Round 17 of Spanish La Liga 2018-19 came to a conclusion on Sunday.
The match-days witnessed plenty of thrills, spills and emotions, and goals from the likes of Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, along with the usual dose of entertainment and drama. Here are the results of the La Liga matches, and some of the key talking points.
Barcelona 2-0 Celta Vigo
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 22, 2018
Barcelona beat Celta Vigo 2-0 as Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele scored at home on Saturday to reach the winter break with a three-point lead at the top of La Liga. Messi took his league-leading tally to 15 goals, including six goals in his last three matches, as Barcelona stayed ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol
⏱ 94' | 1-0 | ➕3⃣ ¡FINAAAAL! ¡Cerramos el 2018 con tres puntos en el Wanda @Metropolitano!
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) December 22, 2018
Atletico Madrid moved into second place in La Liga after defeating Espanyol 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano, in what was their final match of the calendar year. Antoine Griezmann converted a 56th-minute penalty to open the scoring for Diego Simeone’s men, who held on to move level on points with league leaders Barcelona.
Sevilla 1-1 Leganes
Wissam Ben Yedder kept 10-man Sevilla unbeaten in eight Spanish league games when the forward scored in stoppage time to snatch a 1-1 draw at Leganes on Sunday. Leganes went ahead in the match when Mikel Vesga headed in a cross by Allan Nyom in the fifth minute.
Valencia 2-1 Huesca
FINAL DEL PARTIDO 2- 1
El Valencia cierra el año con victoria en Mestalla pic.twitter.com/xKlHjkNEcA
— Valencia CF 🦇💯 (@valenciacf) December 23, 2018
Valencia defender Cristiano Piccini scored a last-minute goal to award his side a 2-1 home victory over Huesca in a La Liga contest held at the Mestalla stadium on Sunday. Piccini scored the winner on a left-footed shot in the third minute of the second-half stoppage time to fetch all three points for the Bats.
Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Levante
— Rayo Vallecano (@RayoVallecano) December 23, 2018
Rayo Vallecano were helped by an own goal from Tono as they edged Levante 2-1 on Sunday evening. Tono gave Rayo the lead in the 23rd minute with an unfortunate own goal but Ruben Rochina equalized for Levante in the hour-mark. However, Raul de Tomas scored what was the winner for Rayo seven minutes later.
Girona 1-1 Getafe
Girona scored a goal in the dying minutes of the second half to pull out a 1-1 draw Friday against a visiting Getafe. Colombian Bernardo Espinosa secured a point for the home side when he headed home a free kick by Alex Granell in the 85th minute.
Real Sociedad 0-1 Alaves
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) December 21, 2018
Real Sociedad once again struggled at home in a 0-1 loss to Alaves, continuing a poor run of form that has left them near the La Liga relegation zone. A header by Jonathan Calleri off a cross by Borja Baston gave them the lead six minutes later, which proved to be the winner.
Real Betis 1-1 Eibar
Real Betis failed to claim a fourth consecutive win in La Liga after they were held at home by a resilient Eibar. Despite the draw, Betis enter Christmas in the European places. They were hoping to catch Alaves and enter fifth but instead remain in seventh. Eibar came into this one in 13th place, failing to win since their shock victory over Real Madrid.
Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Valladolid
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) December 22, 2018
Athletic Bilbao had their hearts broken in the dying minutes by Real Valladolid at San Mames on Saturday evening. Oscar Plano scored a last-minute equalizer for the visitors, condemning Les Leones to a spot in the relegation zone and with just two wins in 17 matches. It also denied Aduriz the opportunity to become the hero on the night, with the veteran striker opening the scoring in remarkable fashion after 45 minutes.