Matchday LIVE: Atletico & Real Madrid in action as La Liga title race goes to the wire

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Atletico Madrid celebrate 2021Getty
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    Thank you and good night

    Atletico Madrid champions 2021Getty

    And with that, we will leave you there after what has been another busy day of football across Europe.

    In England, it is Brentford and Swansea who have booked themselves a bout for the final Premier League spot in a week's time, while Robert Lewandowski broke the all-time Bundesliga single-season goal record with Bayern Munich.

    But the final word comes from La Liga, where Luis Suarez inspired a comeback win for Atletico Madrid to help Diego Simeone end a seven-year wait for a second Spanish top-flight title.

    Sleep well, folks - tomorrow, the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Serie A get down to the business end. Until then, thank you for joining us - and have a good weekend!

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    FT: Swansea (2) 1-1 (1) Barnsley

    Barnsley's late rally is in vain - Swansea hold on for a draw and book their place in the Championship play-off final!

    Liberty Stadium erupts into a cauldron of noise, as in one collective breath has just been released. They will face Brentford at Wembley next Saturday.

    Heartbreak for the Tykes, after a truly remarkable second-half-of-the-season charge up the table. They'll hope to stay together and come again next season.

  • Vallodolid 1-2 Atletico

    Atletico celebrations continue apace

  • Swansea (2) 1-1 (1) Barnsley

    Barnsley ready final push

    Is it too little too late for the Tykes?

    They have five added minutes to find a winner at Liberty Stadium. Swansea's defence has wobbled thoughout the final act, like a plate of jelly in a stiff breeze, but they've held it together for the most part.

    Barnsley may be out of chances.

  • Valladolid 0-1 Atletico

    Suarez seals special triumph

    Suarez Atletico Madrid 2021Getty

    Our Spanish football writer Rik Sharma has put together some words on why it could only be Luis Suarez, in the end, to do what he did today.

    "Luis Suarez may not be 21 anymore but his 21st goal of the Liga season won the title for Atletico Madrid on an incredibly dramatic final day.

    Last summer, the Uruguayan was let go by Barcelona, who wanted to refresh their squad. The Blaugrana told him he was no longer wanted, that he was too old, not good enough anymore. It was exactly the fuel he needed to revive his career."

    You can continue reading at Goal here!

  • Eibar 0-1 Barcelona

    Koeman: Barca overhaul ongoing process

    More from Ronald Koeman, who has indicated that there is still work to be done with the Blaugrana squad for them to be able to compete once again at the top level.

    “When we arrived we took the template that was available," he has stated. "For me this squad is not made to have the level that it demands and that we want for Barcelona."

    "There are older players with all due respect. And there are young players who have to gain more experience to be better. The project is not done, in one season you can not do everything."

  • (Cauley Woodrow, 71)

    GOAL: Swansea (2) 1-1 (1) Barnsley

    Barnsley are right back in this!

    There's no way to get around it without sounding like Alan Partridge, but Cauley Woodrow hit that one like a freight train.

    Liberty Stadium falls silent. Suddenly, Barnsley have come alive.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Madrid runs red and white tonight

  • Swansea (2) 1-0 (0) Barnsley

    Tykes running out of time

    There's just under half-an-hour on the clock for Barnsley to come up with two goals against Swansea, and so far, they don't seem to be suggesting that they will do so.

    The Swans haven't commanded the game from the word go, but that goal has given them the breathing space to look the superior side.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Simeone hails squad efforts

    More from Diego Simeone now and he has again doubled down on his pride at Atletico's success during a testing time across the world, hailing his players for their contributions.

    "We've been able to bring joy for many people who have gone through such difficult times," he has added. "The players have been enormous, I think them so much, above all those who played less, but who made us a team, as we were in every moment."

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Simeone: Happy after difficult year

    Diego Simeone has had some more words to offer now, and he has highlighted the importance of his side's triumph during a challenging season ravaged by off-field Covid-19 issues.

    "[I'm] happy, happy for so many people," he says. "It was such a difficult year, [with] friends, family members, fans who died, of Atletico, and other clubs.

    "That Atletico come out as champions this year is something extra special. It always costs us more."

