Coming fixtures
Club World Cup Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers 19 Dec
First division Day 17 21 Dec - 3 Jan
First division Day 18 TBC Jan
Copa del Rey 5th round 1st leg 9 Jan

First division – day 16

Monday night game: Alavés 0 - Athletic Bilbao 0

Barcelona remain three points clear at the top of the table after they thrashed Levante 0-5 on Sunday evening. Last season the Valencia based side were the only ones to beat the Catalans in the league, and Boateng hit the bar in the early minutes. However Messi set up Luis Suárez for the opener with ten minutes to go to the break, and then added two himself either side of half time. With an hour gone Messi completed his hat-trick, and he rounded off yet another excellent performance setting up Piqué for the fifth. Earlier in the day Sevilla had drawn level with Barça and Atlético after beating Girona 2-0 in the mid-day kick-off. Both goals came early on in the second half, Banega converting a penalty after Juanpe brought down André Silva in the area, and Sarabia combining with Ben Yedder to make it two. Sevilla’s city neighbours Betis are now fifth after they came from behind to beat Espanyol 1-3. Sergio García put the locals in front, but Lo Celso equalised before the break, and a Tello free kick and an Oscar Duarte own goal in last five minutes or so handed the Catalans their fifth defeat in a row. Further down the table Huesca and Villarreal drew 2-2, a result which left the hosts still at the bottom of the rankings, and their opponents just a point above the drop zone. Cucho Hernández and Bacca converted penalties either side of the interval, and Asenjo saved a third penalty from Melero midway through the second half after Mario was sent off for a foul on the midfielder. Even so Gerard Moreno put the ten men ahead, but with the game in injury time Longo made it all square once again. (16.12.18)

Atlético Madrid moved up level with leaders Barcelona after a 2-3 win at Valladolid on Saturday afternoon. Simeone’s side appeared to have things under control when they went two up at the break, Griezmann setting up Kalinic for the opener and then scoring the second himself from the penalty spot. However a Calero header and a Saúl own goal made it all square after the restart, and it was not until ten minutes from the end that Griezmann got the winner after a corner fell to him in the area. Real Madrid are now third, just two points behind their city rivals, after they beat next to bottom club Rayo Vallecano 1-0 later in the evening. Benzema put the locals ahead early on, and Kroos hit the post after the restart, but in the dying minutes it took two good saves by Courtois from Alex Alegría and Velázquez to ensure the three points. Madrid now go on to the UAE to take part in the Club World Cup. Things are still tight below the top four though, Getafe the latest incumbents of fifth spot after a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the early kick-off. Jorge Molina got the only goal in the third minute, but Djene could have increased the lead when he hit the bar later on in the first half. Valencia though are still struggling, and they clocked up their tenth draw of the season after they were held 1-1 at Eibar. Rodrigo put the Ches in front midway through the first half, but Charles saved a point for the locals from the penalty spot after Gayà handled in the area soon after the restart. (15.12.18)

No goals in the Friday night game this week, Celta and Leganés drawing 0-0 to leave the Galicians in eighth spot and the Madrid based side four points above the drop zone pending the rest of the weekend games. En-Nesyri missed a couple of good chances for the visitors after the break, but otherwise the locals were on top, Cuéllar making some important saves and Maxi Gómez heading against the bar in the second half. (14.12.18)



Europa League - day 6

Good news for Spanish sides in the last round of league matches, all three qualifying for the next round as group champions. Sevilla beat Krasnodar 3-0, Ben Yedder scoring twice in the first ten minutes, and Banega converting a penalty at the start of the second half after Cristian Ramirez was sent off for keeping out an André Silva header with his hand. And Villarreal won 2-0 against Spartak Moscow, Samu Chukwueze getting the first early on, and Ekambi making it two after the restart to get new coach Luis García off to a good start. Betis were already sure of their place in the knock-out stage coming in to their game at Dudelange, but a 0-0 draw on an icy pitch was enough to ensure them top spot as well. (13.12.18)

