La Liga Table 2014 Week 22: Updated Standings Following Matchday 21

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2014

Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina drives the ball with Levante's Camarasa during their la Copa del Rey soccer match at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia, Spain, Wednesday Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

Matchday 21 of the La Liga season kicked off on Jan. 24 with an exciting contest that sets the stage for more enticing football between Spain's best clubs throughout the weekend.

The race for the top place in the table remains hot with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid tied with 51 points apiece and Real Madrid just one point back. Their respective matchups on Jan. 25 and 26 will decide how the table looks heading into Week 22.

There are many more big matches between other Spanish foes on the slate as well that will certainly be worth watching, as league play never fails to excite. 

Here's a breakdown of the La Liga table for Week 21 and the weekend results. 

La Liga Table: Week 21 (as of Jan. 26)
2Atletico Madrid2117313854
3Real Madrid2117223953
4Athletic Bilbao2113351442
6Real Sociedad2110651236
13Celta Vigo216411-722
18Real Valladolid214710-1319
19Rayo Vallecano215115-3016
20Real Betis212514-2911
Matchday 21 Schedule
Jan. 24Celta Vigo4-2Real Betis
Jan. 25Real Madrid2-0Granada
Jan. 25Real Valladolid1-0Villarreal
Jan. 25Valencia2-2Espanyol
Jan. 25Sevilla FC2-3Levante
Jan. 26Almeria1-0Getafe
Jan. 26Osasuna1-5Athletic Bilbao
Jan. 26Rayo Vallecano2-4Atletico Madrid
Jan. 26Barcelona3-0Malaga
Jan. 27Real Sociedad4-0Elche


Real Madrid 2 - 0 Granada

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

It's unlikely they will hold onto it throughout the weekend, but Real Madrid temporarily took the La Liga table lead with a Jan. 25 victory at home over Granada.

The two teams played to a stalemate in the first half, entering the locker room after 45 minutes in a scoreless draw. But Cristiano Ronaldo opened up the scoring soon after halftime with a 56th-minute goal. 

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema added another for Los Blancos in minute 74, and the Madrid victory was pretty much wrapped up after that. Granada had nothing going on offensively with two shots on goal all game.

Ronaldo and company would need both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to lose in Matchday 21 to hold onto the lead, but both drawing would give Madrid at least a share of the lead. Either way, they are sitting pretty after a forgetful early portion of the season and are in solid position to contend for the title.


Celta Vigo 4 - 2 Real Betis

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 18: Antonio Amaya of Real Betis Balompie saves on a header during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 18, 2014 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moren
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Celta Vigo won the third match in their last four games with a 4-2 home victory over hapless Real Betis, despite playing to a near even possession.

Betis was on the attack as the road squad on Jan. 24, amassing 13 total shots—five of which were on goal. Ruben Castro's first goal came in the 17th minute and was a big early alarm signal for Celta Vigo.

But the home team picked it up with a trio of goals before the halftime break, as Fabian Orellana netted two and Charles added one in a 17-minute span. The two sides would trade goals in the second half, but to no avail for Betis, as Celta Vigo had three points wrapped up.

With the win, Celta Vigo skyrocketed up the standings, but they are sure to fall back down a couple slots, considering no other teams have played yet this weekend. Betis, on the other hand, are a clean five points away from anyone else at the bottom of the league.