  • Eibar 0-1 Barcelona

    Koeman calm on future

    Ronald Koeman has been speaking to the press after steering Barcelona to a final day victory, and speculation has once again turned to his future - but he feels that he is at the club to stay, at least for the moment.

    “I think it's not the last [game]," he has stated. "I have a contract and I don't know what we will do.

    "You talk a lot about this topic, but I am calm. If there is something that the club wants to change, it has to talk to me ”.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    A picture tells a thousand words

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Simeone furthers Atletico legacy

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Champions of Europe

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Simeone: I just kept laughing!

    As news is confirmed that there will be no trophy presentation tonight - a private ceremony will instead be held for Atletico - coach Diego Simeone has disentangled himself from being thrown in the air by his players to say a few words.

    "I just keep laughing," he said when asked about his reaction throughout the game. "I don't know why, but I just keep laughing."

    It's fair to say he won't be the only one to do so in his shoes. He looks like he has been poleaxed by a brick of euphoria.

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    HT: Swansea (2) 1-0 (0) Barnsley

    After three minutes of injury time, the whistle has gone at Liberty Stadium.

    The Tykes have more than a mountain to scamper up. Right now, it is Swansea who are set for a date with Brentford at Wembley.

  • Madrid 2-1 Villarreal

    Madrid go bare for first time in a decade

    Amid all the celebrations, a particularly key note to remember; this is the first time since the 2009-10 campaign that Real Madrid have not won any silverware.

    They have absolutely dominated the past decade, whether at home or abroad. To finally come up empty handed is a surefire sign that their dominance is not all-conquering.

    Zinedine Zidane's future is already under heavy speculation. It surely only increases now at a club where success is part of the fabric - and failure gets you the sack.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Seven years in the making

  • (Matt Grimes, 39)

    GOAL: Swansea (2) 1-0 (0) Barnsley

    All the way across Europe, back in Wales, things have just gone from tough to torrid for Barnsley.

    Matt Grimes has struck from outside the box to put the hosts on the front foot in Swansea.

    They hold a two-goal lead overall now, and that will take something special to rein in.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Suarez: Atletico opened their doors to me

    A particularly emotional Luis Suarez has just been speaking to the reporter pool and he looks close to tears. It is his fifth title in La Liga, but this one may mean something more than all the others.

    “The situation I experienced last summer was difficult, the way I was underestimated," he has stated.

    "Atletico Madrid opened up their doors to me to keep on showing the player I am."

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Suarez the Atletico saviour once more

  • Madrid 2-1 Villarreal

    Villarreal face Conference slog

    Having led for so long in the capital, Villarreal will be wondering where it went wrong at the end there. The Yellow Submarine have failed to overthrow Betis and Sociedad - and as such, they finish seventh, and qualify for the first-ever Europa Conference League.

    Of course, they may well not be in it. They still have one more game this season - a Europa League final with Manchester United in Gdansk. Win that, and they leapfrog straight into the Champions League.

    They'll fancy their chances, for sure. But now, they must move past the heartbreak of the day.

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    Atletico crowned Liga champions

  • FT: Elche 2-0 Athletic Club, Huesca 0-0 Valencia

    Huesca, Valladolid relegated after Elche surprise

    For Real Valladolid, it has been a roller-coaster of a game - and it is one that has ended at the bottom.

    They are relegated from La Liga, alongside Huesca, who were unable to crack Valencia in what finished as a goalless draw.

    Instead, it is Elche who have secured top-flight football once again next season. Remarkable stuff.

  • FT: Celta 2-3 Betis, Osasuna 0-1 Sociedad

    Duo seal Europa League berths

    Below them however, it is Real Betis and Real Sociedad who have confirmed their place in the Europa League next season.

    A superb turnaround from Manuel Pellegrini's men has booked them into the second tier of continental football next term, while Alexander Isak's late goal means Imanol Alguacil's team will join them.

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    FT: Eibar 0-1 Barcelona

    It's all over too for the Blaugrana - and Antoine Griezmann's late strike is enough to ensure that a third-place finish is wrapped up for Ronald Koeman.

    There may have been no Lionel Messi, but the World Cup winner proves the difference to keep Sevilla in fourth.