Group tables


Champions League - day 6

A very watered-down last round of games in the Champions League, with the fate of all four Spanish sides already decided two weeks or more ago. Real Madrid had already tied up first place in their group and Solari, like Valverde, gave a run out to some of his lesser used players against the already eliminated CSKA Moscow. However the move back-fired, the Russian side running out 0-3 winners to hand Madrid their biggest ever home defeat in Europe. Although Akinfeev was the busiest man on the park early on, Chalov and Schennikov scored twice with the visitors’ first shots at goal in the run up to half time. Asensio had hit the bar before that as well, but after the restart the CSKA’s keeper was hardly troubled, and Sigurdsson completed the humiliation with twenty minutes or so to go. As it happened, the only La Liga team to win this week were the only ones who hadn’t qualified for the knock-out stage, Valencia beating Manchester United 2-1 to at least ensure they are seeded for the Europa League. Carlos Soler opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark, and played a pass through for Jones to turn the ball into his own net under pressure from Batsuyashi at the start of the second half. With Juventus losing at Young Boys, a win would have given Mourinho’s side top spot in the group, but although Rashford headed one back, it was too late to change the result. (12.12.18)

Atlético Madrid could only draw 0-0 at Club Brugge on Tuesday evening, and with Borussia Dortmund beating Monaco in the other group game, Simeone’s side have to settle for second spot, behind the Germans on goal difference. Despite missing several injured and suspended players, the visitors started well, Thomas and in particular Griezmann bringing good saves out of Horvath before the break. Oblak also had work to do though, especially from a Luan Peres header after the restart, and in the end the game petered out to a draw. Brugge go into the Europa League as third in the group, but Atleti miss out on that top spot, and will now have to face a group champion in the first knock-out round. Barcelona were already sure of first place in their group though, and coach Valverde left several of his key players out of his starting line-up against Tottenham. With only seven minutes gone Dembélé ran through from his own half to open the scoring, and Coutinho hit the post once in each half. The Premier League side were playing for the second qualifying spot though, and Cillessen had to make important saves from Son, Eriksen and Lucas Moura. And with five minutes to go Moura got on the end of Kane’s cross to make it 1-1, a result which, with Inter Milan being held to a similar result at home to PSV, meant that Pochettino’s side will be joining Barça in next Monday’s draw. (11.12.18)

Group tables


First division – day 15

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

Athletic Bilbao got their first league win since the opening day of the season after beating Girona 1-0 in the Monday night game. Either side could have won it, Stuani having a strike ruled out for a questionable hand ball before the break and Aduríz heading against the post after the restart. However with a draw seemingly on the cards Aduríz fired home a hotly disputed injury time penalty to get new coach Gaizka Garitano off to a good start, and hand the Catalans their first away defeat of the current campaign. (10.12.18)

Real Madrid are back up into the Champions League spots after a 0-1 victory over bottom club Huesca on Sunday afternoon. Gareth Bale volleyed in an Odriozola cross to give Solari’s team the lead in the eighth minute, but after that they struggled, and only some good saves by Courtois ensured the win. From sixth placed down though only three points separate nine teams, Levante the current incumbents of that last Europa League spot after a thrilling 4-4 draw at Eibar in the mid-day game. Sergi Enrich’s early opener was overturned by strikes from Moreno and Rober Pier, but after the interval a goal by Escalante and two by Charles (including a penalty) appeared to have won it for the locals. However Oliveira put through his own net, and Borja Mayoral got the equaliser for the Valencia based side in injury time. Betis are level with Levante though after they beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 in the last match of the evening, Lo Celso converting a penalty on the hour mark and Sidnei running through from his own half to make it two a few minutes later. And Valladolid are two points below the Andalusians after they won 1-2 at Real Sociedad, the result taking them a point above their hosts. Toni Villa opened the scoring early on and Antoñito made it two for the visitors after the break before Oyarzabal got one back soon afterwards. (09.12.18)

