La Liga Table 2016: Latest Standings Following Saturday's Week 18 Results

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2016

Atletico Madrid capitalised on Barcelona dropping points as they beat Levante 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon to go top of La Liga on Saturday.

Earlier, Barcelona were held to a goalless draw in the Catalan derby with Espanyol.

In the late kick-off, Malaga beat Celta Vigo 2-0.

Here are all the results from Week 18 in Spain's top flight, complete with a the updated standings and a full roundup of the action:

La Liga Week 18 Results
Saturday, Jan. 2Espanyol0-0Barcelona
Saturday, Jan. 2Atletico Madrid1-0Levante
Saturday, Jan. 2Malaga2-0Celta Vigo
Sunday, Jan. 3Rayo VallecanoTBDReal Sociedad
Sunday, Jan. 3Real BetisTBDEibar
Sunday, Jan. 3GranadaTBDSevilla
Sunday, Jan. 3Deportivo La CorunaTBDVillarreal
Sunday, Jan. 3Athletic BilbaoTBDLas Palmas
Sunday, Jan. 3ValenciaTBDReal Madrid
Monday, Jan. 4Sporting GijonTBDGetafe
Updated Standings
1Atletico Madrid181323258+1741
3Real Madrid1711334516+2936
5Celta Vigo189452825+331
6Athletic Club178362518+727
7Deportivo La Coruna176922516+927
13Real Betis175571323-1020
15Las Palmas174491624-816
16Real Sociedad174491825-716
17Sporting Gijon164391525-1015
18Rayo Vallecano1742111839-2114


Saturday Recap

Goals have been hard to come by for Atletico in recent weeks, and Saturday was no exception.

The visitors had two promising chances early on, but Saul saw his header hit the side netting while Diego Marino proved equal to Jackson Martinez's low strike with a strong save.

Los Rojiblancos continued to press but could not find a way through, per football journalist Kieran Canning:

As fellow journalist Dermot Corrigan noted, it wasn't for a lack of trying on Atletico's part:

AS were more succinct in their assessment:

Atleti pushed hard for a winner and were rewarded in the 81st minute when substitute Thomas dribbled past two players before squirming a shot through Marino's arms.

As Corrigan noted, though Atleti are still yet to convince, they are firmly in the hunt for the title:

Charles opened the scoring for Malaga with a powerful header after just eight minutes and Raul Albentosa doubled the lead midway through the first half with a header of his own.

Things went from bad to worse for Celta when goalkeeper Ruben Castro earned a straight red card, though Nordin Amrabat was unable to convert the resulting penalty.

Earlier, Barcelona were left frustrated by their rivals at the Cornella.

As expected in a derby game, Espanyol played in an extremely intense and physical manner, preventing the Blaugrana from playing their natural game.

Luis Enrique's side were also unusually profligate—perhaps as a result of Espanyol's aggression—and hit the target with just two attempts, though Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both rattled the woodwork.

Referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez notably had a poor performance, per football journalist Rik Sharma:

Barca still have a game in hand over Atletico, but having drawn three of their last four La Liga matches, they've missed a golden opportunity to build up a lead at the head of the table.

Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan are finally able to be registered, though, and the pair will no doubt provide an excellent boost to the team. With six more fixtures to come in January for the Catalan giants—including twice more against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey—their fresh legs will prove equally useful.  


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