    It has been a mixed year at Camp Nou - and they'll hope to build back towards old success next term.

  • Valladolid 1-2 Atletico

    Rojiblancos roar to title triumph

    ...but it is the ecstasy for Atletico Madrid!

    The champagne corks appear to have been already popped. Luis Suarez is on cloud nine - and why wouldn't be be? He was a Barcelona outcast a year ago. Now, he is a league champion once more.

    Kieran Trippier took a gamble in making the move from Tottenham. He becomes the first Englishman since David Beckham to conquer La Liga. The celebrations will go on well into the night here.

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    FT: Madrid 2-1 Villarreal

    Los Blancos' late comeback is all for nothing - they are deposed by their crosscity rivals. Zinedine Zidane sees his side finish the season in second place.

    The players have already heard what has happened elsewhere. They drop to the turf, and stagger around numb.

    It is the agony...

  • FT: Valladolid 1-2 Atletico


    Atletico Madrid celebrate 2021Getty

    The final whistle goes in Valladolid! Diego Simeone screams in delight!

    Atletico Madrid are Spanish champions for the second time under his watch!

    Players and staff mob each other as Valladolid players stand in shock. The hosts have been relegated from La Liga, let us not forget. But the noise tells you that it is one side's day and one side's day only.

  • (Luka Modric, 92)

    GOAL: Madrid 2-1 Villarreal

  • (Karim Benzema, 87)

    GOAL: Madrid 1-1 Villarreal

    This one will stand for Karim Benzema - but surely it is in vain?
  • (Alexander Isak, 86)

    GOAL: Osasuna 0-1 Sociedad

    Elation for Real Sociedad!
  • Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

    Madrid continue to toil

    You wonder if news has reached the ears of Zinedine Zidane's side that they are heading for a second-place finish here - but of course, they were always going to be second place unless they won.

    There's less than 10 minutes on the clock and as Karim Benzema taps an effort straight to Geronimo Rulli, you can see the energy sapping away from them.

    Save something truly stunning, the title is heading across town to Wanda Metropolitano.

  • (Antoine Griezmann, 81)

    GOAL: Eibar 0-1 Barcelona

    The Blaugrana look to be heading for third-place!

    Antoine Griezmann provides the finish and Ronald Koeman looks to be finishing the season - and possibly his league tenure? - with a victory. 

  • (Cristian Tello, 75)

    RED CARD: Celta 2-3 Betis

    It is all going on at Celta Vigo today, isn't it?

    Cristian Tello has just picked up a second yellow card, and for all the pleading from his Betis team-mates, that is the end of his game.

    The visitors lead, but will have to play out the final quarter-hour a man down.

  • (Raul Guti, 73)

    GOAL: Elche 2-0 Athletic Club

    Elche double their lead!

    Surely - surely! - that will be enough to keep them up, unless Huesca can pull something out of the bag against Valencia, which remains goalless. Raul Guti finds the back of the net to put them in the driving seat for survival.

    As it stands, it will be Huesca and Valladolid who join Eibar in relegation.

  • (Victor Ruiz, 73)

    GOAL: Celta 2-3 Betis

    What a comeback from Real Betis!

    Víctor Ruiz seals an extraordinary second-half fightback from the visitors to keep their Europa League dreams alive, slapping a close-range right-footed effort past Ivan Villar.

    Absolutely remarkable stuff.

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    Simeone roars his approval

    You could hear Diego Simeone's roar all the way back in Madrid there.

    It has been a long season, and one where his side have looked to be cruising to a title that really should not have come down to the wire.

    But now, momentum is with them. As long as they do not concede again, they will be champions of La Liga.

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    KO: Swansea v Barnsley

    Amid all the madness in Spain, the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final between the Swans and the Tykes is underway.

    Who knows what that one has in store compared to this!

  • (Nabil Fekir, 69)

    GOAL: Celta 2-2 Betis

    Nabil Fekir, that is a beauty of a free-kick!

    Real Betis, out of seemingly nowhere, have drawn level to keep themselves in the thick of the fight for the Europa League.

    It is a glorious set-piece finish on the right edge, curled in at the near-post. Showreel stuff.

