LaLiga Santander returned this weekend following the March international break with a thrilling Matchday 27 that produced big results at both ends of the table. Here's a run through of the major storylines from this weekend's action, as well as other pieces of important news from around Spanish football this week.
Griezmann wins LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for a seventh time
We learned this week that Antoine Griezmann has won the Player of the Month award for March, his seventh such prize in his LaLiga Santander career. Only Lionel Messi claimed the award more times than Griezmann, who had a great March as Atlético de Madrid won all three of their league games played in the month.
Lewandowski is back amongst the goals
By netting twice in FC Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Elche CF, Robert Lewandowski has scored his first LaLiga Santander goals since February and moved on to 17 for the season, extending his lead at the top of the Pichichi standings. The seven-time Bundesliga top scorer is hoping to claim the equivalent prize in his first season in LaLiga Santander.
Benzema is still in the Pichichi race too
By netting an incredible seven-minute hat-trick in the first half of Real Madrid's 6-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday, Karim Benzema is absolutely still in the Pichichi race too. The Frenchman won this individual award for the first time last season and wants to retain it. With his Matchday 27 hat-trick, he is now in second place and just three goals behind Lewandowski. It'll be a thrilling contest from now until the end of the season.
Mendilibar immediately improves Sevilla FC's away form
Sevilla FC hadn't won an away game in LaLiga Santander since October 15th, but picked up a three-point haul on the road on Saturday as they defeated Cádiz CF 2-0. It was a dream debut for the team's new coach José Luis Mendilibar, who managed to solve the team's away woes in his very first match, a result which pulls Los Nervionenses further away from the relegation zone.
It's a three-team race for the final Champions League spot
Atlético de Madrid's 1-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday night means they have pulled even further away from the chasing pack and seem destined for yet another year of Champions League qualification. But, behind Los Colchoneros, there is now a very tight three-way race for fourth place. Real Sociedad currently hold the final Champions League ticket on 48 points, but fifth-placed Real Betis have 45 points and sixth-placed Villarreal CF have 44 points, following their victory over La Real this weekend.
Oblak adds to his Atleti legacy
Jan Oblak added to his legendary status at Atlético de Madrid this week, as the win over Real Betis was his 389th match for the club across all competitions. That means the Slovenian shot-stopper has pulled level with Diego Godín as the non-Spaniard with the most appearances in club history. Oblak can now become the outright leader in Matchday 28.
Girona FC and RCD Espanyol played out a thrilling Catalan derby on Saturday, which Los Blanquivermells won 2-1 thanks to a late Cristhian Stuani penalty. That means Girona FC now lead RCD Espanyol in their head-to-head LaLiga Santander meetings, with three wins compared to Los Pericos' two wins and the one draw.
UD Almería are still searching for their first away win
After 27 rounds of action, UD Almería still haven't managed to secure an away victory in LaLiga Santander. They came very close to doing so on Sunday, though. Although they twice took the lead away in Vigo against RC Celta, they were twice pegged back and that game finished as a 2-2 draw.
More injury woes for Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy has had a very unlucky season in terms of injuries. After missing all of February and the start of March with one injury, the French left-back had only just returned when he suffered another physical issue in training this week. As a result of this new calf injury, he is set for another spell on the sidelines and Carlo Ancelotti will have to adapt after losing the only natural left-back in his squad.
Oihan Sancet is staying in Bilbao until 2032
Athletic Club and Oihan Sancet have agreed a long-term contract extension, one which runs until 2032. That makes the midfielder the player with the longest-lasting contract currently in LaLiga Santander, and this news was announced on the pitch just after full-time of the team's goalless draw with Getafe CF on Saturday.