The 22nd match-week of Spanish La Liga 2018-19 brought with it some wonderful goals, some incredible actions on the field, and the usual dose of excitement and exhilaration. 

Match-week 22 of La Liga 2018-19 came to a conclusion on Sunday. The match-days witnessed plenty of thrills, spills and emotions. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla suddenly found the going tough after suffering serious setbacks, while spoils were shared by Barcelona and Valencia. Real Madrid scored thrice in their match against Alaves. Here are some results from the matches gone by, and some of the key talking points.

4. Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves

Karim Benzema continued his scoring streak as he netted for the sixth time in four games to help Real Madrid cruise to a 3-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves on Sunday. The Frenchman struck after 30 minutes of a one-sided contest at Santiago Bernabeu where Gareth Bale made his first start overcoming a calf injury but Vinicius Junior stole the show, including scoring his side’s second. Real are now only two points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Real Betis earlier on Sunday. They have also closed the gap to arch-rivals Barcelona to eight points. The two Spanish giants face each other in the first leg of Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday.

3. Celta Vigo 1-0 Sevilla

Celta Vigo broke their losing streak on Saturday with a narrow win 1-0 in Balaidos against Sevilla in an even game. Sevilla remain in fourth place after this surprising defeat against Celta, as Okay Yokuslu scored the only goal of the game to move Celta out of the relegation zone. Sevilla had several chances to open the scoring, but Frenchman Ben Yedder was not successful. In the 57th minute, he failed, the only shot of the visitors throughout the game. In the 69th, Sevilla again hit the post. Fourth in the standings, the Andalusians have won one game in the last six La Liga games.

2. Real Betis 1-0 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid fell to their first La Liga defeat in five months, second of the season, as they were beaten 1-0 at Real Betis on Sunday, They also missed the opportunity to close the gap with leaders Barcelona and slipping six points adrift of the Catalans. Alvaro Morata started his first game for Atletico since moving on loan from Chelsea, but Sergio Canales scored from the penalty spot after a handball by left-back Filipe Luis. Oblak went the right way but Canales’ strike was too powerful for the Slovenia international. The visitors responded as talisman Griezmann came close to scoring a wonder goal but his effort crashed the woodwork. Atletico could not find an equaliser and will be disappointed not to cut the gap at the top.

1. Barcelona 2-2 Valencia

Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona fought back against Valencia, but it still wasn’t enough to give the Liga leaders all three points as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. Valencia, who hit the woodwork in the second minute, went ahead in the 24th with a well-taken finish from French forward Kevin Gameiro and doubled their lead with a powerful penalty from Dani Parejo in the 32nd. Messi halved the deficit seven minutes later by scoring for the ninth consecutive game in all competitions, converting from the spot after having a goal chalked off as the referee had already blown his whistle to award the penalty. Barca’s extra-ordinary captain equalised in the 64th with an unstoppable curling strike from outside the area, averting a first league loss for the league leaders since November and taking them on to 50 points from 22 games.

Also Read: Is Barcelona too much dependent on Messi

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