La Liga Table 2014 Week 26: Updated Standings Following Matchday 25

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 22, 2014

Real's Karim Benzema celebrates his goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press

La Liga is being shaken up yet again at the top. 

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid entered the weekend all tied for the top spot in the league with 60 points.

However, Barcelona fell on Saturday to Real Sociedad, 3-1 on the road as they failed to pick up a single point. Since Real Madrid won 3-0 against Elche on Saturday, they move into the sole league lead.

Atletico Madrid were thrashed 3-0 by Osasuna on the road Sunday, and are also three points back heading into Matchday 26.

Let's break down the league table for Week 25, the weekend fixtures and a recap of the games. 

2014 La Liga Table (as of Feb. 22)
1Real Madrid2520324763
3Atletico Madrid2519424060
4Athletic Bilbao2514561547
6Real Sociedad2512781143
11Celta Vigo258611-430
19Rayo Vallecano256217-3420
La Liga Matchday 25 Results
Feb. 21Real Valladolid1-1Levante
Feb. 22Real Madrid3-0Elche
Feb. 22Celta Vigo1-1Getafe
Feb. 22Real Sociedad3-1Barcelona
Feb. 22Almeria0-0Malaga
Feb. 23Rayo Vallecano0-1Sevilla
Feb. 23Real Betis0-2Athletic Bilbao
Feb. 23Valencia2-1Granada
Feb. 23Osasuna3-0Atletico Madrid
Feb. 24Espanyol1-2Villarreal

Monday's Results

Espanyol 1 - 2 Villarreal

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 06:  Ikechukwu Uche (2ndL) of Villarreal CF celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates Jeremy Louis Perbet (L), Javier Ignacio Aquino (2ndR) and Manuel Trigueros (R) during the La Liga match between Rayo Vallecano de Madri
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Villarreal leapfrogged Real Sociedad for fifth in the La Liga table after toppling Espanyol 2-1 on Monday evening. 

Led by Moi Gomez and Jeremy Perbet, El Submarino Amarillo took a 2-0 lead shortly after halftime and never looked back. Espanyol's Jhon Cordoba would cut the deficit in half in the 77th minute, but it wasn't enough as Sergio Garcia squandered a penalty shot in the waning moments to seal Los Periquitos' fate.

For his stellar effort on the back line, Villarreal defender Bojan Jokic came away with Man of the Match honors. In addition to completing nearly 80 percent of his passes (per, he recorded three tackles and won several aerial challenges. 

Sunday's Top Results

Osasuna 3 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

Barcelona's 3-1 loss to Real Sociedad opened the door for Atletico Madrid to go into a tie with Real Madrid for first in La Liga. Just when it seemed Diego Simeone's side had put to rest any doubts that an impending midseason implosion was on the way, Atletico lost 3-0 to Osasuna on Sunday.

Although they only remain three points back of Real Madrid, you get the sense that Atletico Madrid's title hopes have gone out the door now. They need to be near perfect the rest of the season, and they simply don't have the squad, nor title pedigree that Madrid and Barca have.

Everything will depend on the Madrid Derby next week. A loss and Atletico are out for good.

Real Betis 0 - 2 Athletic Bilbao

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

With Sociedad's 3-1 win, the pressure on Athletic Bilbao grew on Sunday. Those were unexpected points for La Real, so Bilbao would want to ensure they had a four-point gap in the battle for the fourth spot. Considering they were playing Real Betis, it wasn't a gargantuan task.

Betis are one of two clubs that look destined for the drop. They're now 11 points off Malaga in 17th, and considering the fact that they've collected 14 points through 25 matches, it would seem the relegation fight is already over.

Betis did offer some resistance on Sunday, getting 11 shots, four of which were on target. With Iker Muniain's penalty in the 34th minute and Damien Perquis' sending-off in the 41st, the match was all but over in the first half.

Saturday's Top Results

Real Madrid 3 - 0 Elche

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22:  Asier Illarramendi (2ndR) of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring their opening goal with teammates Daniel Carvajal (L) and Xabi Alonso (R) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Elche CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabe
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid took hold of the La Liga lead outright, at least for one day, on Saturday with their 3-0 win over Elche at home in the Santiago Bernabeu. 

It took some time for Madrid to get going, but recent addition Asier Illarramendi broke through in the 34th minute to give Madrid a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break. After that, Gareth Bale ripped a magnificent strike into the net in the 71st minute and Isco added the third just 10 minutes later.

The scoreline looked out of hand, but Madrid were worked hard as Elche fouled 19 times and was able to hold possession for 42 percent of the game—more than most opponents of their caliber in the Bernabeu. 

Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa echoed that, saying it was a hard-fought match per the club's official site:

"Although the result may make it seem like an easy win, it was a very hard-fought match. You have to learn how to suffer as well. They had a chance to make it 2-1, but with the next move we made it 3-0”.

Since Barcelona fell on Saturday and Atletico Madrid don't play until Sunday, Arbeloa and company go to sleep Saturday as sole leaders of La Liga.

It remains to be seen if they will hold the outright lead past the weekend, but they'll at least have a share.

Real Sociedad 3 - 1 Barcelona

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22:  Lionel Messi (L) and Neymar of FC Barcelona react after Antoine Griezmann of Real Sociedad scored his team's second goal goal during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona at Estadio Anoeta on Februar
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona suffered yet another letdown in this La Liga season, going on the road and falling 3-1 at Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon.

As they typically do, La Blaugrana dominated possession. They held a 65-35 advantage despite playing on the road.

But Sociedad proved to be patient, allowing Barcelona to pass the ball but clamping down on defense and preventing anything from forming. Other than Lionel Messi's 36th-minute strike, the reigning La Liga champs didn't have any luck penetrating the host's defense.

Meanwhile, Sociedad were crazy efficient on offense. While only three of their 15 shots went on goal, all of them were scored.

Since Madrid pulled out the win on Saturday, Barcelona are assured to be out of first place heading into next weekend. But given how this season has gone, it's far from over as they are just three back.

Friday's Results

Real Valladolid 1 - 1 Levante

GETAFE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 01: Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez (2ndL) wins the header before Mateus Contreiras alias Manucho (2ndR) of Real Valladolid CF during the La Liga match between Getafe CF and Real Valladolid CF at Coliseum Alfonso Perez on February 1, 2014
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

For the second straight week, the La Liga weekend slate started with a draw on Friday as Levante stood tall and pulled out a point on the road at hapless Real Valladolid, 1-1.

Valladolid dominated the game, firing 11 shots in total to Levante's three. They also held an overwhelming possession advantage, owning the ball for 67 percent of the match.

But Victor Casadesus broke through in the 25th minute to give Levante an early lead. Despite Javi Guerra's 52nd-minute score that tied things up, Valladolid couldn't complete the comeback to get the full three points.

Valladolid will be even more down after this result, considering the 18th-place club hasn't seen much success this season and played one of their best games overall. Still in relegation zone, the pressure is certainly on this club to finish strong and avoid decline. 


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