This week in La Liga
Sevilla edge the derby against Real Betis
One of the most passionate fixtures in Spanish football took place on Sunday night at the Estadio Benito Villamarín, with Sevilla running out narrow 2-1 winners over hosts Real Betis. The visitors took home the three points thanks to Luuk de Jong’s second-half strike. They meet in LaLiga Santander again in March, but until then the bragging rights belong to Sevilla.
Another hat-trick for Messi
Lionel Messi bagged a record-equalling 34th LaLiga Santander hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-1 in over RC Celta on Saturday night. He now stands equal with Cristiano Ronaldo – who else? – atop the historical hat-trick charts.
Aguirre’s return to LaLiga
Javier Aguirre is back in Spanish football with CD Leganes. The Mexican had previously coached in LaLiga Santander with Osasuna, Atlético de Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Espanyol. His latest stint in Spain got off to a good start as Los Pepineros earned an impressive 1-1 draw with then joint-top side Real Sociedad.
Óscar García is also back in LaLiga
There’s also new coach in the dugout at RC Celta, Óscar García. And where better to make your managerial debut than at the Camp Nou, where he came through the ranks as a player and was a coach in the academy. His side, unfortunately, weren’t able to avoid a 4-1 defeat.
Kubo opens his account in style
Takefusa Kubo scored his first LaLiga Santander goal with a remarkable striker against Villarreal on Matchday 13. Big things are expected of the 18-year-old Japan international and he’s making an early impression while on loan at RCD Mallorca this term. He has already contributed with his overall play and now he has a goal to his name as well.
The top scorer in LaLiga Santander? Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema netted twice in Real Madrid’s 4-0 victory at Eibar on Saturday, meaning that the Frenchman is top of the scoring charts in LaLiga Santander. With nine goals already this campaign, he leads Lionel Messi, Loren Morón and Gerard Moreno, who have all scored eight times so far.
Mixed results for Spain’s European teams
There was European action on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and seven Spanish clubs were involved. In the Champions League, Barcelona drew against Slavia Prague, while Real Madrid beat Galatasaray, Valencia defeated Lille and Atlético de Madrid lost away at Bayer Leverkusen. There were mixed results in the Europa League too as Sevilla conquered Dudelange and Espanyol won big against Ludogorets but Getafe falling to a narrow loss at FC Basel.
Guti is back in Spanish football
Real Madrid legend Guti hung up his boots in 2011 and he has been working in coaching since then, spending time as a youth coach at Real Madrid and as an assistant with Beşiktaş in Turkey. Now, he’s returned to Spain with Almería for his first Head Coaching role. His side currently sit third in LaLiga SmartBank, Spain’s second tier.
Ekambi is the player of the month
The LaLiga Santander Player of the Month award for October was announced last week and Karl Toko Ekambi is the recipient, winning the prize for the first time in his career. With three goals in his four LaLiga Santander matches during October, the striker was one of the main reasons behind Villarreal’s impressive run of form.
LaLiga Santander players dominate the Spain squad
Robert Moreno has named his squad for the Spanish national team’s November Euro 2020 qualifiers. The list is dominated by Spain-based players, with 13 called up from LaLiga Santander. Sergio Ramos, Raúl Albiol, Jesús Navas, Dani Carvajal, Iñigo Martínez, José Luis Gayà, Pau Torres, Sergio Busquets, Santi Cazorla, Saúl Ñiguez, Álvaro Morata, Mikel Oyarzabal and Gerard Moreno all made the cut.