La Liga Talking Points – Neymar Hits Four Past Rayo


Welcome to La Liga Talking Points, a weekly column running throughout the season in which we take a look at the key stories and talking points from Spanish football’s top flight. With an inevitable focus on the biggest teams, such as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, there will also be a worthwhile nod toward the rest, we take a look at how the league is shaping up each week and what to look out for going forward.

  • Neymar Takes Messi Mantle

In light of the injury to Lionel Messi it was up to Neymar and Luis Suarez to take control of Barcelona’s title challenge, and Neymar especially stood up to the plate on the weekend as he hit four past Ray Vallecano as La Blaugrana won 5-2 and the Camp Nou.

Neymar now has eight goals and one assist for the La Liga season, and is on his way to another stellar campaign for Luis Enrique’s men. Barca, who sit top of the table alongside Celta Vigo and Real Madrid on 18 points, know that the next run of games could be key, with Real Madrid remaining a team who look vulnerable to the odd stalemate result.


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  • Ronaldo Hits Landmark

Cristiano Ronaldo and goal-scoring records – they never end. Seemingly. This weekend Real Madrid beat Levante 3-0 and Ronaldo inevitably got one of them, which meant he is now Real Madrid’s all-time leading goal-scorer with a haul of 324 goals for the Spanish giants in just his 310th game. Ronaldo beat Raul’s record with 431 matches to spare. Staggering.

Amidst rumours of a fallout with manager Rafa Benitez should records being broke should stroke the ego of the Portuguese for the time being, as Los Blancos subtly mount a real title challenge. One wonders though, whether it is sustainable. Last season Real were flying under Ancelotti, under extra friendly games during what is meant to be a winter break, caused undue physical stress on the team of Galacticos.

  • Celta Win Underdog Clash

The real talking point of the season so far has been the form of both Villareal and Clta Vigo, who despite their financial limitations, have sat amongst the big boys at the top of the table, and both sides met on the weekend in a clash of the underdogs.

El Madrigal was the venue for the game as Villareal hosted Celta, and in what proved to be an enthralling game, Celta ran out 2-1 winners, keeping them at the top of the table alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona.

How long Celta can keep up such form remains to be seen, but without European football to contend with, they may surprise a few yet. Don’t forget, Celta humbled Barcelona to a 4-1 victory at home less than a month ago.

  • Griez the Main Man for Atelti

It was the Antoine Griezmann show on Sunday as the Frenchman scored a beauty to provide Atleti with a crucial 2-0 victory away to Real Sociedad. Atleti now sit 5th in the table but only two points from the top, with thoughts of another serious title challenge mounting for Diego Simeone’s men.

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Notably, the loss piled on the pressure on a beleaguered David Moyes. Following full-time La Real fans shouted in English ‘Moyes go home’. It couldn’t get clearer than that, surely. What a football genius..