La Liga Winners and Losers After Final 2019 Week 12 Table

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 02: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between Levante UD  and FC Barcelona at Ciutat de Valencia on November 02, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It could have been all change at the top of La Liga in Week 12 after leaders Barcelona lost 3-1 to Levante.

But Real Madrid could not take full advantage as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Real Betis, and Atletico Madrid were held to their sixth draw of the season at Sevilla.

Finally, Granada lost 2-1 to Real Sociedad at home, meaning Barca remained top of the pile:

                       

Week 12 Results

Espanyol 1-2 Valencia 

Levante 3-1 Barcelona 

Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid 0-0 Real Betis

Real Valladolid 3-0 Real Mallorca

Villarreal 0-0 Athletic Bilbao

Osasuna 4-2 Alaves

Celta Vigo 0-1 Getafe

Leganes 1-2 Eibar

Granada 1-2 Real Sociedad

                      

Loser: Barcelona's Defence

Barcelona's seven-match winning streak in all competitions came to a surprise end on Saturday as they were defeated 3-1 at Levante in La Liga:

All seemed to be going smoothly for the defending champions at half-time at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia after Lionel Messi had netted his fifth league goal of the season from the penalty spot:

But then Barcelona's leaky defence allowed Levante to turn the match around.

In seven second-half minutes, Jose Campana, Borja Mayoral and Nemanja Radoja found the back of the net to condemn Barca to their third defeat in 11 matches.

The Blaugrana have conceded 14 goals in the league this season, the same amount as Levante and Real Valladolid.

With Messi currently Barca's only reliable goalscorer, the Catalan giants cannot afford to be weak at the back, and manager Ernesto Valverde will need to find a solution fast if his side are to remain front-runners for the title.

                  

Winner: Alvaro Morata 

After Barcelona's defeat, Atletico visited Sevilla and could have gone top of the table with a win.

Franco Vazquez put the hosts ahead, but Alvaro Morata then headed an equaliser on the hour.

The Spaniard is fast becoming the most important attacking cog in Diego Simeone's goal-shy side—they have scored only 12 in 12 La Liga games.

He has netted four goals in each of Atleti's last four matches, all of which have been vital.

If only that form had earned him the right to take the club's 72nd-minute penalty rather than substitute Diego Costa, Atleti would now be top of the table:

A draw away at Sevilla is far from a bad result, though, and Atleti remain firmly in the title race despite some poor recent performances.  

                     

Loser: Eden Hazard

Real Madrid also had the opportunity to go top after Barca's loss, but they were held to a 0-0 draw to Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Eden Hazard produced a trademark run and fine finish to put Los Blancos ahead in the first half, but the video assistant referee ruled the goal out after the Belgian was found to be offside:

It was a big blow for Hazard, who has struggled to make an impact at the Bernabeu since signing from Chelsea for £89 million in June.

The 28-year-old's only La Liga goal this season came against Granada on October 5.

Netting a winner against Betis to put Real ahead of Barca at the top of the table would have been a huge boost for Hazard while also endearing him more to the Bernabeu faithful.

Saturday's cagey game was the opportunity for Real's newest star to make his name at the club, but he was unable to take it.

            

Winner: Albert Celades

Valencia have endured a roller-coaster of a season in 2019-20.

Marcelino, who had established some much-needed stability at the club, was sacked back in September and replaced by Albert Celades, who kicked off his tenure with a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Barca.

Two draws followed before back-to-back league victories, but after Marc Roca's first-half penalty for Espanyol on Saturday, Los Che looked to be heading for a fifth consecutive game without a win in all competitions:

However, a Dani Parejo penalty and Maxi Gomez strike in the second half turned the game on its head to take some heat off Celades.

Valencia are now eight points off the drop zone and just four off fourth place, the position they have finished the last two seasons. 

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