Ten things we learned this week in LaLiga

football19 March 2024 10:30


What has been going on in LALIGA this past week? Here are 10 of the top stories, from Spanish victories in the Champions League to winning starts for the new coaches at UD Almería and RC Celta.

It was a very busy week in the world of Spanish football, with continental action in midweek and with several important games in Matchday 29 of LALIGA EA SPORTS. The stories behind the results are discussed below, as well as the rest of the week’s main headlines.

Pepe Mel takes over and leads UD Almería to their first win

UD Almería have finally won a match in the 2023/24 LALIGA EA SPORTS season. After going 28 games without tasting victory, which was a record in the history of the competition, they decided to replace Gaizka Garitano with Pepe Mel in midweek. The veteran coach then led Los Rojiblancos to a 1-0 win away at UD Las Palmas on his debut on Sunday.

RC Celta promote Claudio Giráldez and win away at Sevilla FC

RC Celta also appointed a new coach in midweek and also enjoyed a victory in Matchday 29. In the case of the Galician club, they promoted B team coach Claudio Giráldez after deciding to part ways with Rafa Benítez. Giráldez trusted youth in his debut in the first-team’s dugout and oversaw an important 2-1 win away at Sevilla FC.

Real Madrid extend their lead at the top

Vinícius was the star man as Real Madrid triumphed 4-2 away at CA Osasuna on Saturday afternoon. That result, combined with Girona FC’s 1-0 loss at Getafe CF, means Real Madrid have extended their lead at the top of the table. It’s now FC Barcelona who sit second, with Los Blancos eight points ahead.

Athletic Club climb into the Champions League positions

FC Barcelona moved into second with a very impressive 3-0 victory away at Atlético de Madrid on Sunday night, with João Félix opening the scoring for a clinical Barça attack. The defeat for Atleti means they have slipped down to fifth, given that Athletic Club won their Basque derby against Deportivo Alavés 2-0 in Matchday 29. As it stands, fourth-placed Athletic Club have 56 points, while Atlético de Madrid are one behind on 55 points.

Villarreal CF win their derby against Valencia CF

For the fifth season in a row, Villarreal CF won their home game against Valencia CF, their major rivals in the Valencian Community. A Jorge Cuenca header at a corner was what separated the sides in this duel at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

Rayo Vallecano end their winless run

Goals from Florian Lejeune and Sergio Camello earned Rayo Vallecano a much-needed 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday, ending the capital city side’s nine-game winless run. Those three points ease Rayo Vallecano’s relegation fears, ahead of the March international break.

Dani Rodríguez is staying at RCD Mallorca

One of the best players at RCD Mallorca this season has been Dani Rodríguez and the club reached an agreement with the midfielder this week to extend his contract to 2025. That’s good news for the island club, who were determined to keep the 35-year-old, who joined in 2018, for at least one more season.

LALIGA EA SPORTS has the most teams in the Champions League quarterfinals

FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid won their Champions League Round of 16 ties in midweek, beating Napoli and Inter respectively to join Real Madrid in the quarterfinals. That means there are three LALIGA EA SPORTS sides in the final eight of the top Uefa competition, which is more than any other domestic league. The draw was held on Friday and Atleti will face Borussia Dortmund, Barça will take on PSG and Real Madrid will meet Manchester City.

Pau Cubarsí’s incredible week

For FC Barcelona centre-back Pau Cubarsí, it was a week he’ll never forget. Not only did he win the Player of the Match award in FC Barcelona’s 3-1 victory over Napoli in the Champions League, but he was then called up to Luis de la Fuente’s Spain squad for La Roja’s March friendlies, all this aged just 17 and two months.

Eight different LALIGA EA SPORTS clubs have players in the Spain squad

Pau Cubarsí is joined in the Spain squad by several other players from across LALIGA EA SPORTS. 18 members of the 26-man squad play their football in Spain, with Athletic Club, Atlético de Madrid, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla FC, Valencia CF and Villarreal CF all having representatives in the list.