Elche will occupy the last play-off spot, and will meet Zaragoza in one of the semis. It probably won’t end there though – Zaragoza and Almería both have players who have tested positive for C-19, and everybody is taking legal action against everybody else, with Depor and Numancia claiming to be reinstated in a league of 24, and/or that Fuenlabrada be relegated for disciplinary reasons, third-placed Zaragoza demanding that the play-offs be cancelled and that they be promoted, and several people pushing for League president Javier Tebas to be removed. Enjoy the show folks! (07.08.20)
Still no news on when the play-offs for the last promotion spot will take place, but it seems that the semi-final ties will be Zaragoza v Elche and Almería v Girona after the authorities decided that the Deportivo - Fuenlabrada game will be cancelled due to force majeur. Four teams have been promoted from the second division B though, FC Cartagena, UD Logroñés, Castellón and Sabadell. (26.07.20)
A complete farce on the last day of the season in the second division after the key match between Deportivo and Fuenlabrada was suspended. The locals had to win and hope either Albacete or Lugo lost to stay up, and the visitors needed a win to take one of the promotion play-off spots. However several Fuenlabrada players were supposedly diagnosed positive for Covid-19 with the players already in La Coruña (albeit that none had any symptoms), and the game had to be put on hold.
Despite protests from several clubs though, the rest of the synchronised programme went ahead, and with Albacete and Lugo winning, Deportivo were officially relegated, together with Numancia, Extremadura and Racing Santander. Huesca were proclaimed second division champions, with Cádiz already promoted as well, and Zaragoza, Almería and Girona made it to the play-offs for the last promotion spot, with Elche provisionally the fourth team involved pending Fuenlabrada’s result.
The play-offs though have been suspended until the whole mess can be sorted out (Fuenlabrada players are now in 15-day lockdown), and Depor and Numancia (who only went down as a consequence of the final results) are demanding to be reinstated. Welcome to Spain and the new normal! (20.07.20)
A brave effort by Leganés in the last round of games of the season, but in the end they will be going down together with Mallorca and Espanyol after a 2-2 draw against neighbours Real Madrid. Already sure of the league title, Zidane’s side took the lead twice through a Ramos header and a strike by Asensio at the beginning of the first and second halves, but goals by Bryan Gil and Assalé pegged them back both times. That was still a goal short of what they needed though, and they remained a point below Celta, who survive after a 0-0 draw at Espanyol. Mallorca themselves drew 2-2 at Osasuna, who finished in tenth spot.
The only other issue at stake was who would occupy the Europa League spots, with several teams involved. Villarreal made sure of fifth place with a 4-0 victory over Eibar, Cazorla assisting Anguissa in his last game at the club before Gerard Moreno netted a brace, and Moi Gómez finished things off. Real Sociedad ended up sixth after a 1-1 draw at Atlético Madrid, Januzaj saving a point after Koke had put the locals in front, and Granada snatched seventh place after beating Athletic Bilbao 4-0, the result taking them above Getafe, who lost 1-0 at Levante. Valencia also missed out on Europe after a 1-0 defeat at Sevilla, and they will be looking for yet another manager for next season.
Sevilla and Getafe of course are still in this season’s Europa League, which takes place in Germany next month, and Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Barcelona have Champions League ties coming up, the last rounds in Portugal. Barcelona ended the league season with a 0-5 win at Alavés, Messi scoring two of those to win his seventh “Pichichi” (top goalscorer) award, the Catalans finishing second, with Atlético and Sevilla occupying the other Champions League places for next season. Elsewhere Valladolid beat Betis 2-0 in a game with nothing at stake to move above their opponents to thirteenth. (19.07.20)
Real Madrid are league champions for the 34th time in their history after they beat Villarreal 2-1 in the penultimate game of the season! Needing a tenth win in a row to be sure of the title, Benzema put them in front from a Modric assist on the half hour mark. The French striker made it two with a twice-taken penalty after Chakla brought down Ramos in the area after the interval, but Iborra headed in a Mario cross to set up a tight finish. As it happened though, Madrid would have been champions even if they had lost, as their rivals Barcelona were beaten 1-2 by Osasuna in the Nou Camp at the same time (all key matches were synchronised today). José Arnáiz turned in a cross from Estupiñan with a quarter of an hour on the clock, and although Messi levelled with a free kick, Roberto Torres got the winner in time added on, even though his side were down to ten men by then. Barcelona have to settle for second place and a spot in next season’s Champions League together with Atlético Madrid, who beat city neighbours Getafe 0-2 with second half goals from Llorente and Thomas, and fourth placed Sevilla, who drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad.
