FEATURE | 5 talking points from week 29 in La Liga

Barcelona Stay Top

Lionel Messi’s second half penalty sealed a comfortable win for Barcelona against relegation-threatened Leganes at Camp Nou. A frustrating few months for the south Madrid club continued as coach Javier Aguirre received his marching orders for whistling – to confuse players on the pitch. Ansu Fati opened the scoring on 42 minutes, his fifth of the season. Leganes face a 6-pointer against fellow strugglers Mallorca on Friday when they travel to take on the islanders.

Joao Felix Returns With Brace In 5-Star Atletico Performance

Joao Felix returned from a one-game suspension to inspire Atletico Madrid to a five-goal win over Osasuna at El Sadar. Renan Lodi and Felix ran riot down the left-wing in the first half. The 20-year-old Portuguese star showed just why Los Colchoneros paid €126m for his signature. Second half substitutes Alvaro Morato and Marcos Llorente added further insult to injury with a goal apiece. Yannick Carrasco came on to score the ‘la manita‘ (fifth goal). That famous Champions League night in Anfield doesn’t feel so long ago anymore.

Marco Asensio Scores With His First Touch as Real Madrid Trounce Valencia

Karim Benzema sealed an impressive Real Madrid display with arguably the goal of the season, however the story of the night goes to Marco Asensio. Asensio, who has been out of action for a year through injury, came on and within 31 seconds scored a superb volley with his first touch. Rodrigo Moreno went close for Los Che, rattling Thibaut Courtois’ left-hand post. Madrid upped the ante in the second half, scoring all three goals after the break. Eden Hazard and Benzema linked up beautifully for the Frenchman’s first of the night and 15th of the season. The title race is heating up, with Los Blancos now just two points off Barcelona in top spot.

Soldado Strike Puts Rubi Under Increased Pressure

Roberto Soldado popped up in the 91st minute to steal a point for Granada in their Andalusian derby with Real Betis. Under-fire head coach Rubi, who for not the first time this season, has come in for criticism, would have been devastated to see Soldado’s strike hit the back of the net. Granada led 1-0 until the 85th minute, before a frantic six minutes, and three goals later, the sides were at 2-2 approaching midnight in Sevilla. A defeat in the derby versus Sevilla coupled with the point at home to Granada keeps Betis in 14th place in the La Liga table, a position a squad with such talent shouldn’t find themselves in.

Another Important Point For Espanyol In Relegation Fight

10-man Espanyol fought hard against Getafe to grab an important point on the road in their quest to stay in the top-flight. The last time the Catalan club were in Segunda Division was the 1993-94 season. On 16 minutes, Bernardo received a straight red for a push on Getafe right-back Damian Suarez, who went down rather easily. A harsh decision, however Abelardo’s troops played on with 10 men for the remaining 74+ minutes and came away with a 0-0 draw thanks to veteran keeper Diego Lopez’s outstanding double save in injury time. Four points since the return to action will be a much-welcomed confidence boost for the battling side, who jump off the foot of the table to 19th place and three points from safety.

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