sport news You can score from the bench these days with VAR...10 things we learned from ... trends now

sport news You can score from the bench these days with VAR...10 things we learned from ... trends now
sport news You can score from the bench these days with VAR...10 things we learned from ... trends now

sport news You can score from the bench these days with VAR...10 things we learned from ... trends now

Barcelona went eight points clear at the top with an impressive demolition of Sevilla, seven hours after Real Madrid tried to scrap with Mallorca and found out that Mallorca are better at scrapping than they are.

In the race for the other two Champions League spots Atletico underwhelmed at home again but their draw ended up looking good after all their rivals lost.

And down at the bottom the pungent pong of relegation is beginning to waft into the Valencia dressing room. Habitual caretaker coach Voro has come to the rescue for the eighth time but it's no points and no goals from his first two games back in charge.

Here are the ten things we learned from the round of matches that kicked-off the second half of the season in La Liga.

A football first on Saturday when Angel Correa got to celebrate his goal on the bench in Atletico Madrid's 1-1 draw with Getafe

A football first on Saturday when Angel Correa got to celebrate his goal on the bench in Atletico Madrid's 1-1 draw with Getafe

Gabri Veiga is still only 20 years old but his six goals from 12 starts this season are an illustration of his huge potential

Gabri Veiga is still only 20 years old but his six goals from 12 starts this season are an illustration of his huge potential

Busquets injury not the blow it once was

Manchester United will face a Barcelona side without Sergi Busquets after the Spain midfielder hobbled out of Barça's Sunday night home win over Sevilla. He is expected to be out for between two and three weeks but for a few seasons now the Spain legend has been the weak link in European competition for Barça, and with United summer target Frenkie de Jong replacing him it will not be the set-back it once was.

Squads win leagues and Barça's is bursting with quality

Franck Kessie, Jordi Alba and Raphinha have not been the stars of the season so far for Barcelona but if Xavi's team win the league everyone will have played a part. The three were outstanding as Barcelona brushed aside Sevilla. They could be 11 points ahead next weekend if they beat Villarreal next Sunday while Madrid are on World Club Cup duty.

Madrid's Benzema gamble leaves them short again

With no Karim Benzema in the starting line-up on Sunday Real Madrid played without a centre-forward and failed to score against Mallorca. Carlo Ancelotti got desperate in the second half and threw on Mariano Diaz – a player who hasn't started or scored since last May. They lost 1-0 and can only hope their only number nine is fit for the big games to come.

How many times can you fire the coach, put the same loyal club servant in charge, and hope it provides a quick fix? This is the eighth time Voro has taken charge of Valencia and it hasn't started well with two defeats

How many times can you fire the coach, put the same loyal club servant in charge, and hope it provides a quick fix? This is the eighth time Voro has taken charge of Valencia and it hasn't started well with two defeats

Franck Kessie, Jordi Alba and Raphinha have not been the stars of the season so far for Barcelona but if Xavi's team win the league everyone will have played a part

Franck Kessie, Jordi Alba and Raphinha have not been the stars of the season so far for Barcelona but if Xavi's team win the league everyone will have played a part

Confucius says stop confusing the players

The sight of Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan with an A4 foolscap sheet of paper in his hand in the middle of the pitch at the Camp Nou during the second on Sunday summed up the madness of over-coached teams. He had been handed it by one of the substitutes who had just come on after Barcelona had taken the lead. He was still trying to work out which way up he should hold it and what it actually meant as Barça doubled their

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