  • (Luis Suarez, 67)

    GOAL: Valladolid 1-2 Atletico


    It is a horror-show of a back-pass from the hosts, into open space where the striker can bounce just outside the centre-circle and race away, unopposed, towards the goal.

    His finish is lethal in its accuracy, drilled in at the left post, and he is mobbed by his squadmates. Absolute pandemonium for Atletico - they have one hand on La Liga!

  • Valladolid 1-1 Atletico

    Correa provides divine intervention

  • (Angel Correa, 57)

    GOAL: Valladolid 1-1 Atletico


    It has been the two toughest minutes of the season for Real Madrid. Almost at the moment they have an effort chalked off in the capital, the Liga leaders pull back to level pegging with their hosts.

    Angel Correa dinks around two defenders on the edge of the box and fires a toe poke in from 18 yards, burying it in the bottom-right corner.

  • (Karim Benzema, 55)

    DISALLOWED GOAL: Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

    Who else but Karim Benzema to ride to the rescue! Real Madrid are right back in the title race - or are they?

    No! VAR has overturned it! The Frenchman - recalled to Les Bleus' setup this week - thought he had just headed Los Blancos back into this tie, but after a lengthy look, his header is chalked off for offside from Casemiro's delivery.

    This is superb drama!

  • (Borja Iglesias, 53)

    GOAL: Celta 2-1 Betis

    Los Verdiblancos have their response!

    Nolito trims down Emerson and the referee points straight to the penalty spot. Borja Iglesias steps up and buries an absolute rocket into the top of the net.

    Game on.

  • (Brais Mendez, 49)

    GOAL: Celta 2-0 Betis

    Double delight for Celta!

    Iago Aspas turns provider now, setting up Brais Mendez for the finish to take the hosts' lead from one goal to two.

    This is a real problem for Betis if they hope to keep in the thick of Europa League contention.

  • Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Second halves underway

    We're back in action across La Liga now, for the final sprint towards the finish line.

    Buckle in, this one is going to be something special.

  • Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Nervy time for Atletico

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    Team News: Swansea v Barnsley

    Swansea XI: Woodman, Naughton, Cabango, Guehi, Bidwell, Fulton, Grimes, Hourihane, Ayew, Lowe, Routledge

    Barnsley XI: Collins, Brittain, Sibbick, Helik, Andersen, Styles, Mowatt, Palmer, Morris, Adeboyejo, Woodrow

  • Celta 1-0 Betis

    Iago Aspas joins rare club

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    HT: Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Ditto this one too. Both Atletico and Madrid have seen their title challenges take some serious blows across the last opening halves of their season.

    Both sides have pushed for a response. Both are yet to find it. The maths are simple; Atletico turn this around and win, they are champions. They do not, then they must hope that Madrid do not claim victory themselves.

    A loss for Atletico and a draw for Madrid would be enough for Diego Simeone's side - but surely it won't come down to that?

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    HT: Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

    What an absolutely huge half of football that has been in La Liga.
  • Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Madness reigns today

  • Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

    Young upstart Pino plays his part

  • (Iago Aspas, 32)

    GOAL: Celta 1-0 Betis

    Music to Villarreal's ears - Real Betis have gone behind at Celta Vigo to a penalty!

    It is Iago Aspas who has coolly converted the spot-kick, after Marc Bartra felled Santi Mina inside the box just after the half-hour mark.

    That result, if it stays that way, will leave the Yellow Submarine in the driving seat for the Europa League.

  • (Lucas Boye, 28)

    GOAL: Elche 1-0 Athletic Club

    Breaking news from elsewhere in La Liga that impacts Valladolid's hopes of survival though - Elche have taken the lead against Athletic Club.

    Lucas Boye's finish in the right corner means that Los Franjiverdes are currently safe at the expense of the hosts here, along with Huesca.

    That will be one to keep an eye on.

  • Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Title race thrown into turmoil

    Two goals in two games in the space of two minutes, and for the two sides not scrapping at the summit.

    Football is brilliant, isn't it? There is a long way to go in this contest, but in layman's terms, there is no change at the top. Atletico remain two points ahead of Madrid after Villarreal's effort cancelled out Valladolid's own.

