In the race for the top spot in LaLiga, Real Madrid has taken pole position, at least for one night. The Spanish football record champions defeated FC Villarreal 4-1 (2-0) and moved past FC Girona into first place.
However, this season’s surprise team can regain the lead at the end of the 17th matchday on Monday (December 18, 2023) against newly promoted Deportivo Alaves.
Bellingham scores again, worries about Alaba
Real, unbeaten in 16 competitive games, could once again rely on former Dortmund player Jude Bellingham. The Englishman put the Royals in the lead with a header (25th), it was his 13th goal of the season in his 15th league appearance. The other goals were scored by Rodrygo (37th), Brahim Diaz (64th) and Luka Modric (68th) for the star ensemble from Madrid, in which national player Antonio Rüdiger and 2014 world champion Toni Kross were in the starting line-up.
Jose Luis Morales (54th) temporarily shortened the score for the guests. Former Munich player David Alaba caused a moment of shock when he collapsed in a duel. The Real central defender apparently suffered a serious injury to his left knee and had to leave the pitch in pain in the 35th minute.
Barcelona doesn’t win again
The day before, FC Barcelona had once again failed to win after two competitive defeats. At FC Valencia it was only enough for a 1:1 (0:0).
The team around German national team captain Ilkay Gündogan may be increasingly losing sight of the goal of defending their title. The master’s lead by the Portuguese Joao Felix (55th minute) was canceled out by Hugo Guillamon (70th). Gündogan was in the starting line-up, as was Bayern Munich’s former top scorer Robert Lewandowski.
The day before, Barcelona had lost 4-2 at home against leaders FC Girona, and last week there was another defeat at Royal Antwerp in the Champions League. Barca’s rivals can thus extend their lead on Sunday and Monday. Should Real Madrid win their home game against Villarreal FC, as did the surprise team Girona against Deportivo Alaves, the two clubs would already be seven and nine points ahead of the Catalans.
Coach dismissal in Seville
The situation at Sevilla FC is even more dramatic. Just a few minutes after the 3-0 home defeat against Getafe FC, the Europa League winners fired their coach Diego Alonso. The Andalusians, who were in danger of relegation, announced this shortly after the game. After their seventh defeat of the season, Sevilla are in 16th place in the table with just 13 points. There was no information yet about a successor.
The Uruguayan Diego Alonso only took office at the beginning of October as the successor to Jose Luis Mendilibar. Under his leadership, Sevilla won the Europa League in the final against AS Roma last May. In the current Champions League competition, the traditional club was eliminated from European business last Wednesday as fourth in the group without a win.