The three Europa League spots are still open however, with fifth placed Villarreal at least sure of one of them. Real Sociedad’s point takes them above Getafe to sixth, but two sides are now just a point below Getafe, Valencia, who beat bottom club Espanyol 1-0 thanks to an early strike from Gameiro, and Granada, who came from behind to beat Mallorca 1-2, goals from Víctor Díaz and Carlos Fernández overturning Cucho Hernández’s earlier strike. The defeat takes Mallorca down to the second division, but Leganés are still in with a fighting chance of survival after they won 0-2 at Athletic Bilbao. The Basque side still had an option of making it to the Europa League places, but keeper Unai Simón was sent off with only a quarter of the game gone, and Guerrero and Assalé scored twice in the last ten minutes to take their team to within a point of Celta, 2-3 losers against Levante. The visitors went two up with early strikes from Bardhi, and although Santi Mina and Aspas levelled it before the break, Mayoral got the winner after the restart. Alavés are safe for another season though after a 1-2 win at Betis, Joselu and Rodrigo Ely scoring in the second half before Loren got a last minute consolation for the hosts. One other match on Thursday with nothing at stake, Eibar beating Valladolid 3-1 in an early kick-off to move three points clear of their opponents in the rankings. (16.07.20)
Real Madrid are just two points away from taking the league title after they beat Granada 1-2 on Monday night! Strikes by Mendy and Benzema in the first quarter of an hour appeared to have tied things up, but Machís got one back after the interval (the first goal that Courtois had let in for six games) to set up a tight finish. Earlier in the evening Real Sociedad clocked up only their second win in nine games, the Basque side beating fifth placed Villarreal 1-2 to return to seventh spot. All the goals came in the last half hour, Willian José and Diego Llorente heading in corners before Cazorla fired one back for the home side late on. Villarreal’s defeat means that Atlético Madrid and Sevilla are now sure of their Champions League berths for next season. The fight for the Europa League spots is still wide open however, Getafe staying sixth, three points below Villarreal and level with Real Sociedad, after a 0-0 draw at Alavés. The point keeps the Vitoria based team four points above the drop zone, although they are still not safe just yet. One other issue that was resolved this weekend was the first of the second division promotion places, defeats for second and third placed Huesca and Zaragoza meaning that leaders Cádiz will be returning to the top flight for the first time in fifteen years. (13.07.20)
Sevilla have finally got their league campaign back on track after a shaky start following the lockdown, a 2-0 victory over Mallorca on Sunday making it four wins in a row. Ocampos opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Pozo handled in the area shortly before the break, and En-Nesyri wrapped things up near the end. The result means that Lopetegui’s side will be at least sure of fourth spot if Villarreal don’t win tomorrow, whereas the islanders remain in the drop zone, still three points away from safety. Athletic Bilbao meanwhile are up to seventh after a 1-2 win at Levante, Raúl García putting them two up at the break before Bardhi got one back after the restart. Valencia though drop to eighth after losing 1-0 at struggling Leganés, despite playing over half an hour against ten men following the dismissal of Jonathan Silva. Rubén Pérez gave the hosts an early lead from the penalty spot after a hand ball by Kondogbia, and Cuéllar saved a Dani Parejo penalty later on to take the Madrid based side level with Mallorca in the table. They are both still within reach of Celta and Alavés, although Eibar are now out of harm's reach after a 0-2 victory at the already doomed Espanyol, Expósito converting a penalty midway through the first half, and then making it two on the follow up after Diego López saved a second spot kick minutes later. (12.07.20)
Barcelona kept the fight for the league title open for a few more days at least, a 0-1 win at Valladolid on Saturday taking them to within a point of leaders Real Madrid pending their game on Monday. Arturo Vidal got the only goal after Messi put him through on the quarter hour mark, but only some good saves by Ter Stegen after that made sure of the three points. Later in the evening third placed Atlético Madrid all but mathematically made sure of their Champions League spot after beating Betis 1-0. Correa and Morata had strikes ruled out by VAR, and Mario Hermoso got himself sent off soon after the restart, but Diego Costa headed the winner from a Carrasco free kick with fifteen minutes to go, VAR this time allowing the goal to stand. Further down the table, Celta are not out of danger after they lost 2-1 at Osasuna, the defeat leaving them just four points above the drop zone. Santi Mina opened the scoring for the Galicians in the tenth minute, but Gallego equalised soon afterwards, and an injury time strike by José Arnaiz gave the Pamplona based side a win which takes them up to within three points of the European spots. (11.07.20)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
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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|League champions||Real Madrid|
|Spanish cup winners||pending|
|Promoted to the first division||Cádiz, Huesca + 1|
|Relegated to the second division A||Mallorca, Leganés, Espanyol|
|Promoted to the second division A||FC Cartagena, UD Logroñes, Castellón, Sabadell|
|Relegated to the second division B||Deportivo, Numancia, Extremadura, Racing Santander|
|Champions League||Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Sevilla|
|Europa League||Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Granada|
|European Super Cup||None|
|Club World Cup||None|
|Day 38 - 19 Jul|