Upcoming fixtures
First division Day 33 (remaining games) 21 Apr
First division Day 34 23-25 Apr
First division Day 35 27-29 Apr
Champions League Barcelona v Liverpool 1 May
Europa League Arsenal v Valencia 2 May

First division – day 33

Barcelona just need six points from their next five games to be league champions after a 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday evening! Lenglet headed Valverde’s side in from from Dembélé’s corner on the stroke of half time, and although Juanmi levelled the scores after the break, Jordi Alba restored the lead just two minutes later. Barça stay nine points clear of Atlético Madrid, who beat Eibar 0-1 earlier in the afternoon. They left it late though, Lemar getting the winner from Koke’s cross with just five minutes remaining. The other two games involved sides in the lower reaches of the table, bottom two Rayo Vallecano and Huesca doing themselves no favours after a 0-0 draw left them both well adrift of the rest. De Tomás did get the ball in the net for the locals only for the strike to be ruled out for a borderline offside, but Etxeita missed a good chance to win it for the visitors in injury time. Above them though only three points separate five teams after Celta beat Girona 2-1 in the early kick-off. The Galicians started the day in the bottom three, but Boufal ensured the three points for them after a strike by Portu had cancelled out Iago Aspas’s first half opener. It was a fifth defeat in a row for the Catalans, and they drop a point below their hosts in the rankings. (20.04.19)

The Friday night game between Alavés and Valladolid ended in a 2-2 draw, a result which didn’t really help either club in their respective objectives, the former to get back into the European spots, and the latter to avoid the drop. Guidetti charged down a lazy clearance from keeper Yoel to open the scoring early on, and Jony put the locals two up with a wide free kick a few minutes later. A Joaquín header and a Ünal penalty saved a point for the visitors however, and they move out of the relegation zone, above Celta on head-to-head goal difference, pending the rest of the weekend fixtures. (19.04.19)

Europa League, quarter final, second leg

Valencia completed the formalities on a rainy Thursday evening in the Mestalla stadium, a 2-0 victory against Villarreal ensuring their place in the semi-finals. Already 1-3 up from the first leg, Toni Lato combined with Guedes to extend the lead in the thirteenth minute. Gameiro lobbed a shot just wide, and Neto had to save from Moreno and Pedraza either side of half time, and some ten minutes in to the second half Dani Parejo wrapped things up with a free kick which took a wicked deflection off Funes Mori to wrong-foot keeper Andrés. After that both coaches reserved their forces for the upcoming league matches, with the hosts looking to win a place in the top four, and their neighbours struggling to avoid the drop. Valencia’s opponents in the semis will be Arsenal, who knocked out Napoli in their quarter final tie. (18.04.19)

Champions League, quarter final, second leg

Barcelona are through to the semi-finals for the first time in four years after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Manchester United! There was a moment of doubt when Rashford hit the bar in the first minute, but Rakitic had a penalty decision overturned by VAR soon afterwards, and with a quarter of an hour on the clock Messi won the ball off Young and cut past two defenders to shoot low past De Gea. Just five minutes later Messi made it two with a long shot which squeezed under the body of the Spanish international keeper, who made up in part for his mistake with a save from Sergi Roberto just before the break, and Coutinho got the third on the hour mark with an impressive shot from outside of the area. Barça’s opponents in the semi-finals will be the winner of the tie between Liverpool and Porto, which takes place tomorrow. (16.04.19)

First division – day 32

Another disappointing night for Real Madrid, and they are now four points behind second placed Atlético after they could only draw 1-1 with lowly neighbours Leganés on Monday. Zidane’s side found themselves behind by the break after Jonathan Silva fired the locals into the lead on the stroke of half time, and although Benzema made it all square soon after the restart, they could have even lost had En-Nesyri not had a strike ruled out for offside near the end. (15.04.19)

