What’s been going on in LaLiga this past week?
From El Clásico drama and excitement at the bottom to new coaches and big results in Europe, here’s all you need to know from the world of Spanish football.
This was El Clásico week in LaLiga, and the match certainly didn’t disappoint, with Real Madrid picking up a dramatic and crucial win over fellow in-form title challengers Barcelona. But so much more went on across LaLiga, including yet another Basque Derby, new coaches, good results in Europe…
⚪️ Real Madrid edge El Clásico in dramatic style
The eyes of the footballing world were on Valdebebas on Saturday night as Real Madrid took on Barcelona in the second El Clásico of the season. Real Madrid edged the contest by a 2-1 scoreline in torrential rain, with goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos seeing Los Blancos take three huge points in the title race.
🔴 Atlético Madrid stay top of the table
An injury-ravaged Atléti side went away to Real Betis this weekend and secured a 1-1 draw. That result, combined with that of the Clásico, means the top of the LaLiga Santander table now has Atleti on 67 points, Real Madrid on 66 and Barcelona on 65. This three-team race couldn’t be tighter.
😳 Huesca’s victory in a relegation six-pointer
A crucial battle in the fight against relegation was played out on Friday night, with Huesca taking on Elche – two sides separated by just two points at the wrong end of the table. A 3-1 win saw Huesca leapfrog their opponents and climb to safety in the table, plunging Elche into the relegation zone in the process. There are eight weeks to go and it promises to be a fascinating battle at the bottom as well as the top.
👕 Javi Calleja takes charge at Alavés
Alavés have made a coaching change for the final stretch of the season, with Abelardo let go and former Villarreal coach Javi Calleja in as the new head coach. Calleja got off to a positive start as Alavés earned a 0-0 draw in Bilbao when they took on Athletic Club in a Basque derby.
🛣 Real Madrid and Villarreal take huge steps towards European semifinals
UEFA competitions have reached the quarter-final stages and Real Madrid and Villarreal earned first-leg wins this past week to take huge steps towards potential semi-finals. Los Blancos overcame Liverpool 3-1 at home in a first leg in the Champions League, while Villarreal won 1-0 away at Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.
🥇 Vinícius, UEFA’s MVP
With Vinícius scoring two goals for Real Madrid against Liverpool, the first time he netted twice in the same match for the club, the Brazilian won the MVP award for the quarter-final first leg and, for the entire round of midweek Champions League action, he was officially named the UEFA player of the week.
🙏 Granada’s historic night against Manchester United
Granada suffered a 2-0 first-leg defeat when they were in Europa League action this week, but that did little to dampen the mood around the city given that the club’s fans were so excited to see their team take on a historic European club like Manchester United. On April 8th 2006, they were losing 1-0 to Torredonjimeno in Spain’s fourth tier. On April 8th 2021, they were hosting Manchester United. A truly historic night for the club.
📲 Follow Man United vs Granada in the second leg live
⚔️ Spoils shared in the week’s second Basque derby
After meeting in the Copa del Rey final last weekend, Real Sociedad and Athletic Club did battle again in LaLiga. This time it was in LaLiga Santander and it looked like Athletic Club were going to get some revenge for losing the cup final when Asier Villalibre scored late on. However, La Real’s Roberto López scored even later to make it a 1-1 draw and to see the spoils shared.
✅ Successful operations
Some LaLiga players have suffered bad luck with injuries over the past week, with Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, Athletic Club’s Oier Zarraga and RC Celta’s Emre Mor having gone under the knife over the past few days. Other players like Real Madrid’s Lucas Vázquez and Granada’s Domingos Duarte have also suffered issues that could see them miss the rest of the season. The hope is that these players recover well and are back performing at their best soon.
🗳 Real Madrid’s electoral process begins
Florentino Pérez’s current mandate as Real Madrid president comes to an end this year and the club has now launched the process for their 2021 elections. “Following on from today's board meeting and in accordance with Article 38 Section B of the Real Madrid social statutes, the president has requested that the electoral board issue the call for elections for the president and board of directors,” a Real Madrid statement said.
📲 Follow Liverpool vs Real Madrid live