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This Week in LaLiga – All the essential news, stats and images from the world’s top league – Sports Africa

What’s been going on in LaLiga this past week? From Xavi kicking off his Barça coaching career with a win to Villarreal securing the future of one of LaLiga’s most promising young talents, here’s all you need to know.

Following the pause for the November international break, LaLiga Santander returned this weekend for Matchday 14 and there were several interesting storylines, including Xavi’s debut, Getafe’s revival and the victory that put Real Madrid top.

Real Madrid go top of LaLiga Santander

It was a good weekend for Real Madrid, who earned a commanding 4-1 victory away at Granada. That result, combined with Real Sociedad and Sevilla’s draws, saw Los Blancos climb to the summit of the standings with 30 points from their first 13 fixtures.

 

Benzema and Vinícius lead the goalscoring charts

A big factor behind Real Madrid’s success so far this season is the fact that they have LaLiga Santander’s top two scorers, with Karim Benzema on 10 goals and Vinícius on eight. A Pichichi one-two looks possible for Los Blancos, who haven’t had the top two scorers of a LaLiga Santander season since Hugo Sánchez and Jorge Valdano in 1985/86.

Xavi kicks off with a derby win

Xavi Hernández coached his first match for Barcelona on Saturday night: the Barcelona derby vs RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou. A Memphis Depay penalty saw Barça kick off the Xavi era with a 1-0 win and there were some positive signs, such as the performance of 17-year-old debutant Ilias Akhomach.

Getafe’s statement win

The largest margin of victory of the weekend’s Matchday 14 action was Getafe’s 4-0 win over Cádiz. The Azulones remain in the relegation zone for now, but they have significantly improved under new coach Quique Sánchez Flores and there is hope again at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.

Fran Escribá is out as Elche coach

Fran Escribá is no longer the head coach of Elche. After returning to the Manuel Martínez Valero midway through last season and helping steer the team clear of the relegation zone, Escribá has now been let go after six matches without a win.

Yéremy Pino extends his deal to 2027

One of the top young talents in Spanish football has committed his long-term future to Villarreal, with Yéremy Pino signing a contract extension that sees his deal run to 2027. The 19-year-old talent’s release clause also rises to €80m, giving Villarreal something to celebrate.

A setback for Pedri

Barcelona midfielder Pedri has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury and is set for a longer spell on the sidelines. The Canary Islander was one of the very best performers last season, but has only managed two LaLiga Santander appearances so far this campaign.

Real Madrid hold their Ordinary General Assembly

Real Madrid’s 2021 Ordinary General Assembly was held this weekend and the club’s representative members approved all points on the agenda. Club president Florentino Pérez provided an update on the redevelopment work at the Bernabéu, explaining that a revolutionary system has been designed for the playing surface to be removed from the stadium floor and maintained underground in optimum conditions.

Spanish sides prepare for a big week of European action

Seven LaLiga Santander clubs will be in European action this midweek and there are some huge games to prepare for, such as Atlético de Madrid vs AC Milan or Villarreal vs Manchester United, a repeat of the 2020/21 Europa League final that the Yellow Submarine won on penalties.

Date set for the first Madrid derby of 2021/22

The first meeting between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid in 2021/22 will take place on Sunday, December 12th, at 21:00 CET. That’ll be in Matchday 17, with this first Madrid derby of the season being held at the Santiago Bernabéu.

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