A bit of surprise in the midweek cup quarter finals, Celta knocking Atlético out after a 2-3 victory in the Calderón stadium. Pablo Hernández headed two and Guidetti scored a cracker for the visitors, and replies by Griezmann and Correa were not enough. Barcelona went through fairly comfortably against Athletic Bilbao, although an early goal by Williams caused some worries for local fans before Luis Suárez, Piqué and Neymar scored three in the second half. On Thursday Sevilla cruised through against Mirandés with an early Iborra penalty and strikes from Muñoz and Coke, and Valencia complete the semi-final line-up, Rodrigo getting the only goal in a 0-1 win at Las Palmas.

The big match at the weekend was between joint leaders Barcelona and Atlético in the Nou Camp, and although Koke scored early on for the visitors, goals by Messi and Luis Suárez turned the scoreline around at the break. Real Madrid are now only a point behind Atleti after they hit six against Espanyol for the second time this season. Last time Ronaldo got five of those, and this time he netted three more, including a penalty, which must be something of a record. Ronaldo and Suárez are now joint leaders in the league “Pichichi” chart, but Benzema is only one behind after he got the opener in that match.

Villarreal are looking good for the fourth Champions League spot, a Bruno penalty against Granada opening up a gap of eight points over the rest. Sevilla are now fifth after a 3-1 victory over Levante, Gameiro one of the scorers there, and Athletic Bilbao are up to sixth, Williams on target again in a 0-1 win at Getafe. Eibar drop to eighth though, Borja Bastón’s late strike not enough to prevent a 1-2 defeat against Málaga, and Deportivo are still ninth after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Rayo, with Lucas Pérez and Jozabed on the scoresheet. Further down the table Sporting climbed out of the bottom three following a 0-1 victory at Valencia, Sanabria getting the only goal from the penalty spot, and Betis are now only a point above them after they lost 2-1 at Real Sociedad, Rubén Castro’s first goal in nine games scant consolation for the Andalusians. (02.02.16)

Pichichi League Cup Europe Total (Penalties)
Luis Suárez (Barcelona) 19 1 11 31 (2)
Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 19 0 11 30 (7)
Aduríz (Athletic Bilbao) 13 6 6 25 (3)
Benzema (Real Madrid) 18 0 4 22 (0)
Neymar (Barcelona) 16 3 2 21 (4)
Messi (Barcelona) 12 3 6 21 (2)
Griezmann (Atlético) 12 3 4 19 (0)
Borja Bastón (Eibar) 15 1 0 16 (2)
Gameiro (Sevilla) 12 1 2 15 (5)
Lucas Pérez (Deportivo) 14 0 0 14 (1)
Bale (Real Madrid) 13 0 0 13 (0)
Agirretxe (Real Sociedad) 12 0 0 12 (0)
Bakambu (Villarreal) 8 1 3 12 (0)
Williams (Athletic) 7 3 2 12 (0)
Iago Aspas (Celta) 9 2 0 11 (0)
Alcácer (Valencia) 9 2 0 11 (2)
Sanabria (Sporting) 10 0 0 10 (1)
Rubén Castro (Betis) 9 0 0 9 (2)
Javi Guerra (Rayo) 9 0 0 9 (0)
Nolito (Celta) 8 0 0 8 (1)
Charles (Málaga) 8 0 0 8 (0)
Jozabed (Rayo) 8 0 0 8 (0)
Sergi Enrich (Eibar) 6 2 0 8 (0)
Caicedo (Espanyol) 6 2 0 8 (0)
Guidetti (Celta) 3 5 0 8 (1)
Negredo (Valencia) 3 4 1 8 (2)