Leo Messi reached yet another milestone this week when he equalled Raúl’s all-time record of 71 Champions League goals. The little man scored twice on Wednesday night as Barcelona beat Ajax 0-2 to already make sure of a place in the last sixteen. As it happened Ronaldo could have beaten him to it as he was only one short of the record, but for once he failed to find the net in Real Madrid’s Tuesday night game against Liverpool. Benzema was on target though in a 1-0 victory, his fifth in the tournament this season, and Madrid too are already qualified for the knock-out stage. Meanwhile Atlético Madrid are close to joining the big two after they won 0-2 at Malmö, Koke and Raúl García the goalscorers in Sweden, but Athletic Bilbao bow out of the competition in much the same way as their neighbours Real Sociedad did last year, a 0-2 defeat at home to Porto leaving them bottom of their group with only one point to date. On Thursday Sevilla took a big step towards a place in the next round of the Europa League after beating Standard Liège 3-1, Gameiro, Reyes and Bacca on the scoresheet, but Villarreal had a bit of a hiccough losing 3-2 at Zurich, Pina and Moreno twice putting them ahead before they went down, all in a mad ten minutes period midway through the first half. They are still second in their group however, so no real problem as yet.

Cristiano Ronaldo got the edge on his arch-rival at the weekend though, scoring an amazing 18th of the current campaign in the league, a figure which would have won him the “Pichichi” top goalscorer’s prize in seven of La Liga’s seasons! Ronaldo has now not failed to score at home in the league since the end of September last year, a total of 15 games in a row at the Bernabeu stadium. No wonder the fans love him! Bale and Benzema were also amongst the scorers in a 5-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano, and the visitors’ goal was also by an ex Madrid B team player, Alberto Bueno. Messi didn’t get on the scoresheet at Almería and therefore still remains a goal away from Zarra’s all time Liga record, but Neymar (who started on the bench alongside Luis Suárez) did find the net to help Barça overcome a one goal deficit and clock up a 1-2 victory which takes them back up to second. Otherwise though it was a low scoring weekend, with no less than four 0-0 draws and only 19 goals in all. The three other teams involved in the title race all failed to win, Valencia and Sevilla held to home draws and Atlético Madrid losing 2-1 at manager-less Real Sociedad, despite Mandzukic giving them the lead. Celta (who also drew) and Málaga are now also within shouting distance, the Andalusians overturning a first half strike by Arruabarrena to beat Eibar 2-1, Juanmi and Amrabat both netting their third in the last three or four games after the break. (10.11.14)

Pichichi League Cup Europe Total (Penalties)
Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 18 0 5 23 (6)
Neymar (Barcelona) 10 0 2 12 (0)
Messi (Barcelona) 7 0 4 11 (0)
Benzema (Real Madrid) 6 0 5 11 (0)
Bacca (Sevilla) 7 0 1 8 (3)
Mandzukic (Atlético) 5 1 2 8 (0)
Larrivey (Celta) 7 0 0 7 (0)
Aduríz (Athletic Bilbao) 4 0 3 7 (1)
Baptistao (Rayo Vallecano) 6 0 0 6 (0)
Bale (Real Madrid) 5 0 1 6 (0)
James (Real Madrid) 4 1 1 6 (0)
Vietto (Villarreal) 3 0 3 6 (0)
Nolito (Celta) 5 0 0 5 (0)
Jonathas (Elche) 5 0 0 5 (0)
Stuani (Espanyol) 5 0 0 5 (1)
Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) 5 0 0 5 (1)
M`bia (Sevilla) 3 0 2 5 (0)
Arruabarrena (Eibar) 4 0 0 4 (1)
Alcácer (Valencia) 4 0 0 4 (0)
Chicharito (Real Madrid) 3 0 1 4 (0)
Uche (Villarreal) 3 0 1 4 (0)
Raúl García (Atlético) 2 1 1 4 (1)
Griezmann (Atlético) 2 0 2 4 (0)
Gerard Moreno (Villarreal) 1 0 3 4 (0)
Aspas (Sevilla) 0 3 1 4 (1)