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Did you know? (As of 2/25/12)

Three of the top five scorers in La Liga are Real Madrid CF players. The deadly trio of Cristiano Ronaldo (28), Gonzalo Higuain (14), and Karim Benzema (13) together have scored 70% of Real Madrid’s 79 goals so far this season.

Some fun facts:

- Out of the three, Cristiano is the only one to have scored with a header. In fact, 4 of his 28 goals were headed in.

- Higuain scores almost exclusively with his right foot. He has scored one left-footed goal so far this season.

- Twelve of Benzema’s 13 goals were scored at home. The only away goal he scored was against Valencia, Nov 19th of last year.

- Minutes the trio have played: Cristiano (2013), Higuain (960), Benzema (1351). Higuain is the player most likely to be substituted on (12 times), whereas out of the three Benzema is the most likely to be substituted off (11 times).

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As of 2/19/12…

After FC Barcelona's 5-1 thrashing of Valencia CF, there is a curious phenomenon in the league table.

Out of the 20 teams in the top flight of La Liga, 15 of them have negative goal differences, meaning they have conceded more goals than they have scored. The remaining teams have positive goal differences, but only in the single digits. There are two giant exceptions: Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, who are completely dominating the entire table with goal differences of 58 and 51, respectively.

Literally, from 7th place down, every team has a negative goal difference. Even RCD Espanyol, who is occupying a Europa League spot currently, has a goal difference of -1.

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As of 2/18/12
Real Madrid continued their run of wins in La Liga yesterday against Racing Santander (4-0). Real Madrid kept a clean sheet, which surprisingly is only the second they’ve managed to keep at home this season in the league. Real Madrid is actually more prone to dominating in away games, where they have 7 clean sheets.
Fun fact? The last time Real Madrid kept a clean sheet at home this season was late last year, on October 26.

As of 2/18/12

Real Madrid continued their run of wins in La Liga yesterday against Racing Santander (4-0). Real Madrid kept a clean sheet, which surprisingly is only the second they’ve managed to keep at home this season in the league. Real Madrid is actually more prone to dominating in away games, where they have 7 clean sheets.

Fun fact? The last time Real Madrid kept a clean sheet at home this season was late last year, on October 26.

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Valencia CF midfielder Éver Banega has been taken into emergency surgery this afternoon just hours before Valencia’s match against FC Barcelona. While the club has not issued a statement on the particulars of the accident, it appears that Banega was run over by his own car in a gas station when he forgot to put the handbrake on. Banega has suffered a broken ankle.

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[As of 1/31/12]
Manolo Preciado, formerly of Sporting Gijon, was fired today. He had been La Liga’s longest serving manager in current times, in place at Sporting Gijon since 2006. His firing comes on the heels of his side’s recent 5-1 loss to Real Sociedad. Here is an article with some rather colorful anecdotes of Preciado’s time as manager, and here is a collection of Sporting Gijon players on Twitter expressing their sadness at hearing the news.
Now that Preciado is gone, the next longest serving managers of La Liga are Unai Emery of Valencia CF and Pep Guardiola of FC Barcelona.

[As of 1/31/12]

Manolo Preciado, formerly of Sporting Gijon, was fired today. He had been La Liga’s longest serving manager in current times, in place at Sporting Gijon since 2006. His firing comes on the heels of his side’s recent 5-1 loss to Real Sociedad. Here is an article with some rather colorful anecdotes of Preciado’s time as manager, and here is a collection of Sporting Gijon players on Twitter expressing their sadness at hearing the news.

Now that Preciado is gone, the next longest serving managers of La Liga are Unai Emery of Valencia CF and Pep Guardiola of FC Barcelona.

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Jornada 21 proved to be a weekend of freak injuries in La Liga. Video here. (Warning: Lots of blood.)

We posted earlier about Real Sociedad midfielder David Zurutuza's broken nose, but it turns out he sustained a serious fracture and had to be operated on later that day. The player he collided with, Sporting Gijon's Gregory, was also bloodied in the collision and had to receive 7 stitches.

