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By Sean Teixiera – Summer Staff Writer
After over 91 days La Liga returned to action, with plenty of excitement to go around. Almost as if to make up for so much time off for both players and fans, league organizers put together the fixture list that spread La Liga matches everyday since it kickstarted again on June the 11th. The relentless action has allowed players to quickly regain their match fitness and overall sharpness. A quickfire schedule also means that the league standings were in constant flux as teams battle for position. Here’s a recap of 5 of the most impactful games since the restart:
Sevilla 0-0 FC Barcelona – (Highlights)
Clutching onto a 2 point lead at the top of the table, Barcelona travelled to 3rd place Sevilla in to play out a scoreless draw. Barcelona rotated their starters, leaving Griezmann and Ansu Fati (scorer in previous 2 games) on the bench. The game lacked many clear goal scoring opportunities with the highlight of the game being a scuffle in the final minutes between Lionel Messi and Diego Carlos after Messi took exception to a foul by the Sevilla defender. The draw left the door open for Real Madrid to claim top spot with a win in their match.
Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid – (Highlights)
Los Blancos made it 3 wins in 3 since the restart with a slightly controversial 2-1 victory over European challengers Real Sociedad. Madrid took the lead in the 50th minute after a sergio Ramos penalty, but questions were raised following their second goal scored by Benzema. It appeared he may have brought down a cross with his shoulder/arm before dispatching his shot beyond the keeper, however the referee and VAR awarded the goal. Sociedad scored late, however Real Madrid saw out the game to collect the 3 points and reclaim 1st place.
Osasuna 0-5 Atlético Madrid – (Highlights)
Atletico Madrid made a statement in their 5-0 thumping of mid-table Osasuna. On the outside looking on the Champion’s League places, Madrid showed those positions are there for the taking. They received standout performances from $125 million summer signing João Félix (2 goals) and hero of their upset of Liverpool in March Marcos Llorente (goal and 2 assists).The win moved them into 3rd position ahead of Sevilla.
RCD Mallorca 1-1 Leganes – (Highlights)
18th versus 19th, this match was a true relegation battle. Neither team could afford seeing the team right next to them claim 3 points from them. There was plenty of passion and intensity on display with neither team willing to give an inch, possibly a reason for the 9 yellow cards in the match. Mallorca grabbed the lead in the 9th minute from an incredible free kick from Salva Sevilla. However, Leganes would not go quietly and responded with a somehow even more impressive free kick in the dying minutes from Oscar to tie the game 1-1.
Granada CF 0-1 Villareal – (Highlights)
Both teams lurk just below the Europa League places and a win in this match was vital in setting one of these teams up for a run at them. The yellow submarine came out 1-0 winners thanks to a 13th minute winner from Spanish international Gerard Moreno. This win, along with their other results has vaulted Villareal into 6th position but with plenty of company nipping at their heels.
Watch to Watch:
Real Madrid vs RCD Mallorca (June 24th 4pm EST)
This will be a look at how Real Madrid handle being the hunted instead of the hunters as they host relegation threatened Mallorca. Will they make it 4 wins on the bounce and stay on top.
Celta de Vigo vs FC Barcelona (June 27th 11am EST)
Another matchup between title contenders and relegation fighters, this time Messi and co. travel to Vigo to try and regain their winning form and put pressure on Real Madrid.
Villareal vs Valencia (June 28th 11am EST)
Before Villareal’s draw with Sevilla these teams were even on both points and goal difference. This will be a massive matchup, affecting the teams all over the European races.
Getafe vs Real Sociedad (June 29th 4pm EST)
This game features 2 more teams in the logjam between 5th and 8th positions that are separated by a mere 2 points.
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