La Liga by the Season’s Midpoint
With La Liga already on its halfway point, the teams in the league continue to battle for dominance. Teams in the top 10 of La Liga’s ranking table are on the verge of pushing to seal the best spot possible.
Barcelona and Madrid continue to battle down the stretch as the rivals are deadlocked at 40 points apiece. The two teams are holding down the top spot but neither has been able to pull away since the goalless El Clasico draw.
Barca has ended their last game against Espanyol in a tough draw. Star Lionel Messi finished the game without a single goal and could not find a rhythm in the said game. After coming back from a 1-0 deficit in the first half, the team cruised through the second half to take over and come up with a 2-1 lead.
The momentum, however, seemed to be short-lived. Espanyol’s Wu Lei drained a goal before the closing moments of the game in order to force a tie. Barcelona’s defence faltered when it mattered the most, which cost them that game.
Madrid, on the other hand, has won their game against Getafe in a 3-0 clean sheet. Raphael Varane scored in both halves to lead his team before Luka Modric added another in the 96th minute to cap off a big win that allowed them to tie once more with Barca for the top spot.
Neither side has been able to rack up a string of wins. Both sides have won twice in their last five games, while the remaining three ended in draws. Fans should expect both clubs to be more hungry for wins this year.
Atletico Madrid and Sevilla remain tied at the third spot in La Liga. Atletico has won three straight in their last five games, defeating Levante in a hot showdown in the first half. Sevilla, meanwhile, came up with a 1-1 draw in their match against Athletico Bilbao.
Sociedad and Valencia are also tied for the sixth spot in the league. Sociedad lost its recent match to Villarreal in a disappointing 2-1 affair, while Valencia had a 1-0 clean sheet win over Eibar thanks to a first-half goal that propelled them to win.
Getafe, Athletico, Villarreal, and Granada are in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth spots respectively. The four teams are merely separated by a single point, meaning that a win, draw, or loss in any of the teams’ next games will surely affect their place in the standings.
La Liga action continues this January 18th, where matchday 20 will see all of the teams shaking off their winter break hangover and focusing to make a strong finish this season. A lot of intense battles will take place once the teams get back to their pace.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores