What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from Franck Kessié's winner in ElClasico to a Spain squad featuring players from 12 different LaLiga clubs.
With ElClasico taking place on Sunday night, this was a momentous week in LaLiga Santander. FC Barcelona won the match in dramatic fashion thanks to a Franck Kessié goal, while there were several other interesting storylines from across the competition this weekend. They are all discussed in more detail below:
FC Barcelona take a huge step towards the title by winning ElClasico
The second ElClasico of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season took place on Sunday night and it was as thrilling as this fixture always is, with Franck Kessié scoring a stoppage time winner for FC Barcelona. The Spotify Camp Nou went wild with delight as Barça secured a 2-1 victory, one which puts them 12 points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the standings and well on their way to lifting the championship.
Kessié picked the perfect moment for his first LaLiga Santander goal
By striking past Thibaut Courtois with one of the last kicks of the game, Franck Kessié was the hero in Catalonia on Sunday night. It was a special moment for the midfielder, who has become increasingly important for Xavi during his first season in Spanish football. While he had already netted in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, this was Kessié's first ever LaLiga Santander goal. He certainly picked the perfect time to score it.
Atlético de Madrid could fight for second place
The combination of Real Madrid's defeat in ElClasico and Atlético de Madrid's third win in a row means that Diego Simeone's team are now only five points behind their city rivals. Los Colchoneros are playing really well right now, and demonstrated that once again in a 3-0 victory over Valencia CF, so they could make a push to prize second place away from Real Madrid.
Real Sociedad get back to winning ways
Goals from Takefusa Kubo and Ander Barrenetxea steered Real Sociedad to a 2-0 victory over Elche CF, which was much-needed for the Basque side. Having failed to win any of their past six across all competitions, La Real needed those three points to consolidate their position in the top four.
The support of the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez can keep Getafe CF up
Something that is becoming clear is that Getafe CF are very hard to play against when they're at their home ground, the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Los Azulones have now won three matches in a row at home, most recently defeating Sevilla FC 2-0 thanks to strikes from Munir El Haddadi and Enes Ünal. If they keep that home form up, that might be enough to fend off relegation.
José Luis Morales boasts precision and power
There was a very special goal in Villarreal CF's 3-0 victory over CA Osasuna on Sunday afternoon, as José Luis Morales fired in from 47 metres. Spotting his former Levante UD teammate Aitor Fernández off his line, Morales possessed the precision and power to fire in from long distance for the first of his two goals in that game.
Tsygankov is living up to his price tag
Girona FC made a significant investment in the January transfer window by signing Viktor Tsygankov, and the Ukrainian winger is living up to his price tag. He has been excellent since landing in Spain and scored twice in a 2-2 draw at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, meaning he now has three goals and three assists from his seven LaLiga Santander appearances so far.
It couldn't be tighter in the race for the Zarra Trophy
There is a thrilling battle taking place in LaLiga Santander this season for the Zarra Trophy, the award given out to the top-scoring Spaniard. It's currently a three-way tie at the top, as RCD Espanyol's Joselu, RC Celta's Iago Aspas and Real Betis' Borja Iglesias are all on 12 goals. Atlético de Madrid's Álvaro Morata is only two behind on 10, so the final weeks of the season will be fascinating.
Real Madrid and Sevilla FC march on in Europe
It's well-known that Real Madrid have a special relationship with the Champions League and Sevilla FC have a similarly unique bond with the Europa League. Both clubs are making more history in those continental competitions this season, having reached the quarter-finals of each by knocking out Liverpool in the case of Los Blancos and Fenerbahçe in the case of Los Nervionenses. They'll next face Chelsea and Manchester United respectively in the quarter-finals.
12 different LaLiga Santander clubs are represented in the Spain squad
New Spanish national team coach Luis de la Fuente named his first squad this past week and 18 of the 26 players are based in Spain, hailing from 12 different LaLiga Santander clubs. Athletic Club, Atlético de Madrid, FC Barcelona, RC Celta, RCD Espanyol, CA Osasuna, Real Betis, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla FC, Valencia CF and Villarreal CF all have at least one player in the squad.