Matchday 26 in La Liga has come and gone by. The latest Spanish top-flight round kicked off on Friday with Levante's 3-0 win over Elche, but most of the excitement surrounded the weekend fixtures. Real Madrid and Atletico were in action on Saturday, with Los Blancos beating Rayo Vallecano 1-0 while Simeone's men overcame Celta Vigo 2-0 amid the heated top-four race.
Elsewhere, second-placed Sevilla locked horns with third-placed Real Betis, with Lopetegui's men marching to a crucial 2-1 triumph over their bitter rivals. Barcelona, on the other hand, hosted the tricky Athletic Club but made light work of the Basque giants, beating them 4-0 to maintain their impressive form.
Here's everything you need to know about the recent round in La Liga.
Who are the top teams in La Liga?
La Liga top 3 scorers
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid): 19 goals
Enes Unal (Getafe): 13 goals
Raul de Tomas (Espanyol): 13 goals
La Liga – top headlines
Barcelona took on Athletic over the weekend and beat the Basque giants 4-0, setting several feats along the way. One man who stole the show in that victory was Ousmane Dembele, with the Frenchman coming off the bench to make history. The winger got his name on the scoresheet before assisting two additional goals, thus becoming the first Blaugrana player to contribute to three goals as a substitute in this century.
Additionally, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's excellent start to life at the Camp Nou continued. The Gabonese striker broke the deadlock in that weekend triumph, thus becoming the first African player in L.a Liga to score in three consecutive games across all competitions since Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri in March 2021
Sevilla took on city rivals Real Betis and beat them 2-1, a result which saw Julen Lopetegui set a lovely feat. The Spanish boss became only the second coach in history of either team in this Seville derby to go unbeaten in his first six games in this clash (W5, D1). The record currently stands at seven (W2, D5), meaning the Sevilla tactician needs to hold out for two more games in order to overtake that feat.
Villarreal enjoyed a brilliant 5-1 triumph over Espanyol in this round, with teenage talent Yeremy Pino netting a super hat-trick. As a result, he became the youngest Yellow Submarine player in history to score a La Liga brace for the club while also becoming the second-youngest player to net a first-half hat-trick in Europe's top-five leagues since 2006/07.
Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, but it wasn't an easy win, as Los Blancos triumphed courtesy of Karim Benzema's goal in the last 10 minutes. The Frenchman is now the Spanish top-flight player with the most winning goals this season (6), moving one clear of Barcelona's Memphis Depay.
Top matches to watch in La Liga: Mar. 4-7, 2022
Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad: Los Blancos were made to work for their weekend victory. However, things only get tougher from here as the league leaders prepare for two tricky showdowns. The latter tie is against PSG in the UEFA Champions League, but before that comes a league clash with Real Sociedad. La Real have lost their spark as of late and have now dropped to seventh. Nonetheless, they remain a capable side that Real Madrid must be wary of. Second-placed Sevilla are only six points behind, meaning Ancelotti's men must triumph at all cost.
Elche vs Barcelona: Everything has been going well for the Blaugrana as of late, with new signings Aubameyang, Traore, and Torres all impressing. Meanwhile, Pedri continues to wow the entire world as Barcelona maintain their push for UEFA Champions League football. Next up is a showdown with 13th-placed Elche. After beating Valencia and Athletic Club with ease, Xavi's men will look to keep this momentum going.
Real Betis vs Atletico: Simeone's men are currently in fifth, meaning as things stand, Los Rojiblancos will miss out on UEFA Champions League football. However, the race to finish in fourth is tight this season. Atletico Madrid are level on points with fourth-placed Barcelona while third-placed Real Betis are only a point ahead. Next up is a clash with Pellegrini's side. Who will win this tie? Tune in next weekend to find out!
*Keep track of all the action in the Spanish top-flight by following our dedicated La Liga competition page.