La Liga Table 2014 Week 23: Updated Standings Following Matchday 22

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 01:  Pedro of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on February 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

After 18 years, Atletico Madrid are back atop the La Liga table:

On Sunday, Madrid got the three points which catapulted them to the top of the table with a dominant 4-0 performance over Real Socieadad. 

That match was closer than the score suggested. In fact, Atletico Madrid were up just 1-0 into the 72nd minute. They then quickly turned it into a blowout. 

Combine that with Barcelona's 2-3 loss to Valencia on Saturday and there is a new king atop the table. 

Matchday 22 opened with a bang on Friday, Jan. 31 as Celta Vigo stunned Granada 2-1 on the strength of Augusto Fernandez's 88th-minute go-ahead strike. The result, which marks the Celts' second consecutive league victory, lifts the them over Granada in the La Liga table.

That wasn't the most shocking result of the weekend, however. That award goes to Barcelona, who lost their second match of the season to Valencia. The result gives Madrid—both Real and Atletico—the chance to overtake Barca in the table and take control of the top spot. 

With Week 22 already underway, let's take a look at the latest La Liga table and results. 

Matchday 22 Fixtures
Jan. 31Granada1-2Celta Vigo
Feb. 1Barcelona2-3Valencia
Feb. 1Levante0-0Rayo Vallecano
Feb. 1Getafe0-0Real Valladolid
Feb. 1Malaga3-2Sevilla
Feb. 2Elche1-0Almeria
Feb. 2Real Betis2-0Espanyol
Feb. 2Atletico Madrid4-0Real Sociedad
Feb. 2Athletic Bilbao1-1Real Madrid
Feb. 3Villarreal3-1Osasuna
La Liga Table Week 23
1Atletico Madrid2218314257
3Real Madrid2217323954
4Athletic Bilbao2213451443
6Real Sociedad221066836
11Celta Vigo227411-625
18Real Valladolid224810-1320
19Rayo Vallecano225215-3017
20Real Betis223514-2714

The biggest news of the weekend was clearly Barcelona's loss. Not only did they lose a game they shouldn't have lost, but it came at home. Samuel Marsden of Sport gave an indication of how startling the result was:

Cristiano Ronaldo and Los Blancos will travel to play Athletic Bilbao in prime time on Sunday, Feb. 2 at San Mames, while Atletico Madrid host a tough Real Sociedad team that is currently sixth in the league table.

Sociedad are an overlooked but dangerous squad led by Antoine Griezmann, who ranks only behind Ronaldo and Diego Costa with 14 goals this season.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Atletico Madrid have racked up 54 points through 21 games and—like Barcelona prior to this weekhave lost just once in league play all season coming into Week 22.

But if Real are able to extend their incredible unbeaten streak with a win over Bilbao, then a loss or draw by Atletico would see Los Blancos leapfrog into first place. Barcelona's slip-up could open the door for Real to move into second place.

But keep in mind that Real will be without superstar Gareth Bale after he suffered a groin injury in Real's win over Granada on Jan. 25.

With eight goals and seven assists to his name in 14 La Liga appearances this season, Bale's potential absence will have a mighty impact on how this match plays out.

Matchday 22 will conclude on Monday, Feb. 3 with Villarreal hosting Osasuna. Villarreal began the week in fifth place in the table and will attempt to gain separation from Real Sociedad with a bounce-back victory to close out the week. 


Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter


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