La Liga Winners and Losers After Final 2020 Week 25 Table

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 23, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates goal 1-0 during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Eibar at the Camp Nou on February 22, 2020 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Defending champions Barcelona moved above rivals Real Madrid and back to the top of La Liga after a 5-0 win over Eibar on Saturday.  

Captain Lionel Messi scored four times in an emphatic win at the Camp Nou, while Zinedine Zidane's side were beaten 1-0 at Levante to slip to their first league defeat since October.

Elsewhere, Sevilla enjoyed an impressive 3-0 win over Getafe to leapfrog Jose Bordalas' side into third place in the table. Atletico Madrid moved into fourth with a 3-1 win over Villarreal.

Winner: Barcelona's title bid

Barcelona are back in first place and in pole position to retain their title with just 13 games left to play.

Quique Setien's side crushed Eibar to make it 12 wins from 13 home games in 2019-20 in a dominant performance in front of their own fans:

Messi's four goals saw him take his tally to 18 in La Liga, five clear of nearest rival Karim Benzema. The Barca captain also leads the way when it comes to assists:

New signing Martin Braithwaite also made an impact off the bench. The Denmark international played a part in Messi's fourth goal and Arthur's strike in a promising debut.

Real Madrid missed the chance to return to the top when they suffered a surprise defeat to Levante which Zidane felt was harsh on his side, per football writer Dermot Corrigan:

The result means Barcelona will be top going into Sunday's Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu and can extend their lead to five points with victory at the home of their bitter rivals.


Loser: Eden Hazard's Season

Eden Hazard has suffered a nightmare season for Real Madrid since joining from Chelsea in summer 2019 and endured fresh injury misery on Saturday.

The Belgium international suffered a microfracture in his ankle in November that saw him ruled out of action for three months and picked up a similar problem on Saturday at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.

Real Madrid confirmed after the game he is set for more time on the sidelines:

The news is a real blow to both club and player ahead of some crucial fixtures. Los Blancos play Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday and Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday:

Hazard has only managed 15 appearances for Real Madrid in 2019-20, and there are fears that his debut season with the club could be over already.


Winner: Julen Lopetegui

Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui picked up the biggest win of his tenure with Los Nervionenses on Sunday by beating Getafe 3-0 at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez:

Bordalas' team have been notoriously difficult to break down this season and went into the match after an impressive 2-0 win over Ajax in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Yet Lopetegui got his tactics spot on against Getafe to secure an important win that moves his side into third place in the table behind Barcelona and Real Madrid.

ESPN's David Cartlidge praised Lopetegui for his role in the win:

Lopetegui had come under pressure at the start of 2020 after a poor run. The team were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by second-tier side Mirandes and managed one win in six league games.

However, Sunday's win will relieve the pressure on the Sevilla boss and put the club in good shape to secure a top-four finish.


Loser: Albert Celades

Valencia boss Albert Celades will be feeling the heat after Los Che lost 3-0 to Real Sociedad on Saturday. The result is their fourth defeat from their last five games and leaves the team down in eighth place.

Celades's team went into the match after a poor 4-1 defeat to Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League that has left them on the brink of elimination from Europe's top competition.

They face a battle to qualify for the tournament next season too after being comprehensively beaten by La Real at Anoeta.

Sportswriter Andy West said the team look lost:

Celades was only appointed in September but enjoyed a bright start as his team topped a tight Champions League group ahead of Chelsea and Ajax and beat Barcelona 2-0 in La Liga in January.

Yet a series of injuries to key players has weakened the team and led to a poor run, leaving Celades under pressure and Valencia's season in danger of falling apart.

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