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

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La Liga Table 2014 Week 26: Updated Standings Following Matchday 25
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)
Pos. Team P W D L GD Pts.
1 Real Madrid 25 20 3 2 47 63
2 Barcelona 25 19 3 3 50 60
3 Atletico Madrid 25 19 4 2 40 60
4 Athletic Bilbao 25 14 5 6 15 47
5 Villarreal 25 13 4 8 16 43
6 Real Sociedad 25 12 7 8 11 43
7 Valencia 25 10 5 10 2 35
8 Sevilla 25 9 8 8 2 35
9 Levante 25 8 9 8 -7 33
10 Espanyol 25 9 5 11 -3 32
11 Celta Vigo 25 8 6 11 -4 30
12 Osasuna 25 8 5 12 -13 29
13 Granada 25 8 3 14 -10 27
14 Elche 24 6 8 11 -15 26
15 Almeria 25 7 5 13 -18 26
16 Getafe 25 7 5 13 -17 26
17 Malaga 25 6 7 12 -11 25
18 Valladolid 25 4 10 11 -16 22
19 Rayo Vallecano 25 6 2 17 -34 20

ESPN FC

 

La Liga Matchday 25 Results
Date Home Score Away
Feb. 21 Real Valladolid 1-1 Levante
Feb. 22 Real Madrid 3-0 Elche
Feb. 22 Celta Vigo 1-1 Getafe
Feb. 22 Real Sociedad 3-1 Barcelona
Feb. 22 Almeria 0-0 Malaga
Feb. 23 Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Sevilla
Feb. 23 Real Betis 0-2 Athletic Bilbao
Feb. 23 Valencia 2-1 Granada
Feb. 23 Osasuna 3-0 Atletico Madrid
Feb. 24 Espanyol 1-2 Villarreal

ESPN FC

 

Monday's Results

Espanyol 1 - 2 Villarreal

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 WhoScored.com), 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

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

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

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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