What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from Samu Chukwueze's remarkable performance at the Santiago Bernabéu to important coaching changes at RCD Espanyol and Real Valladolid.
There was a lot of Spanish football action this past week, from the Copa del Rey semi-final second legs to a thrilling LaLiga Santander Matchday 28 that was packed with goals and coaching changes. Here's all you need to know.
Samu Chukwueze is one of the most in-form players in Europe
Villarreal CF earned a memorable 3-2 win when they visited Real Madrid at the Bernabéu on Saturday, and Samuel Chukwueze was by far the star of the show. The Nigerian forward scored his team's first, created the second and then fired in a stunning third to earn the three points. He was brilliant and has been for some time, having produced five goals and three assists across his past seven LaLiga Santander matches.
The second legs of the Copa del Rey semi-finals took place this past midweek, with CA Osasuna overcoming Athletic Club in extra time thanks to a Pablo Ibáñez strike and with Real Madrid thrashing FC Barcelona 4-0 thanks to stellar performances from Vinícius and Karim Benzema. So, the Copa del Rey final is now set, and CA Osasuna and Real Madrid will face off in the showpiece event on May 6th.
The Williams brothers allow Athletic Club to bounce back
Missing out on that Copa del Rey final was a blow for Athletic Club, but the Basques still have a lot to play for in LaLiga Santander as they could still qualify for Europe. In their first game following the cup elimination, Iñaki Williams and Nico Williams scored one each to lead Athletic Club to a 2-1 win away at RCD Espanyol, which was the perfect way to bounce back.
RCD Espanyol place their trust in Luis García Fernández
That RCD Espanyol vs Athletic Club match was the debut for the new coach of Los Pericos, former player Luis García Fernández. He was hired this past week after the Catalan club decided to part ways with Diego Martínez and those in charge at the RCDE Stadium feel confident that the 42-year-old can steer the team away from the relegation zone.
Pezzolano has an eventful debut at Real Valladolid
There was also a coaching change at Real Valladolid this past week, as Paulo Pezzolano replaced Pacheta in the dugout. The Uruguayan then had a very eventful debut, as his new team drew 3-3 with RCD Mallorca. It was a back-and-forth game in which Pezzolano's substitutes made a major impact, with Selim Amallah and Monchu both coming off the bench to score.
Muriqi's goals keep RCD Mallorca safe
Vedat Muriqi netted two of RCD Mallorca's goals in the 3-3 draw at Real Valladolid, meaning he is now on to 12 for the season. What's especially impressive about Muriqi's scoring tally is that RCD Mallorca have just 25 goals in total, meaning he is responsible for 48% of his team's strikes, the joint-highest such percentage in the division alongside Getafe CF's Enes Ünal.
Correa receives support from his Atleti teammates
This has been a tough week for Atlético de Madrid forward Ángel Correa, as his mother passed away. That meant Correa wasn't part of the squad for the trip across the capital to take on Rayo Vallecano, but his teammates kept him and his family in their hearts and raised a shirt with his name on the back to celebrate the opening goal of what was a 2-1 victory.
Kubo surpasses Inui's record
Takefusa Kubo scored his sixth league goal of the season in Real Sociedad's 2-0 win over Getafe CF on Saturday, meaning he has become the first ever Japanese player to hit that number in a single season. He has moved ahead of Takashi Inui in this sense, with the winger having scored five goals in one season when at SD Eibar.
Mendilibar is making positive changes at Sevilla FC
Even though Sevilla FC conceded two late goals to ultimately draw 2-2 with RC Celta on Friday night, Los Rojiblancos can be proud of their performance considering they had gone down to 10 men before the 20-minute mark. In what was just the second game under new coach José Luis Mendilibar, Sevilla FC displayed character and confidence and have taken four points from his first two matches.
Sevilla FC do still find themselves near the relegation zone and they have a huge fixture next Sunday night when they visit Valencia CF, who remain inside the bottom three after losing 2-1 at UD Almería this past weekend. This duel between two of Spanish football's most historic and successful clubs will be a relegation six-pointer, with Valencia CF currently 18th on 27 points and Sevilla FC in 13th on 32 points.