La Liga Five things we learned from matchday 11

AFP Sports looks at five things we learned from week 11 in La Liga.

  • Published:
Forward Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal on November 6, 2016 play

Forward Lionel Messi scored his 500th Barcelona goal on November 6, 2016

(AFP)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Lionel Messi inspired a Barcelona revival to win at Sevilla, whilst Atletico Madrid lost ground in the title race.

Here, AFP Sports looks at five things we learned from week 11 in La Liga:

Messi upstages Ronaldo renewal

Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo believed they had won Monday morning's headlines with the news the highest paid sportsman in the world will extend his contract to 2021.

However, eternal rival Lionel Messi stole the show on Sunday night with a virtuoso display to lead Barcelona back from a goal down to win 2-1 at Sevilla.

Messi scored his 500th Barca goal, including friendlies, and teed up Luis Suarez's winner as Barca inflicted a rare home defeat on Sevilla to remain just two points behind Madrid at the top of the table.

Atletico suffer Euro hangover

Atletico were the only one of Spain's four Champions League representatives forced back into action on Saturday and it showed as two second-half penalties condemned them to a 2-0 defeat at Real Sociedad.

From L: Atletico Madrid's forward Angel Correa, forward Fernando Torres and defender Stefan Savic leave the pitch on November 6, 2016 play

From L: Atletico Madrid's forward Angel Correa, forward Fernando Torres and defender Stefan Savic leave the pitch on November 6, 2016

(AFP)

A second defeat in three league games for Diego Simeone's men leaves them six points off the top ahead of a Champions League final rematch with city rivals Real in two weeks' time.

Simeone was keen to stress there were no excuses for Atletico's lifeless display, but plenty of Atleti fans have raised complaints over their fixture list post Champions League ties.

Atletico were scheduled away in five of the six weekends following their Champions League group games, including daunting trips to Valencia, Sevilla, Sociedad and Villarreal.

Real, by contrast, play five of the bottom 10 at home on the corresponding weekends.

Prandelli flounders at Valencia

When coach after coach continues to fail, the signs that there are far deeper routed problems at Valencia should have become clear before now.

A 2-1 defeat at Celta Vigo means Los Che have just one win in four games under former Italian boss Cesare Prandelli and lie just a point above the relegation zone.

More worryingly, a report from Spanish radio station Cadena SER showed that in two years under Singaporean owner Peter Lim the financially stricken club's debt have risen, whilst results on the field have vastly deteriorated.

Granada doomed

At least some relief is headed Valencia's way in the form of a visit from Granada after the international break.

The Andalusians remain rooted to the foot of the table and without a win this season as even fellow strugglers Deportivo la Coruna emerged from Nuevo Los Carmenes with a 1-1 draw.

A Chinese backed project with Pep Guardiola's brother Pere at the helm of the club's recruitment was meant to push Granada to the next level this season.

Instead, it looks increasingly likely they will start next season on another level, down in the Segunda Division.

Malaga youngsters shine

By contrast Malaga's project under former Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos is beginning to take shape after they twice came from behind to beat Sporting Gijon 3-2.

A run of 10 points from the last possible 15 has lifted Malaga into the top half of the table as an extremely young squad has begun to show its potential.

Friday's three goals came from Pablo Fornals, 20, former Barca starlet Sandro Ramirez, 21, and Michael Santos, who is one of the older heads at 23.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.