La Liga Matchday 19 featured several key showdowns, but failed to produce any stunning results as the top clubs cruised for the most part.
The big story this week was the matchup between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, two clubs that have been neck and neck on top of the league table all season. This battle was supposed to show fans which side would have the advantage, but a 0-0 draw proved that these were two evenly matched teams.
Meanwhile, plenty of other matches made an impact on the table as the squads concluded the first half of the season.
With that in mind, here's a look at the latest standings along with a list of fixtures for the week.
via ESPN FC
|Jan. 10||Granada||4-0||Real Valladolid|
|Jan. 11||Athletic Bilbao||6-1||Almeria|
|Jan. 11||Celta Vigo||2-1||Valencia|
|Jan. 11||Athletico Madird||0-0||Barcelona|
|Jan. 11||Elche||1-1||Sevilla FC|
|Jan. 12||Getafe||0-1||Rayo Vallecano|
|Jan. 12||Real Betis||1-2||Osasuna|
|Jan. 12||Espanyol||0-1||Real Madrid|
|Jan. 13||Villareal||5-1||Real Sociedad|
via ESPN FC
Granada got the week off to a good start with a strong performance in a 4-0 win over Real Valladolid.
Although Recio scored two goals in the effort, the one shot by Jeison Murillo overshadowed both. He volleyed a ball to himself and then used a bicycle kick to send it to the back of the net.
The win helped Granada rise significantly in the table, something that they hope will keep happening in future weeks.
Who will win La Liga?
This match was a preview of the exciting play still to come over the weekend. Athletico Madrid and Barcelona competed in their first of two league matches during the season, with the second battle coming on the final day of action.
These were two of the higher-scoring clubs in the league, but the defenses shined in this one as the match ended 0-0. This result prevented either team from getting a mental edge or an actual advantage in the standings heading into the second half of the year.
Of course, this allowed Real Madrid to make up ground on both clubs after two points were left on the table. Los Blancos topped Espanyol 1-0 on a 55th-minute strike from Pepe to pull within three points of the league leaders.
Additionally, the race for a spot in one of next season's European tournaments is heating up at the halfway mark of the year. Villareal crushed Real Sociedad 5-1 on Monday to take over fifth place in the table and move within two points of a Champions League qualifying spot.
Week 19 is officially in the books, but the results could end up sticking with each club for the remainder of the season.
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