    But right now, those goals mean that that the Yellow Submarine are up to fifth as things stand, while the Blanquivioletas are still in the bottom three. They need Huesca to lose today; a draw for the latter will still keep them safe at the current moment.

  • (Yeremi Pino, 20)

    GOAL: Madrid 0-1 Villarreal

    But arguably bigger disaster for Madrid now!

    Gerard Moreno has absolutely done Los Blancos with that touch there, vaulting a ball over a defence stretched out like scrambled egg, and he has made them pay.

    Yeremi Pino is there in the box, near the penalty spot, and though Thibaut Courtois gets a glove, it is not enough to stop him from finding his mark. It is an absolute gift for Atletico on the other side of the country.

  • (Oscar Plano, 18)

    GOAL: Valladolid 1-0 Atletico

    Disaster for Atletico! That is an absolute hammerblow for their title charge!

    Marcos de Sousa threads a throughball downfield on the fly, shifting it fast past Atletico's lines, and Oscar Plano locks on to it like the sharpest homing pigeon in the shed.

    His finish is all class too, tucked into the back of the net, and he has handed the hosts a lifeline in the fight to stay up - while sticking the knife into Diego Simeone's dreams.

  • Swansea (1) v (0) Barnsley

    Swans to swoop on Tykes?

    Marc Guehi Swansea CityGetty Images

    Elsewhere, there's a big clash brewing in south Wales to decide just who will face Brentford in the Championship play-off final, after the Bees beat out 10-men Bournemouth to seal a spot at Wembley.

    Andre Ayew's first-half finish on the road at Oakwell means that Swansea are in the driving seat against Barnsley this evening - but the hosts will know that their place under the arch is far from a done deal.

  • Valladolid v Atletico

    Rojiblancos kept on toes

    Toni Villa levels a low strike in towards the Atletico Madrid box, to give a clear reminder that this will be far from an easy task for the Liga leaders on the road.

    It's going to be a tougher task than Diego Simeone will have hoped for based on the opening gambits here.

    There's no goals yet across the rest of the league. It is as it was at kick-off.

  • Madrid v Villarreal

    Madrid hit hot form at right time

  • And everywhere else!

    KO: Valladolid v Atletico

    We are underway, for almost the final time this season, in La Liga!
  • Celta Vigo v Betis, Osasuna v Sociedad

    Sociedad, Betis aim for Europa League glory

    Just a point splits Real Sociedad and Real Betis, with the latter level with Villarreal, but in sixth through their head-to-head record.

    Simple maths means that a win for both sends them to the Europa League next season. A draw or a loss and a win for the Yellow Submarine against Madrid will see one of them compete in the Europa Conference League.

    Have a calculator ready, folks, this one may need some maths.

  • Elche v Athletic Club, Huesca v Valencia

    Huesca, Elche bank on final chances

    In the case of Valladolid's rivals for the drop however, both have the relative luxury of facing clubs who have absolutely nothing to play for.

    Despite silverware this season, Athletic Club will be frustrated with falling short of the European race this term, while Valencia arguably failed to hit their stride like they should have too.

    It means both are effectively mid-table fodder for a pair of sides absolutely dedicated to ensuring their survival. If both win however, it will be Huesca who stay up - thanks to a superior head-to-head record with their rivals.

  • Valladolid v Atletico

    Food for thought...

  • Koln set for play-off after Bundesliga final day

    Lewandowski makes history, Bremen relegated

    To briefly turn our attention away from La Liga, Robert Lewandowski has broken Gerd Muller's all-time record of goals in a single top-flight season in Germany with the last play of Bayern Munich's 5-2 win over Augsburg today.

    It is a rich reward for the Poland striker, one of the game's greatest attackers, and only further enshrines his legacy at the Bavarian giants, who now bid farewell to Hansi Flick.

    Werder Bremen meanwhile have been relegated following their 2-4 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach - but Koln will have a chance to save their proverbial bacon against Bochum, Holstein Kiel or Greuther Furth.