Still a lot to play for in the league, with three teams vying for the fourth Champions League spot. Getafe stay a point behind current incumbents Sevilla after they drew 2-2 at Valladolid in the Sunday mid-day game, Jorge Molina saving a point with a penalty in the sixth minute of injury time after a Guardiola strike and an Ünal penalty had overturned Arambarri’s opener. And Valencia are now just two points below Getafe after they beat city rivals Levante 3-1 in the last match of the evening, with Santi Mina giving them an early lead, and Guedes and Mina getting the winners soon after a Soler own goal had levelled the scores. Athletic Bilbao are still in with an outside chance as well though after they won 3-2 against Rayo Vallecano, and they move above Alavés to a seventh spot which, with Barcelona and Valencia in the cup final, will probably give access to the Europa League. Williams scored twice and Raúl García (who also had a penalty saved by Alberto) got the third, with Moreno and De Tomás replying for the visitors. Real Sociedad and Eibar drop further away from the European places after they drew 1-1, Juanmi opening the scoring for the hosts with only twelve seconds gone, but Jordán saving a point for their neighbours with a late free kick. Valladolid’s draw leaves them down in the drop zone, together with Rayo and Huesca (the three teams promoted last season), after Villarreal beat Girona 0-1, Chukwueze getting the only goal there in the seventh minute. The Catalans have not won at home now since late October, and they too are in the battle to avoid the three relegation places together with six other teams, separated now by only seven points. (14.04.19)

In the middle of a Champions League quarter final, and with a big lead at the top of the table, Barcelona’s Ernesto Valverde rested most of his key players for Saturday’s game at bottom club Huesca, with no less than ten changes to his usual starting line-up. Even so they still picked up a point in a 0-0 draw, and they could have won it had Malcom not hit the post in the second half. Second placed Atlético Madrid are now nine points behind the leaders after they won 2-0 against Celta later in the evening, Griezmann getting the first with a well struck free kick, and then setting up Morata for the second after the break. And Sevilla are up to fourth after they beat city rivals Betis 3-2, a fifth win in six games for Joaquín Caparrós’s side. Munir’s headed opener was cancelled out by a Lo Celso strike after the break, but Sarabia and Franco Vázquez put the locals back in front before Tello’s free kick set up an exciting finish. Earlier in the day Espanyol won 2-1 against Alavés to virtually ensure their place in the top flight for another season, and leave their opponents still in seventh spot after a fourth match without a victory. A Pedrosa strike and a Laguardia own goal put the Catalans two up before Calleri got one back after the restart. (13.04.19)

Europa League, quarter final, first leg

As luck would have it, Spain’s two survivors in the Europa League were paired together, Valencia getting the edge over their neighbours Villarreal after a 1-3 win in the first leg. The Ches were awarded an early penalty after Cáseres tripped Guedes in the area, and although Andrés Fernández saved Parejo’s spot kick, Guedes nipped in to score from the rebound. The locals made it all square before the break however, Cazorla converting a second penalty after Garay brought down Iborra. Neto had to save from Moreno and Chukwueze either side of the break but, with a draw seemingly on the cards, the visitors scored twice in injury time through Wass and Guedes to virtually ensure their place in the semi-finals. (11.04.19)

Champions League, quarter final, first leg

Barcelona are the only Spanish side left in the competition, and they took a big step towards a place in the semi-finals after a 0-1 victory at Manchester United on Wednesday. The Catalans had never won in Old Trafford, but they took an early lead when Shaw deflected the ball into his own net after Luis Suárez headed Messi’s centre across goal. De Gea made good saves from Coutinho and Jordi Alba either side of half time, and he had to react quickly to keep out a deflected Messi free kick later on in the second half. Otherwise though a solid Barça defence hardly allowed the locals any real chances, their best efforts coming from a couple of free kicks which Rashford put wide, and Luis Suárez came close to opening his European account this season when he fired a shot into the side netting after Semedo put him through. (10.04.19)

