A suspension for Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest concern for coach Carlo Ancelotti whose Real Madrid side are looking far from the slick machine that strung together 22 straight victories before Christmas.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Saturday claimed that Lionel Messi doesn't care about other players' statistics. The Argentine scored a brace and provided two assists helping Barca rout Elche at the Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero.
With just under half the La Liga season played, fans of tiny Basque club Eibar must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief to see their team seven points clear of regional heavyweights Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.
Barcelona followed up last weekend`s 3-1 defeat at Real Madrid with another reverse on Saturday, squandering a host of chances to lose 1-0 at home to Celta Vigo and handing the lead in La Liga to their arch rivals.
Champions Atletico Madrid made a sluggish start to the defence of their La Liga title with a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano while a header from Karim Benzema and a late Cristiano Ronaldo strike helped Real Madrid beat promoted Cordoba 2-0.