There were several eye-catching results this past week, with LaLiga Santander leaders FC Barcelona held to a pair of draws, with Athletic Club winning the Basque Derby and with Real Madrid and Sevilla FC having successful first legs in Europe. All those games are discussed below, along with the rest of the week's Spanish football news.
Iñaki Williams is the star of the Basque Derby
Athletic Club won the Basque Derby on Saturday afternoon, defeating Real Sociedad 2-0 in Bilbao to give the home fans at San Mamés plenty to cheer about. Iñaki Williams was the star of the show, scoring both of Athletic Club's goals. The second was particularly impressive and his goals mean he has scored in three consecutive games for the first time since 2015.
The goals dry up for FC Barcelona
League leaders FC Barcelona played two league games in the past seven days and drew both of them 0-0, firstly against Girona FC at home on Monday and then at Getafe CF on Sunday. While those pair of goalless games further improve Barça's defensive stats this season, meaning they've conceded just 0.31 goals per game, Xavi will want to solve the lack of goals in attack as soon as possible.
Real Madrid aren't giving up on LaLiga Santander
FC Barcelona's pair of draws opened the door for Real Madrid to reduce the gap at the top to single digits, with the Catalan side's lead now down to nine points. Los Blancos put in one of their best away performances of the season on Saturday, defeating Cádiz 2-0 in a game they could have won by more.
Real Madrid are the club with the most Champions League trophies of all, with 14, and Sevilla FC have lifted the Europa League trophy the most times, with six, and both clubs demonstrated again this past week just why they have so many titles. In the case of Real Madrid, they put in a solid performance to defeat Chelsea 2-0 at home in the Champions League quarter-finals, before some late magic from Sevilla FC earned them a 2-2 draw at Manchester United in the first leg of the Europa League quarters.
Mendilibar makes Sevilla FC a force once again
The draw away at Manchester United was far from the only big game for Sevilla FC this past week, as Los Nervionenses had a relegation six-pointer away at Valencia CF on Sunday night. The Andalusians won that game 2-0, meaning new coach José Luis Mendilibar has achieved two 2-0 wins and two 2-2 draws across his first four games, making Sevilla FC a force to be reckoned with once again.
Pezzolano enjoys his first win in LaLiga Santander
Another recently hired coach who is making a difference is Paulo Pezzolano at Real Valladolid. The Uruguayan has overseen two matches with the Pucela and collected four points, including all three this past weekend when they visited Villarreal CF. Following early goals from Selim Amallah and Jawad El Yamiq, Real Valladolid held on for a 2-1 win.
Real Betis host and win the Forever Green match
Real Betis vs RCD Espanyol was an extra special game, as this was the Forever Green match. There was a particular focus on making this event as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible, with initiatives such as sustainable transport, the planting of trees or the use of recycled materials for the kits, armbands and goal nets. The match was a success on and off the pitch for Real Betis, as they won it 3-1.
Atleti travel to Turkey to raise money for charity
Atlético de Madrid travelled to Turkey this past midweek to play a charity match against Beşiktaş, with the money raised going to support victims of the recent earthquakes in the country via the organisation Together for Türkiye. Although Atleti lost the friendly 2-0, the match was a success and the money will help many.
Griezmann strengthens his player of the season candidacy
Antoine Griezmann has put together an excellent 2022/23 season and is one of the leading names in the player of the season conversation. He turned in another brilliant performance in a 2-1 win over UD Almería on Sunday, scoring both of the Atleti goals.
Diego Alves bids farewell to RC Celta after suffering a serious injury
Diego Alves and RC Celta agreed this past week that the best outcome for all parties would be for the goalkeeper's contract to be rescinded. This is because the 37-year-old Brazilian suffered a serious knee injury, which he'll recover from away from Vigo. As the Galician club made the announcement, they thanked Alves for his efforts and wished him all the best in what remains of his recovery.