What’s been going on in LaLiga this past week? Here are all the top stories from some surprise results and a long-awaited win to LaLiga clubs helping to advance the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out…
It was a weekend of great goals and shock results in LaLiga Santander as the 2020/21 title race continues to heat up. At the bottom, the return of a former coach has added extra spice too. There have been so many story lines in the world of Spanish football over the past week… here’s all you need to know.
Levante frustrate the leaders not once… but twice
As a result of a quirk in this season’s fixture list, Levante and Atlético de Madrid met twice in the space of four days this past week. Levante took four points from their double header against the league leaders with a 1-1 home draw on Wednesday and then won 2-0 in the capital on Saturday, with goalkeeper Dani Cárdenas putting in an exceptional performance.
Cádiz take points off Barcelona… again
Just like Levante have earned four points against Atleti this year, newly promoted Cádiz have taken one win and one draw from their two meetings with Barcelona. After beating the Blaugrana at home earlier in the season, they went away to the Camp Nou this weekend and earned a memorable 1-1 draw.
Gerard Piqué’s rapid recovery
There has been some good news for Barcelona this past week at least, as veteran centre-back Gerard Piqué returned from a knee injury much sooner than anyone expected. The defender went down with the injury on November 21 in Barça’s 1-0 loss to Atleti at the Wanda Metropolitano and his return will provide coach Ronald Koeman with a much-needed boost.
A winning return for Fran Escriba
Elche ended a 16-match winless run this weekend by defeating Eibar, doing so in Fran Escriba’s first match back in charge as coach. He became a fan favourite at the Martinez Valero during his first stint as coach (2012-15) and has now got off to a perfect start after replacing Jorge Almiron.
Real Madrid’s backups step up
Real Madrid are currently experiencing an injury crisis, missing key players like Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema. Their backups have upped their game, however, and have led Los Blancos to four consecutive victories, proving that there is more strength in depth at the capital city club than many suspected. Next up: Atalanta in the Champions League.
Another prize for Casemiro
Casemiro has already an impressive array of trophies in his career, including various individual awards, and this week he added Spanish news agency EFE’s award for the best Ibero-American footballer of 2020. Other Brazilians like Ronaldo Nazário and Roberto Carlos have won the prize in the past and Casemiro said he was proud to follow in their footsteps.
LaLiga stadiums offered as COVID-19 vaccination points
As Spain continues to roll out vaccinations for COVID-19, various football clubs have offered their stadiums to local authorities as potential mass vaccination sites. As well-connected venues with lots of space, the stadiums could help the local health services to reach thousands of patients per day.
Eibar have been celebrating the career of Ángel Fernández Zapico this week, with the legendary kitman leaving the club he first joined in 1969. In that time, he has held various roles as he has been a director, a delegate, a coach and much more, including his final role as a kitman. Members of the squad took part in a farewell ceremony for him at Ipurua this week.