  • Bayern striker exceeds Muller's one-season haul

    Lewandowski smashes all-time Bundesliga goal record

  • -

    Team News: Eibar v Barcelona

  • Eibar v Barcelona

    Messi on the beach in dead rubber

    A few weeks ago, Ronald Koeman and the Blaugrana remained in a remarkable hunt for La Liga glory - but now their quest is at an end, with third the highest they can finish.

    Given that they are assured of Champions League football however, it is perhaps no surprise that Lionel Messi is missing from the matchday squad - though it would undoubtedly be a major anticlimax for him to depart the side he has called home for good without the closure of a farewell here.

    Instead, the Argentine has departed to prepare for the Copa America - and will not face already-relegated Eibar today.

  • Valladolid v Atletico

    Valladolid face final stand

    On paper, Atletico could arguably not ask for an easier tie than a bottom three side to finish the campaign - but the small wrinkle that Sergio's team could still save themselves from the drop makes it all the more intriguing.

    Valladolid sit last-but-one, two points behind Huesca and Elche. If the two sides fail to take points today, than the Blanquivioletas could complete an unlikely escape - at the expense of their visitors' quest for the title.

  • Madrid v Villarreal

    Yellow Submarine aim for Europa success

    It couldn't be more juicy than all four sides involved in the two biggest games today having something to play for though, could it?

    In the case of Villarreal, a huge few days await. On Wednesday, they will be in Gdansk for the Europa League final against a potentially depleted Manchester United - and could secure Champions League football with their success.

    But if they are to fall short, they could miss out on the top two tiers of European football entirely. Right now, they lie seventh - which would send them to the newly-created Europa Conference League, owing to their lesser head-to-head record with Real Betis. A victory here and a slip-up for the latter would vault them into the Europa League for certain.

  • -

    Team News: Madrid v Villarreal

  • -

    Team News: Valladolid v Atletico

  • Madrid v Villarreal

    ...but Madrid lurk ready

    There's no side quite like Real Madrid when it comes to snatching the silverware in dramatic circumstances - but even Zinedine Zidane, possibly primed for a second exit from the managerial hotseat at Santiago Bernabeu, will admit that a triumph here would take the biscuit.

    They have been second-best to their neighbours this term, have Los Blancos, but they sit on the cusp of a successful defence of their current crown if results go their way today.

    You could cut the tension across Spain with a knife.

  • Valladolid v Atletico

    Atletico awaits...

    It has been seven years since Diego Simeone confirmed his place in Rojiblancos history by guiding the club to a first league title for almost two decades. Today, he can add a second to his tenure.

    All season long, his side - speared by the inspired capture of Luis Suarez and rooted in a firm sense of identity - have looked the team to beat at the top.

    Yet their own shortcomings have opened the door to bring this one down to the wire - and they will be distraught if they fall at the final hurdle.

  • -

    Today's order of play

    It all gets underway simultaneously in La Liga, in just under an hour, as the drama goes down to the wire for the title. Atletico Madrid know that victory over relegation-battling Real Valladolid will secure them the title, no matter what else.

    But if they draw or lose, victory will hand the crown to Real Madrid, who themselves have to overcome a stern test in the shape of Villarreal, desperate to avoid missing out on the Europa League.

    Here's what we've got in store for you today...

    Celta Vigo v Real Betis (17:00)

    Eibar v Barcelona (17:00)

    Elche v Athletic Club (17:00)

    Huesca v Valencia (17:00)

    Osasuna v Real Sociedad (17:00)

    Real Madrid v Villarreal (17:00)

    Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid (17:00)

    Swansea v Barnsley (18:30)

  • -

    🎉 ⚽️ Welcome to Goal Matchday Live! ⚽️ 🎉

    Good afternoon and welcome to Goal's live matchday blog!

    It's what you've all come to see, isn't it? There's only one battle at the top end of town that anyone cares about today - unless you're a Swansea or Barnsley fan - and it's to decide who will become champions of La Liga.

    Atletico Madrid have led the race all season, with Diego Simeone angling for a second domestic crown at Wanda Metropolitano - but slowly and surely, they've given up ground to bitter crosscity rivals Real Madrid across the last few months.

    Now Zinedine Zidane's side could snatch the glory and mount a successful defence of their title on the final day of the campaign.

    It all comes down to this - and Goal will be with you every step of the way.