First division – day 31

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

With the top three spots virtually tied up, all interest in La Liga now is about who will occupy the remaining European spots, and who will go down. Right now though Getafe stay in the fourth Champions League spot after they beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, Angel getting the only goal late on to give them their first win in four games. They remain a point above Sevilla, who move up to fifth after a 0-2 victory at Valladolid, Roque and Munir scoring for the Andalusians in the last five minutes to leave their hosts on the brink of the relegation zone. Alavés meanwhile stay in seventh place after a 1-1 draw against Leganés in the mid-day game, an early Calleri penalty appearing to have given them the three points before Jonathan Silva equalised with a cross-come-shot in injury time. Betis are now just three points below the European spots as well after they won 2-1 against Villarreal, Lo Celso netting twice for the locals and Funes Mori heading one back, and local keeper Pau López saving a Cazorla penalty after Bartra handled in the area with three minutes to go. Villarreal end the weekend in the bottom three, below Valladolid on the head-to-head goal difference, after Celta beat Real Sociedad 3-1 to climb above them. Willian José gave the visitors a first half lead from the penalty spot but was sent off after the break, and Iago Aspas (once again) converted a second penalty and heading a second before Maxi Gómez wrapped things up in the dying minutes. Some seven teams are still in the battle to avoid the drop though, although time is running out for bottom club Huesca after they drew 2-2 at Levante. Roger and Morales (from the penalty spot) twice put the locals in front, but Enric Gallego and Chimy Ávila levelled it both times to leave Levante themselves just three points above the drop zone after seven games without a win. (07.04.19)

So that’s it! The league is all but mathematically over this season after leaders Barcelona beat second placed Atlético Madrid 2-0 on Saturday to open up a gap of eleven points with only seven games to go. Any real hopes the visitors had of victory ended when an impetuous Diego Costa was sent off for insulting the referee with just under half an hour on the clock. Even so Simeone’s side held on for almost an hour, with Oblak making a string of first class saves, and they even caused some problems for Ter Stegen on the counter-attack. With five minutes to go however Luis Suárez curled a shot past the keeper to open the scoring, and just a minute later Messi made it two with yet another individualist effort. Atleti stay second, albeit now just two points ahead of their city rivals Real Madrid after Zidane’s side beat Eibar 2-1 earlier in the afternoon. It was another disappointing performance though, with protests from the crowd after Marc Cardona put the visitors in front before the break. And once again it was left to Benzema to save the day, the French striker heading in crosses from Marco Asensio and Kroos after the restart to turn the scoreline around. Elsewhere Valencia missed out on a chance to move up to fourth place after they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 by struggling Rayo Vallecano. Local keeper Alberto García saved a Dani Parejo penalty after Gálvez fouled Rodrigo early on, but Raúl De Tomás gave the locals the lead soon afterwards, and Mario Suárez headed the second in injury time to give new coach Paco Jémez a first win. That opened up the relegation battle even more, and Girona are not out of danger yet after they lost 1-2 to regional rivals Espanyol in the early kick off. Sergi Darder’s second half opener was cancelled out by a Stuani penalty with ten minutes to go, but soon afterwards a long shot from Darder hit the post and went in off the back of keeper Bono to take Rubi’s team four points clear of their hosts in the table. (06.04.19)

First division – day 30

Sevilla are back in the fight for the fourth Champions League spot after a 2-0 victory over Alavés on Thursday evening. Sarabia set up Roque for the first goal just before the break, and then added the second with ten minutes to go to take his side back to sixth spot, just a point below fourth placed Getafe, and two above their opponents, who are out of the European places for the first time in several months. Several teams are still in the running as well though, including Real Sociedad, who beat Betis 2-1 later in the evening to move up level on points with the Andalusians. Oyarzabal got the winner late on after a strike by Canales had cancelled out Juanmi’s opener. Leganés are just a point behind them as well after a 1-0 win over Valladolid, Carrillo heading the only goal in the sixth and final minute of time added on to leave Sergio González’s side just a point above the drop zone. (04.04.19)

