At times, La Liga may seem like a two or at the most three-horse race, but there is no denying that the Spanish top-flight provides plenty of action-packed moments on a weekly basis.
Until it was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019/20 season proved no different either.
While the usual suspects are battling at the top of the table, the race for the European qualifying spots and the relegation battle has kept fans on their toes. While we have seen some one-sided thrashings, there have been quite a few nail-biting encounters as well.
With the season currently on hold, let’s take a look back at five of the best matches from the 2019/20 La Liga season so far.
Villarreal 4-4 Granada (August 2019)
The first match week itself delivered a classic encounter, as Villarreal and Granada turned it on at the El Madrigal. Santi Cazorla had put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot thirty minutes in, but Granada pulled it back with a penalty of their own, as Fede Vico levelled things deep into injury time at the end of the first half.
The second half was packed with breathtaking action as Moi Gomez made it 2-1 for Villarreal, but a Ruben Pena own goal brought Granada back into it.
Two goals in eight minutes from Gerard Moreno and Karl Toko Ekambi seemed to have won it for Villarreal, but Granada produced quickfire goals of their own soon after, as Roberto Soldado and Antonio Puertas struck within the final fifteen minutes to ensure the spoils ended up being shared.
Atletico Madrid 3-2 Eibar (September 2019)
It has been a rocky season for Atletico Madrid, with Diego Simeone’s men not looking their best for quite some time.
Eibar looked to make the most of the situation early in the campaign, as Charles and Anaitz Arbilla put them two goals ahead within twenty minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano. However, marquee summer signing Joao Felix managed to halve the visitors’ lead before half-time.
Simeone brought on Vitolo in place of defensive midfielder Marcos Llorente at half-time and the move paid off, with the substitute levelling the score just seven minutes in.
No winner was forthcoming as the game wore on and it seemed as if Simeone was happy with a point when he threw on Thomas Partey in the 84th minute.
That turned out to be an inspired change, as the defensive midfielder bundled home a right-footed effort in stoppage time to bag a memorable win for his team.
Eibar 2-1 Villareal (October 2019)
The first half at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium was pretty uneventful as both teams struggled to find their finishing touches even though there were quite a few chances created. That would change after half-time, as the game suddenly had an edge to it.
Finally, at the hour mark, the home team broke the deadlock as Kike Garcia headed home a cross from Fabian Orellana. Villarreal, chasing the game, threw on the likes of Moi Gomez, Gerard Moreno and Santi Cazorla, but were unable to find a way through until the 87th minute, when Moreno levelled it up with a left-footed strike.
With just stoppage time left, there was a frenzy on the pitch as both teams pushed for a winner, and four minutes into added time, Orellana came up with the goods and sent the home fans at the stadium into delirium.
Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona (February 2020)
Goals, spectacular saves, red cards, Messi’s magic, a zero-to-hero moment - this match had it all. Barely five minutes in, Clement Lenglet handled the ball in the penalty box, earning Real Betis a penalty, upon which Sergio Canales made no mistake in cashing in.
However, things were all square four minutes later as Frenkie de Jong struck for Barcelona after captain Leo Messi set him up with an exquisite pass.
Nabil Fekir put the hosts in front again in the 26th minute, but parity was restored on the cusp of half-time with Sergio Busquets getting on the end of a Messi pass. Barcelona dominated for the most of the second period and it paid off in the 72nd minute when Lenglet turned hero from zero, heading home Messi’s cross.
Things got a touch heated up after that, with Fekir getting sent off, putting the hosts at a disadvantage. Lenglet, too, was given his marching orders, setting up for a nervy finish.
Eventually, Barcelona held on for a narrow but hard-earned win, putting them on course to knock Real Madrid off the perch of the La Liga table.
Sevilla 3-2 Osasuna (March 2020)
Chasing the Champions League spots, Sevilla made a strong start to the game, with Youssef En-Nesyri opened the scoring just thirteen minutes in. The hosts were two goals clear by the time half-time arrived, with Lucas Ocampos firing one in during stoppage time in the first half.
Chasing a two-goal deficit, Osasuna made things a whole lot more difficult for themselves as goalkeeper Sergio Herrera got sent off for handling the ball outside the box. However, the visitors did not lose spirit and rallied to a fine comeback, as Aridane Hernandez pulled one back in the 64th minute before Roberto Torres squared things up from the penalty spot ten minutes later.
As the game entered stoppage time, Osasuna seemed to have done enough to salvage a point from the unlikeliest of circumstances. It was not to be though, as En-Nesyri broke their hearts with a left-footed strike two minutes into added time.