La Liga Table 2017: Latest Standings Following Week 38 Results

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11:  Leo Baptistao of RCD Espanyol celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Real Sporting de Gijon at Cornella-El Prat stadium on December 11, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Tony Adams’ Granada side lost their seventh game in a row under his management Friday as Espanyol picked up a 2-1 win at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes in La Liga.

The visitors were two goals to the good in quick succession, with Leo Baptistao firing Espanyol ahead before an own goal from Ruben Vezo doubled their advantage. Andreas Pereira, on loan from Manchester United, halved the deficit, but Granada rarely threatened an equaliser on the night. 

On Sunday, the focus will be on the title race as Real Madrid know a solitary point against Malaga will be enough for them to clinch their first La Liga crown in five years. Barcelona must beat Eibar and hope the Costa del Sol club can do them a favour if they’re to retain.

Below are the fixtures for the weekend, a recap of how Friday’s action played out and a look ahead to what’ll be an absorbing final day.

La Liga 2016-17: Week 38
DateTime (BST)Fixture
Friday, May 197:45 p.m.Granada 1-2 Espanyol
Saturday, May 204 p.m.Sporting Gijon vs. Real Betis
Saturday, May 206 p.m.Deportivo vs. Las Palmas
Saturday, May 206 p.m.Leganes vs. Alaves
Saturday, May 208 p.m.Sevilla vs. Osasuna
Sunday, May 213:45 p.m.Valencia vs. Villarreal
Sunday, May 213:45 p.m.Celta Vigo vs. Real Sociedad
Sunday, May 213:45 p.m.Atletico Madrid vs. Athletic Club
Sunday, May 217 p.m.Malaga vs. Real Madrid
Sunday, May 217 p.m.Barcelona vs. Eibar
BBC Sport

For the updated standings, visit the Sky Sports website.

Friday Recap

In their final home game under Adams, Granada got off to the worst possible start, finding themselves two goals down in the space of just eight minutes.

Within three minutes, Baptistao had the visitors ahead, pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area. Granada goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will feel he should have done better with the effort.

Baptistao put Espanyol ahead.
Baptistao put Espanyol ahead.David Ramos/Getty Images

There was nothing he could do about the second goal, though, as Vezo put through his own net in peculiar circumstances. The defender tried to clear from a Baptistao cross but slipped and sliced his effort past Ochoa.

It was a long way back for the home side, and to their credit, they did show some improvement, with Pereira getting them a foothold with a strong, low finish. Per the Selecao Brasileira Twitter feed, he’s had a decent campaign overall:

However, Granada were unable to sustain any pressure in search of a second goal. Baptistao, meanwhile, was always a threat at the other end of the field and should have wrapped up the three points for the Catalan club.

Three points for Espanyol sees them move up into eighth position for the time being. Granada’s loss, their eighth in a row in the league, ensures they will end 2016-17 bottom of the pile.

Weekend Preview

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2017. / AFP PH
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

In 1992 and 1993, Real Madrid led Barcelona heading into the final day of the La Liga season. But in both campaigns, Los Blancos lost to Tenerife, opening the door for their great rivals to snatch the crown.

While plenty of the playing squads for both sides would be far too young to remember those late collapses, it’s a reminder for Real—strange things can happen at the back end of a campaign.

Even so, since the title race was burst wide open by Lionel Messi at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid have kept their cool. That was no more evident than in midweek against Celta Vigo when they negotiated a potentially testing away fixture with ease.

In Cristiano Ronaldo, they have a man who is coming into form at the perfect time too. As we can see, in the 4-1 win at Balaidos, he reached another landmark:

Although it’s been reported Malaga will be in receipt of a €1 million bonus from Los Blancos if Madrid do win the league due to a clause in Isco’s contract, their star forward, Sandro Ramirez, has made it clear he wants to help his old club out.

"Hopefully I can score and hand the title to Barcelona," he told La Liga World (h/t AS). "Hopefully it's a dream day; I owe them [Barca] everything."

Malaga's forward Sandro Ramirez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Malaga CF vs Sevilla FC at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga on May 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO        (Photo credit should read JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Get

Still, it’s tough to envisage a scenario where Madrid do lose at Malaga as they’ve proven incredibly difficult to beat under Zinedine Zidane.

But Barcelona must preserve some hope and ensure they fulfil their end of the bargain with a win over an impressive Eibar team. Should they rattle in a couple of early goals, attentions of those in the stand would surely turn to goings on at La Rosaleda, especially if their rivals are involved in a tight game.


    Roma: Liverpool Were 'Bitching' Over Salah Fee

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Roma: Liverpool Were 'Bitching' Over Salah Fee

    Sam Mcevoy For Mailonline
    via Mail Online

    How Liverpool’s 🔥 Attack Got Better Without Coutinho

    World Football logo
    World Football

    How Liverpool’s 🔥 Attack Got Better Without Coutinho

    Sean Fay
    via Bleacher Report

    Messi > Ronaldo: Top 20 Earners in Football 💰

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Messi > Ronaldo: Top 20 Earners in Football 💰

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Buffon Denies Juventus Locker Room Fallout

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Buffon Denies Juventus Locker Room Fallout

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report