A first defeat for Zidane since his return, Real Madrid beaten 2-1 on Wednesday by a Valencia side who are closing in on ther Champions League spots. Guedes fired the Ches into a first half lead, and Garay headed a second before Benzema got a late consolation for the visitors. Madrid end the day 12 points behind leaders Barcelona, and Valencia are now fifth, a point behind Getafe, after a run of 17 games without defeat. Only four points separate five teams though, Athletic Bilbao now just a point below the European spots after a 3-2 win over Levante. Yuri and Williams put the locals two up at the break, but a Roger penalty and a late header from Cabaco pegged them back before Muniain got the winner with an injury time penalty. The defeat dragged Levante into the relegation struggle, and they are only three points above the drop zone after Celta drew 3-3 at bottom club Huesca. Goals by Brais Méndez and Iago Aspas around the break were overturned in the second half by strikes from Gallego. Chimy Ávila and Pulido, but Boudebouz made it all square again with ten minutes to go. Huesca are now seven points away from safety, and Rayo Vallecano are just a point above them after a 2-1 defeat at Eibar. Paco Jémez’s side went in front through Pozo shortly before the break, but Charles and Pedro León scored after the restart to virtually ensure another season of top flight football for the Basque team. (03.04.19)

A midweek round of league games this week, with Barcelona saving a high-scoring 4-4 draw at Villarreal in the last match on Tuesday. Early goals by Coutinho and Malcom appeared to have put Valverde’s side on track for a win, but Chukwuze and Ekambi made it all square with strikes either side of the break, and Iborra and Bacca added two more after the restart. Messi (who started on the subs’ bench) fired in an angled free kick however in the ninetieth minute, and Luis Suárez volleyed home the equaliser following a corner with the game in time added on. Barça are now eight points clear of second placed Atlético Madrid, who beat Girona 2-0 in the first game of the day. Godín headed the opener with a quarter of an hour to go, and Griezmann rounded things off in injury time on a rapid counter attack. Elsewhere Getafe consolidated fourth spot with a 1-1 draw at Espanyol, Angel saving a point after Borja Iglesias had given the Catalans the lead early on in the second half. (02.04.19)

Euro 2020 qualifier

Malta 0 - Spain 2

Spain end the first round of qualifiers at the top of their group after a 0-2 victory over Malta on Tuesday. The last time these two sides met in the European championship was in 1983, when Spain put twelve past their opponents to qualify for the finals, and the son of the goalkeeper from that match was between the sticks for the hosts this time around. However this was a different story, and Bonello was only beaten once in the first half when Morata turned a shot past him after Hermoso put him through. Luis Enrique was absent for personal reasons, but he made eight changes from the side which beat Norway, and although they dominated for most of the game, they only scored once more, Morata heading in a cross from Jesús Navas for his second of the evening. That was enough though, and Spain are already looking good for one of the top two spots, and a place in next year’s finals. (26.03.19)

Spain 2 - Norway 1

Group table
Senior and U21 squads

Under 21 Friendly international

Spain 3 - Austria 0

A second win for Spain’s under 21 side, this time against another of the European finalists, Austria. All the goals came after the break, Carlos Soler connecting with Dani Olmo’s cross to open the scoring, and then firing a shot over the head of the keeper for the second. The Valencia striker came close to a hat-trick after that, and Marc Roca headed the third from Pedraza’s corner with ten minutes to go. (25.03.19)

Spain 1 - Romania 0

Spain's youth team fixtures:
Under 19 / Under 17

Copa del Rey semi final, second leg

Valencia will be joining Barcelona in this season’s cup final after a 1-0 victory over Betis on Thursday evening! The visitors needed to score after the 2-2 draw in the first leg, and Jaume had to be at his best to keep out Canales and Jesé before the break. Some ten minutes in to the second half however Rodrigo got on the end of Gameiro’s cross to turn the ball past Joel on the far post, and Gameiro came close to extending the lead after that. The Ches now have a chance of some silverware in their centenary year, and Betis miss out on a final which this season will take place at their own Benito Villamarín stadium. (28.02.19)

Barcelona are through to their sixth Spanish cup final in a row after they beat Real Madrid 0-3 in the second leg of their semi-final tie! Madrid were slight favourites after the 1-1 draw in the Nou Camp, and they had the better of the first half, Ter Stegen having to save from Benzema and Vinicius, and Vinicius firing a couple of good chances over the top. Some five minutes in to the second half however, Luis Suárez drilled a shot past Keylor Navas after Dembélé laid the ball across, and a few minutes later Varane turned Dembélé’s cross into his own net under pressure from Suárez. Ter Stegen kept out a header from Reguilón before that, but soon afterwards Casemiro brought down Suárez in the area, and the Uruguayan striker lobbed the resulting penalty past Navas to wrap things up. (27.02.19)

