La Liga: 5 things we have learnt so far this season
The year couldn't have ended in a better way in La Liga as it finished with a nerve-wracking El Clasico, with Barcelona thumping Real Madrid in a dominant 3-0 win. It didn't just widen the gap between the sides, but also signalled a tectonic shift of power in Spanish football since the Whites were crowned champions in May.
Some big names have faltered dramatically this season as Celta Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Malaga find themselves at the wrong end of the table, whereas Girona are off to a flyer on their return to the top tier.
The 17 round of fixtures played so far has averaged 2.65 goals a game - as many as the Premier League - and has already witnessed six hat-tricks. But more interestingly, there has been seven managerial changes since the season kicked-off.
As football in Spain enters a holiday period till the first week of January, we look at the important talking points from the league, so far.
#5 Barcelona have the title in their bag, well, almost
With Atletico Madrid's recent defeat to Espanyol, the Catalans remain the only side still to be on the losing end of a game. Their prolific run in the league this season sees them open up a 9-point lead at the top after 17 matches, and are racing towards an unprecedented 25th La Liga crown.
Their title aspirations were handed a major boost following the emphatic win over Real Madrid last week, sending an ominous warning across the division. Having conceded the title to their eternal rivals last term, the Blaugrana have roared back to action this time to turn the tide against the holders, who're struggling this campaign, big time.
Ernesto Valverde may not emulate the success that his predecessor Pep Guardiola brought to the club, but he certainly is restoring the fallen giants back to their dizzying heights. This Barcelona side can exercise as entertaining a brand of football as it is gritty when the need be, and there's literally no one who can challenge them on the domestic front right now.