League leaders Real Madrid kept their club-record unbeaten run alive this past weekend with a comprehensive 5-0 home victory over Granada.
The result puts Los Blancos’ streak at 39 matches across all competitions, equalling the all-time mark for Spanish clubs.
We review the key moments that decided results in Matchweek 17 of La Liga.
A stirring performance from Isco
With Copa del Rey commitments adding to their fixture list, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane required substantial work and effective squad rotation in the club’s match against Granada.
He was given just that with an incredible display from Spanish international Isco.
Playing higher up the pitch with Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco scored two goals in the first half and was a constant threat to the opposition.
As Real’s historic unbeaten streak continues, their manager will look for more from each and every player in their squad. Isco certainly proved that he could provide pace and skill on the ball when called upon.
Alaves’ determination and desire
Deportivo Alaves’ return to the Spanish top flight has featured several impressive results already in the 2016-17 season, with another coming in a 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
An organised and disciplined defensive approach helped the Basque side earn a valuable point. A raucous atmosphere at the San Memes against a strong Bilbao squad created an arduous task.
Despite giving up the majority of possession (60-40) and shots (15-11), strong play from Manu Garcia and the Alaves defence earned a result on their travels.
Wissam Ben Yedder’s hat-trick
Sevilla and manager Jorge Sampaoli earned their third consecutive La Liga victory thanks to the fantastic production of forward Wissam Ben Yedder.
The French international scored three goals and assisted another in Los Nervionenses’ 4-0 win at Real Sociedad.
The home side could not keep pace with Ben Yedder’s movements in the final third and was dominated throughout long stretches of the encounter. Sevilla sit in second place, four points back of Real Madrid.
Atletico attack returns to form
After a scintillating start to the campaign, Atletico Madrid have been struggling to score goals with much consistency in La Liga. But manager Diego Simeone will be pleased after Los Rojiblancos’ 2-0 victory at SD Eibar on Saturday.
Goals from Saul Niguez (54’) and Antoine Griezmann (74’) capped an excellent overall performance, with Koke and Gabi both playing well in the midfield.
Currently fourth in the league, Atletico Madrid will need to keep these types of days coming in order to gain ground in the table.
Lionel Messi’s spectacular free-kick
Villarreal’s defence has been the team’s strongest attribute this season, and the Yellow Submarine seemed set to earn three points against Barcelona on Sunday evening. But a surreal free-kick from Lionel Messi in the 90th minute rescued a point for the Blaugrana.
Despite dominating possession throughout the contest, Barcelona were unable to break down a stubborn and resilient Villarreal side.
Nicola Sansone’s second-half goal appeared to be enough for the victory until the Argentine magician perfectly placed the ball where no goalkeeper in the world could reach it.
The draw is certainly disappointing for Barcelona and manager Luis Enrique, but the result could have been much worse if not for Messi’s heroics.