Madre mía, Almería: La Liga Matchday 23 Recap

Comebacks, shocks, goalfests, upsets and twists. That was Matchday 23 in LaLiga, as the form table almost turned upside down and we witnessed another twist in the title race. Hosts Matt Clark (@MattClark_08) and Thom Harris (@ThomHarris_) are here to break it all down, in a weekend bookended by 3-2 thrillers involving Seville sides.

We begin with probably the surprise of the season so far. Following their defensive horror show last weekend, Almería went into their game against the league leaders with little more than blind faith. However, they caught a Barcelona still in hangover mode from their latest European exit, and the Andaluz side took full advantage, scoring early and defending well. As a result, Xavi's side missed a golden opportunity to open up a double-digit gap on Real Madrid.

The defending champions could not win either, even against the ten men of Atlético Madrid in El Derbi de Madrid. Teenger Álvaro Rodríguez saved a point for Los Blancos with his first senior goal but most observers felt it was an insufficient point. Little did we all know that Madrid would actually cut the gap at the top this weekend.

Elsewhere, Rubén Baraja got his first win as Valencia suffered and earned a much-needed three points while Espanyol and Cádiz registered important home wins too.

In the European race it was a fantastic weekend for Real Betis, who battled back from 2-0 down at Elche to get a crucial victory.

At the end of the show we take stock of the tightening races for Europe and to avoid relegation, as well as looking ahead to the first legs of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

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