Barcelona stay clear at the top of the table after a resounding 0-4 victory against city rivals Espanyol on Saturday. Messi was once again in plethoric form, scoring the first and the last from house-special free kicks midway through the first and second halves, and setting up Dembélé for the second. Dembélé himself put Luis Suárez through for him to score the third from the tightest of angles on the stroke of half time, and Oscar Duarte had a possible late consolation ruled out for offside. Barça are now three points clear after second placed Sevilla were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia. Sarabia appeared to have given the Andalusians the three points with a second half strike, but Diakhaby headed the equaliser from Parejo’s free kick in injury time. Atlético Madrid are now level with Sevilla after they beat fourth placed Alavés 3-0 in the early kick-off. Kalinic gave Simeone’s side the lead with just under half an hour gone, and Griezmann and Rodri scored two more in the last ten minutes or so. The fight for the European spots is very tight however, with four teams tied on 21 points, and Celta now just a point below them after beating struggling Villarreal 2-3. New Spanish international Brais Méndez opened the scoring for the visitors and then set up Okay and Maxi Gómez for two more in a six minute period either side of the interval. However the hosts fought back later on, Bacca scoring twice in the last seven minutes, and Moreno hitting the post near the end. (08.12.18)

A 1-1 draw in the South Madrid derby between Leganés and Getafe on Friday night, Cabrera giving the visitors a first half lead with a header from a Damián Suárez free kick, and Nyom firing home the equaliser after the restart. The result takes Getafe up to sixth pending the rest of the weekend’s games. (07.12.18)


Copa del Rey fourth round, second leg

Fifth round draw

Only one side from the lower divisions made it through to the last sixteen, second division Sporting Gijón beating Eibar 4-2 on aggregate after drawing the second leg 2-2. The Asturians put the tie beyond the reach of their hosts with goals from Alvaro Jiménez and Pedro Pérez in the first half. That meant Eibar needed five, and although Cucurella and Charles saved a bit of pride, it was too big a task. The only other first division team to have any problems were Levante, who struggled against Lugo before winning 2-0. Coke headed the Valencia based side in front with ten minutes to go, but a goal from the Galicians would have taken the tie to extra time. However with visiting keeper Varo in the opposing penalty area for a last gasp corner, Dwamena picked up the clearance in his own half and ran to score into an empty net.

Real Madrid made it through comfortably though after thrashing Melilla 6-1. Solari rested several key players, and the North African enclave side held their own for half an hour or so. Marco Asensio scored twice however and then set up Javi Sánchez for the third before the break, and Isco helped himself to a brace in the second half. Vinicius got one in between after his first effort was saved, and Yacine fired home a consolation penalty for the visitors with ten minutes to go. Meanwhile Betis easily knocked out Racing Santander after a 4-0 victory, Jon Ander deflecting a shot from Barragán into his own net on the half hour mark, and Sanabria converting a penalty after Feddal was brought down in the area after the break. Sergio León headed in a corner a few minutes later, and Lo Celso completed the scoring with an individualist effort near the end. Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao repeated last week’s 0-4 scoreline against Huesca, Aduríz adding two more to the two he scored in that match, with strikes either side of half time. And Williams scored two himself in the last ten minutes to give new coach Gaika Garitano a win in his first match since taking over from Toto Berizzo a few days ago. (06.12.18)

More cup ties on Wednesday, with first division sides winning through all of them. The only remaining regional third division team Sant Andreu were beaten 4-0 by Atlético Madrid, but not before the Catalans hit the post and brought a couple of good saves out of Adán. After the break however Lemar fired the locals into the lead with a long shot in off the post, and Kalinic, Correa and Vitolo added three more after that. Barcelona also had no problems seeing off Cultural Leonesa, with some of their lesser used players getting a chance to shine. Munir and Denis Suárez put them two up with less than half an hour gone, and Malcom headed a third before the interval. Josep Señé got one back for the visitors soon after the restart, but another of Barça’s promising youngsters, Riqui Puig, set up Denis Suárez making it 4-1 soon afterwards. Sevilla had a few problems however before beating Villanovense 1-0, and after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, a goal by the Extremadura based side would have knocked out their hosts. Machin’s team dominated throughout, but the only goal came some five minutes into the second half following a penalty by Isma Gil on Muriel, the keeper saving André Silva’s spot kick, but the striker knocking in the rebound.