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)

Semi final: Kashima Antlers 1 - Real Madrid 3

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)

Euro 2020 qualifying draw

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)

Group table

Full and U21 squads

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)

Spanish Super Cup

Barcelona 2 - Sevilla 1

Barcelona came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 in this season’s Spanish Super Cup, the thirteenth time they have won the tournament. For the first time ever this was played outside of Spain, the venue being Tangiers, Morocco, and also for the first time it was played over one leg rather than two. The new VAR system was also making its debut in Spanish competitions, and it only took eight minutes before it came into action, Sarabia’s opener originally ruled out for offside before the video evidence proved otherwise. Barcelona were level at the break though, Piqué turning in the rebound after Vaclik pushed a Messi free kick onto the post, and with twelve minutes to go Dembélé caught out the keeper with a long shot which went in off the crossbar. Pablo Machin’s team did have a chance to take the game into extra time when Ter Stegen gave away a late penalty on ex team-mate Aleix Vidal, but the German keeper guessed correctly and saved Ben Yedder’s spot kick. (12.08.18)

Fantasy Football

LaLiga and the sports paper Marca are running their Spanish Fantasy Football game once again, and we have set up a Soccer Spain private league as we did last year for our readers to compete. Follow the link https://ax9m.app.link/6nRb0O0xiP to enter. If you played last season you can use the same account, but if you are new to the game you have to set up an account. Alternatively you can enter at https://game.laligafantasymarca.com and when you are in to your account, choose “Join a friend’s league”, and enter the code R0MCFRGQ. Good luck! (11.08.18)

How it works

Summer transfers

The summer transfer market is in full swing, with clubs having until the end of August to complete their squads. The first job was to get the new managers on board where necessary, the most notable move being Julen Lopetegui’s appointment at Real Madrid just two days before the World Cup started after Zidane’s surprise resignation. Lopetegui though won’t be able to count on Cristiano Ronaldo, who, a little jaded at Madrid and hounded by the Spanish tax authorities, has decided to try pastures new at Juventus. The European champions have spent some of the €100 million or so that they got for Ronaldo on a new goalkeeper, Courtois, with Kepa (who was close to signing for Madrid last winter) replacing the Belgian at Chelsea. Several other players will be leaving us this summer, in particular Iniesta and Fernando Torres, who have both gone to Japan. Barcelona seem to have gone for a change of style, replacing the elegant Iniesta with bulldog Arturo Vidal, although they have also drafted in some Brazilian class in Arturo and Malcom. Atlético meanwhile have been adding to their squad with the likes of Lemar, Kalinic and Rodri, and Valencia, Sevilla, Betis and Villarreal have all been strengthening their sides as well for their European campaigns. Still over two weeks to go though until the window closes, and you can follow all the moves at the link below. (10.08.18)

2018/2019 New season transfers by club - Div 1

First division clubs
Second division clubs
Second division B groups

Summary of 2017/2018

League champions Barcelona
Spanish cup winners Barcelona
Promoted to the first division Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, Valladolid
Relegated to the second division A Deportivo, Las Palmas, Málaga
Promoted to the second division A Mallorca, Rayo Majadahonda, Elche, Extremadura
Relegated to the second division B Lorca, Sevilla Atlético, Barcelona B, Cultural Leonesa

Clubs taking part in international competitions in 2018/19 season
Champions League Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
Europa League Villarreal, Betis, Sevilla
European Super Cup Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid
Club World Cup Barcelona

First Division
Alavés 2-2 Valladolid
Barcelona 2-1 Real Soc
Betis 1-2 Valencia
Celta 2-1 Girona
Getafe 3-0 Sevilla
R Madrid 3-0 Athletic
Eibar 0-1 Atlético
Levante 2-2 Espanyol
Rayo 0-0 Huesca
Villarreal 2-1 Leganés
Day 33 - Apr 21



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