Upcoming fixtures
Europa League Round of 16 postponed
Champions League, R16, 2nd leg Manchester City v Real Madrid
Barcelona v Napoli
postponed
First division Day 28 postponed

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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.

Nine weeks remain in the first division and eleven 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. (24.05.20)

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

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)


First division – day 24 (rescheduled match)

Real Sociedad are up to third in the table after a 1-2 victory at neighbours Eibar on Tuesday evening. The game was postponed form a few weeks ago due to air pollution after a fire at a local landfill, and was the first to be played behind closed doors after the authorities announced a provisional two-week preventive measure following the coronavirus outbreak. Oyarzabal put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after Bigas handled in the area, and Remiro saved an Orellana penalty before Willian José made it two from Portu’s assist. Charles got one back in the dying minutes after Zaldua handled in the area, but the goal came too late to change the final result. (10.03.20)


First division – day 27

Barcelona end the weekend in top spot after Real Madrid lost 2-1 at Betis in the last match on Sunday. Zidane’s side had moved above their arch rivals after their victory in the “clásico” last weekend, but they went behind when Sidnei beat Courtois five minutes before the break. Benzema levelled it from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time after Sidnei fouled Marcelo in the area, but Tello got the winner for the Andalusians late on. Elsewhere Villarreal lost ground on the teams above them after they lost 1-2 to Leganés, and they are now five points off the European spots, level with Granada, who drew 1-1 at Levante. Athletic Bilbao are now a point below them both in tenth spot after a 1-4 victory at Valladolid, and Osasuna are a place below their neighbours after a 1-0 victory against bottom club Espanyol in the mid-day kick-off. (08.03.20)

Barcelona are back at the top of the table pending Real Madrid’s game on Sunday after a 1-0 victory over sixth placed Real Sociedad on Saturday evening. The Catalans dominated for most of the game, but it was not until ten minutes from the end that Messi got the only goal from the penalty spot after Le Normand handled the ball in the area. Sevilla meanwhile hold on to third spot after a 2-2 draw at Atlético Madrid earlier in the afternoon. De Jong’s opener was overturned by a Morata penalty and a strike by Joao Felix, but Ocampos levelled it with a second penalty shortly before the break. Sevilla stay two points ahead of Atleti, now fifth, with Getafe still fourth after they drew 0-0 with Celta. And Valencia are seventh after a 1-1 draw at Alavés on Friday evening, Parejo putting the Ches in front with a direct free kick, but Edgar saving a point for the hosts after the interval. Celta’s draw kept them a point above Mallorca, who stay in the bottom three despite a 1-2 win at Eibar. Goals by Dani Rodríguez and Kubo gave the islanders their first away win of the season, despite an injury time consolation by Bigas. (07.03.20)


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)


First division – day 26

Real Madrid are back at the top of the table after a 2-0 victory over Barcelona in the latest “clásico” on Sunday evening! After their surprise defeat in the Champions League midweek, this was one they needed to win to restore confidence and stay on track with their arch-rivals, and after both sides failed to convert chances, Vinicius put Zidane’s team ahead with a shot which deflected in off Pique. And with the game coming to an end substitute Mariano, who had only come on a minute earlier, ran on to a long throw-in to score the second. Madrid move a point above the Catalans, with the head-to-head goal difference now in their favour.

The two leaders have opened up a big gap over the teams below them though, Sevilla now nine points below them in third after a later 3-2 win over Osasuna. First half strikes by En-Nesyri and Ocampos were overturned by an Aridane header and a Roberto Torres penalty, even though the visitors were playing with ten men, but En-Nesyri got the winner in time added on. Getafe are just a point behind the Andalusians however after a 0-1 victory at Mallorca, Maksimovic getting the only goal there, and Atlético Madrid drop to fifth after a 1-1 draw at Espanyol, Savic turning a Wu Lei cross into his own net before Saúl levelled the scores. Villarreal meanwhile are now eighth after a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao, Raúl García converting a controversial penalty after Pau Torres was adjudged to have handled in the area to give the Basques their first league win in eleven games, just four days before their cup semi-final against Granada. (01.03.20)

Valencia moved back to within a point of the European spots after a 2-1 win over Betis on Saturday afternoon. Gameiro fired the Ches into the lead a quarter of an hour into the second half, and Parejo added a second before Loren got a late consolation for the visitors in injury time. Granada though are now four points behind Valencia after they could only draw 0-0 with Celta, who are now three points above the relegation places as a result. Eibar also moved away from the danger zone after they beat Levante 3-0 in the early kick-off, Charles scoring twice and having a penalty saved by Aitor before Orellana wrapped things up. Leganés however stay in the bottom three after they drew 1-1 against Alavés, Carrillo at least saving a point for them after Lucas Pérez had put the visitors in front. (29.02.20)

Real Sociedad are up to third in table, at least overnight, after a 1-0 win over Valladolid on Friday night. Januzaj headed in Zaldua’s cross on the hour mark to give the Basque side a boost before their upcoming cup semi-final. (28.02.20)


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)


