#2A: Improved – Real Sociedad
2019-20 La Liga Standing - 6th (56 points)
2018-19 La Liga Standing - 9th (50 points).
A similar story to Villarreal, Real Sociedad were pleasing to watch and played some incredible football in the La Liga this season. They finished as the season’s highest top scorer after Real Madrid, Barcelona and Villarreal, with qualification to the Europa League being the reward for their efforts.
However, in all regards, La Real would be disappointed with their form after the break. The team from the Basque country who went into the lockdown in fourth place, managed a miserable return of ten points from 11 games after the break to slip to sixth.
Yet, as a season overall, it was a huge improvement from their last season's ninth-placed finish as they accomplished their objective of getting into the European spots for the first time since 2017.
Their young attacking trio of Mikel Oyarzabal, Alexander Isak and Martin Odegaard were a joy to watch at times, and La Real will be hoping to see more of the same in the next La Liga season.
#2B: Declined - Valencia
2019-20 La Liga Standing - 9th (53 points)
2018-19 La Liga Standing - 4th (61 points).
Valencia were undoubtedly the underachievers of the 2019-20 La Liga season. The turmoil began as soon as the board sacked coach Marcelino after just three matchdays. His replacement, Albert Celades failed to reignite a faltering team as Valencia finished an underwhelming ninth.
The team that had the best defensive record last season (conceded 35 goals), shipped goals for fun this campaign (53).
Valencia’s fortunes in the Champions League contrasted with their league form, though, as they topped of a group containing the likes of Chelsea and Ajax before high-flying Atlanta knocked them out in the Round of 16.
The only highlight of Valencia's La Liga campaign was a 2-0 victory over Barcelona at the Mestalla, which was Los Murcelegos’ first home win in the league over the Blaugrana since 2007.
With Ferran Torres joining Manchester City in the summer and the likes of Dani Parejo and Geoffrey Kondogbia attracting interest from elsewhere, uncertain times loom large for the club.Published 06 Aug 2020, 16:26 IST