In the intense match between Racing Santander and Valencia CF, Ever Banega had to be brought off mid-game for a muscle tear. The substitute brought on to replace Banega was Mehmet Topal. Later in that same game, Topal went for a header and suffered a concussion—briefly losing consciousness and was later hospitalized. The player whom Topal collided with was Racing Santander’s Pape Diop, who also had to be taken out of the game from the head trauma.

Also from the Racing-Valencia match: Another contested header between Christian Fernández and Aritz Aduriz left the former with 12 sutures to stop the bleeding from his head. He played the rest of the match, as did Aduriz. Aduriz stayed on the pitch long enough to score a goal, but later suffered double vision, nausea, and memory loss—he was unable to remember scoring the goal. He too was hospitalized overnight.

(The video ends with a Segunda division player whose jaw was fractured by an opposing player’s elbow. Oh, and two of his teeth were broken in. Ouch.)

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[As of Jornada 21]
Today’s match was a massive win for Real Sociedad against Sporting Gijon. The final score was 5-1. Why is this extraordinary? The last time Real Sociedad scored five or more goals in the league was in December 2004, over seven years ago. 
FC Barcelona, on the other hand, has scored five or more in a match already five times in this season alone.

[As of Jornada 21]

Today’s match was a massive win for Real Sociedad against Sporting Gijon. The final score was 5-1. Why is this extraordinary? The last time Real Sociedad scored five or more goals in the league was in December 2004, over seven years ago

FC Barcelona, on the other hand, has scored five or more in a match already five times in this season alone.

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[Jornada 21]
Today’s match between Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon has been quite eventful for one David Zurutuza. In less than five minutes, the midfielder has managed to score two goals and break his nose. Here’s a quick recap:
Minute 1: Zurutuza scores a goal for Real Sociedad! 1-0
Minute 2: Zurutuza scores a second goal! 2-0
Minute 4: Zurutuza’s face is smashed in by a Sporting player, Gregory. Zurutuza’s nose is broken.
Minute 6: Zurutuza is substituted out.

[Jornada 21]

Today’s match between Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon has been quite eventful for one David Zurutuza. In less than five minutes, the midfielder has managed to score two goals and break his nose. Here’s a quick recap:

Minute 1: Zurutuza scores a goal for Real Sociedad! 1-0

Minute 2: Zurutuza scores a second goal! 2-0

Minute 4: Zurutuza’s face is smashed in by a Sporting player, Gregory. Zurutuza’s nose is broken.

Minute 6: Zurutuza is substituted out.

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[As of Jornada 21]
Did you know? Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao scored his first ever hat-trick in La Liga today. Fun fact? It has been five years since an Athletic Bilbao player has scored a hat-trick in an official La Liga game.

[As of Jornada 21]

Did you know? Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao scored his first ever hat-trick in La Liga today. Fun fact? It has been five years since an Athletic Bilbao player has scored a hat-trick in an official La Liga game.

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[Jornada 1]
Forget Clasicos. In a few short minutes, Real Betis and Sevilla FC will play each other in the highly dramatic derbi sevillano. The first match played between the two clubs was in 1915, in which Sevilla was leading 4-3, but the match had to be suspended due to crowd violence. The Seville Derby has seen quite a few incidents of violence over the years, and more than a few have been suspended and resumed in an empty stadium.
Fun fact? In the last derby between these two clubs (Feb 2009), Real Betis actually won 1-2. Sevilla’s only goal came from Freddie Kanouté in the 90th minute of play. Kanoute’s consolation goal seemed inconsequential at the time, but had he not scored that goal, Real Betis would not have been relegated that year.

[Jornada 1]

Forget Clasicos. In a few short minutes, Real Betis and Sevilla FC will play each other in the highly dramatic derbi sevillano. The first match played between the two clubs was in 1915, in which Sevilla was leading 4-3, but the match had to be suspended due to crowd violence. The Seville Derby has seen quite a few incidents of violence over the years, and more than a few have been suspended and resumed in an empty stadium.

Fun fact? In the last derby between these two clubs (Feb 2009), Real Betis actually won 1-2. Sevilla’s only goal came from Freddie Kanouté in the 90th minute of play. Kanoute’s consolation goal seemed inconsequential at the time, but had he not scored that goal, Real Betis would not have been relegated that year.