First division – day 25

Atlético Madrid are back up to third in the table after a 3-1 victory over Villarreal in the last match on Sunday. The visitors kicked off with eleven Spaniards in their starting line-up, and they took an early lead through Paco Alcácer. Correa levelled it before the break though, and second half strikes by Koke and Joao Felix rounded off a good week for Simeone’s side. They are just above Sevilla on goal difference after the Andalusians beat erstwhile third placed side Getafe 0-3 earlier in the evening. Ocampos opened the scoring for the visitors on the stroke of half time, and Fernando and Koundé added two more to take their team a point above their hosts in the table. Granada are now four points below the European spots after they won 0-3 at Osasuna, Machís netting twice in the first half hour and Foulquier making it three before the interval. But Athletic Bilbao’s chances of making it to Europe next season appear to be limited to the cup after they lost 2-1 at neighbours Alavés, Raúl García’s opener overturned by a Lucas Pérez penalty and an injury time strike from Rodrigo Ely. Elsewhere bottom club Espanyol’s chances of survival took another set-back after they were beaten 2-1 by Valladolid, second half goals by Sandro and Guardiola putting the game beyond their reach before Embarba pulled one back from the penalty spot in time added on, leaving the Catalans five points away from safety. (23.02.20)

Just one week to go to the next “clásico”, and Barcelona move above their eternal rivals to the top of the table after thrashing Eibar 5-0 on Saturday afternoon. Messi put an end what to him was a bit of a goal drought (four league games without scoring), notching up a hat-trick in the first half. And new signing Braithwaite came on to set up Messi and Arthur to add two more in the last five minutes or so. The Catalans move two clear of Real Madrid after Zidane’s side lost 1-0 at Levante later in the evening. Madrid dominated for much of the match but were unable to beat Aitor and his defence, and with ten minutes to go Morales ran on to Vukcevic’s long ball to volley home the winner. Real Sociedad are now up to fourth after they won 3-0 against Valencia, Merino and Monreal beating Jaume twice with headers before the break, and Januzaj firing home a third soon after the restart to hand the Ches their second heavy defeat in four days. And Celta are back out of the relegation zone after a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Leganés (despite playing over an hour with ten men after Bradaric was sent off), Iago Aspas scoring the only goal from an Olaza free kick on the hour mark. (22.02.20)

Mallorca are out of the relegation spots pending the rest of the weekend’s games after a 3-3 draw at Betis on Friday evening. The islanders had only picked up one point away from home all season, but they took the lead twice in the first half though Cucho Hernández and Budimir. Canales and Fekir pegged them back from the penalty spot both times though, and Joaquín fired the hosts in front after the restart. Kubo levelled it again however with twenty minutes to go to leave the Andalusians still eight points away from the European places. (21.02.20)


Europa League, round of 32

Mixed results for Spanish teams in this Thursday’s Europa League. Getafe produced one of the surprises of the night, beating last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax 2-0 in the early kick-off. Deyverson put them ahead shortly before the break after Olivera played in a long ball from Arambarri, and with the game already in injury time Kenedy made it two with a shot which went in off Dest. Sevilla had some problems before finally drawing 1-1 at Cluj, Deac giving the locals the lead from the penalty spot after Koundé handled in the area on the hour mark, but De Jong setting up En-Nesyri to level the scores late on. It was the first goal that the Romanian side had let-in at home in ten matches. Espanyol though are all but mathematically out of the competition after they lost 4-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers later in the evening, Diego Jota helping himself to a hat-trick and Ruben Neves firing one past Andrés Prieto in between. The second legs will take place next week. (20.02.20)


Champions League, round of 16

Valencia’s participation in this season’s Champions League appears to be over after they lost 4-1 to Atalanta in the San Siro stadium. The Ches went behind early on when Hateboer connected with a Papu Gómez cross to beat Jaume, and although Ferran hit the woodwork a few minutes later, Ilicic made it two with a long shot shortly before the break. After the restart Freuler and Hateboer added two more, taking advantage of a shaky defence missing its two first-choice centre-backs, and although Cheryshev fired one back soon afterwards, Valencia will need a minor miracle in three weeks’ time if they are to make it through. (19.02.20)

The knock-out stage of the Champions League began this week, with Atlético Madrid beating defending champions Liverpool 1-0 in the opening match on Tuesday night. With several players injured, Simeone’s side were not given much hope against the unbeaten Premier League leaders, but with only four minutes on the clock Saúl put them ahead after Koke’s corner fell to him. Salah had a strike ruled out for offside before the break, but otherwise the locals didn’t allow their opponents many chances, and Morata could have increased the lead had he been able to convert a couple of chances after that. A house-special single-goal victory which gives Atleti the edge for the second leg, although they will not have forgotten that Klopp’s team overturned a three goal deficit against Barcelona last season. (18.02.20)


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)


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 1-1 Valencia
Atlético 2-2 Sevilla
Barcelona 1-0 Real Soc
Betis 2-1 R Madrid
Eibar 1-2 Mallorca
Getafe 0-0 Celta
Levante 1-1 Granada
Osasuna 1-0 Espanyol
Villarreal 1-2 Leganés
Valladolid 1-4 Athletic
Day 27 - 8 Mar

 

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