La Liga Winners and Losers After Final 2019 Week 16 Table

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 08: Joaquin Sanchez of Real Betis looks on during the Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Athletic Club at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 08, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Week 16 of the 2019-20 La Liga season is in the books, and the title race became a little clearer, with Barcelona and Real Madrid continuing their fine run and Atletico Madrid slumping further.

The Catalans cruised past Mallorca on Saturday, hours after Los Blancos held off Espanyol in the capital. Atletico played out a drab scoreless draw with Villarreal on Friday, and Sevilla dropped points against Osasuna in the final match of the weekend.

Here are the full results from Week 16:

Villarreal 0-0 Atletico

Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol

Granada 3-0 Alaves

Levante 2-4 Valencia

Barcelona 5-2 Mallorca

Eibar 0-1 Getafe

Real Betis 3-2 Athletic

Valladolid 0-0 Real Sociedad

Leganes 3-2 Celta Vigo

Osasuna 1-1 Sevilla


The latest La Liga standings:

LaLiga @LaLigaEN

1st — @FCBarcelona (34pts) 2nd — @realmadriden (34pts) With 10 days until #ElClásico, it couldn't be closer at the top of #LaLigaSantander! 🍿 https://t.co/5JsnN2sycV

Here are your winners and losers from Week 16.


Winner: Joaquin

No one stole the show quite like Joaquin in Week 16, needing just 20 minutes to hand Real Betis a three-goal lead over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The 38-year-old became the competition's oldest hat-trick scorer in the win:

LaLiga @LaLigaEN

𝟑𝟖 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝟏𝟒𝟎 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬. 💚 Joaquin becomes the OLDEST player to score a hat-trick in #LaLigaHistory. 👏👏 #RealBetisAthletic https://t.co/0xWV1xAe9E

Betis needed all three goals, with Athletic nearly completing a comeback in one of the best matches of the weekend.

Joaquin started his career in Andalusia and returned to his first love in 2015 after spells with Valencia, Malaga and Fiorentina. He's become something of a cult hero at the Villamarin, and Sunday's performance may have been his best ever for the club.


Loser: Diego Simeone

Following yet another poor result, Atletico find themselves in a disappointing seventh place, already eight points behind the co-leaders. Barcelona and Real still have a match in hand as well, as they'll face each other on December 18 at the Camp Nou.

With just one win in their last six La Liga outings, things have not gone according to plan at the Wanda Metropolitano, and Goal wondered whether Simeone has to fear for his job:

Goal @goal

Is the end of the road coming closer for Diego Simeone at Atletico? 🔚 https://t.co/s7CwvVe5XN

While that seems premature, it's fair to question some of his tactical decisions this season. On Friday, he started without a natural winger and left Thomas Lemar on the bench, despite his team struggling to create out wide against an organised Villarreal team.

If the Rojiblancos can't beat Lokomotiv Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, Cholo may find himself in real trouble.


Winner: Barcelona's Front 3

Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick and could easily have made this section on his own, but something far more encouraging took place during the 5-2 win over Mallorca.

The goals the six-time Ballon d'Or winner didn't net came courtesy of his attacking partners Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann:

Goal @goal

⚽ Griezmann 7' ⚽⚽⚽ Messi 17', 41', 83' ⚽ Suarez 43' Barca's front three were on 🔥 as they put five past Mallorca... and Luis Suarez got the Puskas Award all wrapped up 🤤 https://t.co/S86MLrzCYj

Both were also credited with an assist on what was a fantastic night for the Blaugrana attack.

After a poor stretch of matches, Suarez has now scored or assisted in his last four outings for Barcelona across all competitions. And Griezmann, who has not enjoyed a great start to life at the Camp Nou, has scored in two of his last three while starting to form some chemistry with his team-mates.

That's huge news for Barcelona, who had been far too reliant on Messi so far. A more balanced approach should lead to more success later this season.


Loser: Ferland Mendy

Real Madrid's Mendy added some late drama to the win over Espanyol, getting sent off after Karim Benzema had doubled the lead.

Already on a yellow card, the full-back foolishly dove into a tackle and was dismissed. Per sports writer Lucas Navarrete, that presents a problem for Real:

Lucas Navarrete @LucasNavarreteM

Real Madrid will be without Mendy and Marcelo in Mestalla next week. Huge mistake from the French defender.

With no Mendy or Marcelo available against a surging Valencia team, manager Zinedine Zidane will have to get creative. Los Che have won four of their last five La Liga matches, scoring at an impressive rate, and the duo of Ferran Torres and Rodrigo Moreno carry great form into Sunday's match.