La Liga season 2022/2023 - the champions and top scorersOn Sunday the final round of the 2022/2023 Spanish La Liga season was played, a season that was decided early and ultimately won quite comfortably by a 10-point margin down to the second placed club. So, the top battle was not of much interest that day, even if the fight for the "title" of best team in Madrid was at stake, but it was more dramatic in the relegation fight. As for the top battle in the top scorer list, it was also quite undramatic, and the winner was the expected one.
La Liga champions 2022/2023 - Barcelona!Real Madrid opened the season strongly with six straight wins and had 10 wins and two draws before their first loss came surprisingly against Rayo Vallecano. This also included a win in the first El Classico of the season. Despite the loss against Real in El Classico, Barcelona were following Real just behind in the table all the time, and after Barcelona took over the lead in the 13th round they never let go of the lead. Instead, they slowly extended their lead as the rounds went on.
In the end, Barcelona already decided the league in round 34 with four rounds to play after winning the derby against local rivals Espanyol. They won the league this season mainly because they had a very solid defence and were great at securing their lead in the matches, which eleven 1-0 wins among other things is proof of.
Karim Benzema have now played his last game for Real Madrid
The fight for the title "best in Madrid" - and Benzema's last game for RealAlthough the league was already decided the fight for second place was still open between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, and thus the prestigious title of "best team in Madrid" was also at stake, with Real holding a one-point lead going into the round. Furthermore, it had been announced before the game that Karim Benzema had decided to leave the club after 14 seasons at the club, so this was his final game at Santiago Bernabéu.
Real Madrid struggled with Athletic Bilbao at home and after Oihan Sancet made it 1-0 for Bilbao, it looked like it would become a less than pleasant end in the club for Benzema. However, he would get one last goal for the club as they were awarded a penalty which he scored in the 72nd minute, and the 1-1 score was also the final score of the match. It looked like Atlético Madrid would clinch the second place as they held a 2-1 lead away to Villarreal, but Jorge Pascual equalized in extra time in the 92nd minute, and the second place was lost. However, both Madrid teams are qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season which is probably what is seen as the main thing for both teams, it is at least a comfort for Atlético.
The fourth Champions League spot was clinched by Real Sociedad. They already had the UCL place secured before the last round and finished the season off nicely by winning against Sevilla at home at Estadio Anoeta with 2-1. Although Sevilla lost that game, and had a downright miserable season in La Liga where they finished 12th, they can take solace in the fact that they are also qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season as they won the Europa League final against Roma earlier in the week.
The battle in the bottomAt the bottom it was an uncertain battle for the last relegation place. There were five teams in risk of joining Elche and Espanyol down to the Segunda División. It was Real Valladolid who were in the worst position but had the decision in their own hands as it was enough for them to win against Getafe at home to pass them. But Real Valladolid, who only managed to score 33 goals in the league before the last round, never managed to put a goal in the net against Getafe and the match ended 0-0, which meant relegation. With their loss, other teams that were at risk of getting relegated were out of risk.
Robert Lewandowski - winner of the Pichichi Trophy 2022/2023
Top scorer title - Lewandowski an expected winnerWhen Robert Lewandowski arrived at Barcelona in the pre-season, he quickly became the favourite to win the top scorer title, which he also did quite comfortably. But even though he won the title, he "only" scored 23 goals, which is significantly fewer goals than we're used to seeing him score in his previous club, Bayern Munich. Whether it is due to aging or that his style of play is better suited in the Bundesliga with Bayern, we will see next season.
Second top scorer was Karim Benzema, who scored 19 goals in his last season for Real. Benzema had a lot of minor injuries and was out a lot this season and missing a lot of matches, especially at the beginning of the season. It is likely that he would have clinched the Pichichi Trophy, as the top scorer's league title in La Liga is called, in his final season as well if he had been fit.
Another striker veteran, the 33-year-old and Espanyol's Joselu, was placed third. His 16 goals weren't enough to keep the Barcelona club in from relegation though, and we'll see if he follows the team down to Segunda División or if another La Liga club signs him.
There were few young players who placed themselves high in the top scorer list this season, but we do find two 21-year-olds in the top 20. In 10th place came Villarreal's Senegalese Nicolas Jackson with 12 goals scored, and in 13th we find the Spaniard Gabri Veiga who scored 11 goals for his Celta Vigo, and both players will be interesting to follow next season.