La Liga Table 2019: Sunday's Week 29 Results and Updated StandingsMarch 31, 2019
Karim Benzema was the match-winner for Real Madrid on Sunday as they triumphed 3-2 over basement team Huesca in the 89th minute to avoid a major embarrassment at the end of Week 29 in La Liga.
Real were behind after three minutes at home to minnow opposition, and Benzema's winning touch was required after Xabier Etxeita levelled following strikes from Isco and Dani Ceballos.
Dani Parejo's penalty was all that separated Valencia and Sevilla as Los Che won in their trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and leaped above their hosts into sixth.
Meanwhile, Real Sociedad's hopes of securing a European qualification place look a little more fleeting after they were only able to rescue a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at Valladolid.
Rayo Vallecano finished their clash against Real Betis with 10 men and drew 1-1, but the relegation candidates could have taken more from a game in which they had the lion's share of scoring chances.
Levante and Eibar also shared the spoils in Valencia after drawing 2-2 in the early kick-off, where the visitors twice clawed back from a goal down to stay four points above their hosts in La Liga's standings.
Levante 2-2 Eibar
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Betis
Sevilla 0-1 Valencia
Valladolid 1-1 Real Sociedad
Real Madrid 3-2 Huesca
La Liga Standings (Games Played, Points, Goal Difference)
1. Barcelona: 29, 69, +48
2. Atletico Madrid: 29, 59, +24
3. Real Madrid: 29, 57, +18
4. Getafe: 29, 46, +10
5. Alaves: 29, 44, -4
6. Valencia: 29, 43, +8
7. Sevilla: 29, 43, +10
8. Athletic Bilbao: 29, 40, -2
9. Real Betis: 29, 40, -4
10. Real Sociedad: 29, 37, 0
11. Eibar: 29, 36, -2
12. Leganes: 29, 36, -5
13. Girona: 29, 34, -7
14. Espanyol: 29, 34, -11
15. Levante: 29, 32, -11
16. Real Valladolid: 29, 30, -16
17. Villarreal: 29, 29, -5
18. Celta Vigo: 29, 28, -10
19. Rayo Vallecano: 29, 24, -21
20. Huesca: 29, 22, -20
Real relied upon Benzema to steer them clear of an upset at home to Huesca, with the Frenchman enjoying a man-of-the-match display as Zinedine Zidane extended his 100 percent record since returning as manager.
Juan Camilo Hernandez—on loan from Watford—put Huesca ahead with a superb first-time finish with barely three minutes on the clock. January signing Brahim Diaz impressed in his first start for Real and assisted Isco for the equaliser, while Gareth Bale's outside-of-the-boot cross to Benzema was a highlight in the buildup to Ceballos' strike at 2-1.
Etxeita's intervention after 74 minutes made things awkward, but Benzema showed great composure inside the box approaching full-time and stroked the ball inside the far post, via Eleven Sports (UK only):
Many will argue Huesca deserved at least a point for their efforts, though journalist Andy West defined the harsh lines that decide these results:
Sevilla hosted Valencia in a meeting of sixth and seventh, respectively, but Parejo's penalty on the stroke of half-time saw the two swap places in what could be a crucial result for the final European qualification spot.
Argentina midfielder Ever Banega was penalised for his foul on Valencia left-back Jose Gaya just before the break, while Sevilla failed to score in a home league game for the first time since August, via Eleven Sports (UK only):
Keko put Valladolid up after only nine minutes at home to Real Sociedad and had more chances to advance their lead, but manager Sergio Gonzalez was pained to see the home side record a second.
The Basque visitors had more than 66 percent of possession in the first half, per WhoScored.com, but wasted a handful of key opportunities to level, as illustrated by sportswriter Robbie Dunne:
Sociedad were less effective in the second half but got their equaliser through Mikel Oyarzabal after 79 minutes, and ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan heaped praise on the Sociedad forward:
Levante were up against Eibar inside five minutes thanks to a sweeping team manoeuvre finished by Jose Luis Morales, but Gonzalo Escalante levelled from a set piece after 19 minutes.
Paco Lopez's side then restored their slight lead through Ruben Rochina, who scored the pick of the goals on the day, via Eleven Sports (UK only):
Sergi Enrich netted his seventh goal of the season with 12 minutes left on the clock to rescue a point for Eibar, leaving Levante without a win in their last five league games.
Rayo Vallecano broke the deadlock in their home clash against a Betis side still holding out hope for European qualification, opening the scoring through Raul de Tomas. However, former Barcelona winger Cristian Tello equalised in the 81st minute to prevent Los Verdiblancos recording two league losses in a row.
Franco Di Santo came on in the 89th minute as Rayo's January signing made just his third appearance for the club, but he was sent off at the very end of the match for apparent dissent toward referee Antonio Miguel Lahoz.