The highest score of the night though was Villarreal’s 8-0 win over Almería, a result which took some of the pressure off coach Javier Calleja. Ekambi scored a hat-trick and Bacca netted a fourth before the break, and Ekambi got his own fourth of the evening before Gerard Moreno, Bacca (from the penalty spot) and Raba completed the rout. Valladolid will join them in next week’s fifth round draw after they won 2-1 against Mallorca, although they had to come from behind to do so, Oscar Plano and Verde getting the goals (and Duje Cop missing a penalty) after Abdón had put the islanders in front at the start of the second half. Two all first-division ties as well, impressive strikes by Oyarzabal and Januzaj in the first half hour taking Real Sociedad through 2-0 against Celta, and Girona securing their place in the last sixteen for the first time in their history after beating Alavés 2-1, a Granell free kick and a goal from Portu midway through the second half turning things around after Alcalá headed Borja Bastón’s cross into his own goal. (05.12.18)

The second legs of the cup fourth round take place this week, with four ties on Tuesday. There were no surprises, although Valencia struggled to beat CD Ebro (currently languishing near the bottom of their second division B regional group), Batsuyashi scoring on the hour mark to give them a 1-0 victory. It was a similar case for Espanyol as well, a late strike by Hernán Pérez taking them through on the away goal rule against Cádiz after they lost the first leg 2-1. Leganés are also through after a 0-1 win at neighbours Rayo Vallecano, Emi Velázquez putting through his own net early on, and visiting keeper Lunin saving a second half penalty from Bebé, and the other South Madrid club Getafe cruised into the next round as well after a convincing 5-1 win against Córdoba, with Angel scoring a hat-trick (including a penalty) and Portillo and Rober Ibáñez also on the scoresheet, and Aythami replying for the Andalusians with the game already lost. (04.12.18)


Under 21 Friendly international

France 1 - Spain 1

Spain’s under 21 side finished the year with a 1-1 draw against France in their latest friendly international, and they will now be looking forward to next summer’s European finals. Luis De la Fuente’s team went ahead in the tenth minute when Oyarzabal converted a penalty after Pedraza was brought down in the area. Carlos Soler hit the bar later on in the first half, but with ten minutes to go Mateta levelled it for the hosts. (19.11.18)

Previous match: Spain 4 - Denmark 1

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


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)

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


Club World Cup final

Real Madrid 1 - Gremio 0

Real Madrid are Club World Champions for the second time in a row and the third time in their history after beating Gremio 1-0 in the final! Zidane’s side had several chances before Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a long free kick which found a gap in the defensive wall shortly after the break. Ronaldo had a second goal ruled out for the borderline offside of Benzema, Modric hit the post, and Grohe had to make several saves, particularly from Ronaldo and Bale later on, and Keylor Navas hardly had a save to make throughout the ninety minutes. It was a third title of the season for Zidane’s side after winning the European and Spanish Super Cups in summer. (16.12.17)

Semi-final: Al Jazira 1 - Real Madrid 2



Crowd funding campaign

SOCCER-SPAIN has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise funds to enable us to continue and improve the service we are giving to our readers.

Please help us by participating in our appeal at the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/love-la-liga. Any amount however small will be much appreciated!



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 0-0 Athletic
Celta 0-0 Leganés
Eibar 1-1 Valencia
Getafe 1-0 Real Soc
Huesca 2-2 Villarreal
Valladolid 2-3 Atlético
Levante 0-5 Barcelona
Espanyol 1-3 Betis
Sevilla 2-0 Girona
R Madrid 1-0 Rayo
Day 16 - Dec 16

 

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