This Week in LaLiga…Here’s all you need to know from around LaLiga this week, from Raúl García’s milestone to Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final win.
Real Madrid are into the Champions League final
The 2021/22 Champions League final will see Liverpool take on Real Madrid, with the LaLiga Santander side earning their place in the showpiece event in the most epic way possible. With just one minute of the 90 to go in their semi-final tie against Manchester City, Real Madrid needed two goals. They got them, as Rodrygo scored twice in two minutes to force extra time against the Premier League leaders, at which point a Karim Benzema penalty sent Los Blancos through and the Bernabéu into a frenzy.
Villarreal CF bow out with their heads held high
Villarreal CF’s incredible Champions League journey has ended at the semi-final stage, but they gave Liverpool a scare in their second leg at the Estadio de la Cerámica. After losing the first leg 2-0 at Anfield, the Submarino Amarillo levelled the tie thanks to goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin. Liverpool went on to win 3-2 on the night, but Unai Emery can be very proud of his squad.
Another Player of the Month award for Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema was named this week as the winner of the April Player of the Month award, having scored four goals as Real Madrid wrapped up the title with a few rounds to spare. This is the fifth Player of the Month award that the Frenchman has claimed in his career.
Carrasco decides the Madrid Derby
Atlético de Madrid faced Real Madrid for the second time this season on Sunday and earned a 1-0 victory, the first time Los Rojiblancos have defeated their city rivals at their Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Atleti put in a determined performance and broke the deadlock when Matheus Cunha won a penalty that Yannick Carrasco converted.
FC Barcelona book their Champions League ticket
A spectacular last-gasp volley from Jordi Alba and an earlier goal from Ansu Fati earned FC Barcelona a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Saturday night, with this three-point haul earning the Blaugrana their ticket to next season’s Champions League. They are guaranteed to finish in the top four and will now fight to ensure they secure second and a place in the next Spanish Super Cup.
Late drama means Levante UD still believe
Levante UD looked destined for relegation just a few months ago, but they have kept battling and are still alive with three rounds to go. Although they’re still inside the relegation zone, the gap is now just five points after a dramatic 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Friday night, as Gonzalo Melero converted a stoppage time penalty for the win.
Karanka’s first Granada CF win is a big one
Aitor Karanka has done an excellent job at Granada CF since taking over. After securing two draws from his first two games in charge of the Andalusian club, his third was a huge victory as Granada CF won 6-2 away at RCD Mallorca, moving out of the relegation zone in the process.
A derby draw to secure Rayo Vallecano’s safety
Rayo Vallecano have mathematically ensured they’ll be playing LaLiga Santander football next season, doing so just a few kilometres away from Vallecas. They visited Getafe CF on Sunday and the 0-0 draw means the team promoted last season have achieved their objective.
Raúl García climbs onto the appearances podium
By playing in Athletic Club’s goalless draw with Valencia CF, Raúl García has surpassed Raúl González Blanco in the all-time LaLiga Santander appearances rankings and is now onto the podium. The Athletic Club player has now participated in 551 LaLiga Santander games across his career, with only Andoni Zubizarreta and Joaquín having taken part in more.
Unified kick-off times for the final two rounds
The dates and kick-off times for the final two rounds of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season have been released, with both matchdays to have a unified schedule to ensure it is as fair as possible. Modifications might be made if there end up being some matches where nothing is at stake, but, provisionally, all Matchday 37 fixtures will take place on May 15th at 18:30 CEST and all Matchday 38 games will be held on May 22nd at 18:30 CEST.