Barcelona Break Record, Ronaldo Leads Madrid to Derby Win: La Liga Saturday Wrap
December 1st could eventually prove a pivotal day for a few La Liga teams.
On a day that saw all of Spain's top four teams play, we saw records broken, huge individual performances and even a sacking.
The champions kept their lead atop the tables and looked as good as they have all season while the second and third place teams look like the latter is still the better team after all.
With so much action and so many big results coming, it's time to review each one and learn what the implications of each match could be.
Getafe Continue Climb Against Malaga
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Saturday started with Malaga's great resurgence proving not to be so great after all.
Getafe welcomed Los Boquerones to Madrid and most were expecting El Geta's two-game winning streak to end.
After all, Malaga absolutely rocked Valencia last weekend with a 4-0 win over last season's third-placed team.
Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini's men, Getafe once again proved to be one of Spain's toughest teams to play at home.
Just as they did against Real Madrid back in August, Getafe's central defense proved unbreakable against a constantly threatening side.
Malaga sent eight shots on goal, five on target. It was sort of shocking not to see even a single ball make it past Miguel Moya.
The visitors were not really wasteful but just couldn't get many great shots to beat the former Valencia keeper.
Alberto Lopo was a rock at the back and also added the winning goal just before the hour mark. Incredible performance for the defender.
Man of the match—Lopo
This was a big win for Getafe, but the standings really just show how incredibly competitive La Liga is.
Malaga have now won just one of their last six matches, but are still in fourth. What's impressive is that 12th-place Valencia are only three points out.
The race for the 4-6 positions in Spain is really starting to heat up and might not be decided until the last day of play.
Valencia's Second-Straight Disastrous Loss Leads to Pellegrino Sacking
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Rarely does a coach match Bayern Munich for 90 minutes and then get fired less than two weeks later.
Mauricio Pellegrino can now add that to his very short resume, though.
After getting blown out for the second straight week—this time at home—the hometown coach has been fired and Valencia fans have had enough.
After Roberto Soldado scored within the first two minutes, it looked like Los Che had put last week's shameful loss to Malaga behind them.
The next 80 plus minutes showed the real character of Valencia, however—and that is a team that, quite frankly, isn't very good.
La Real dominated the midfield battle in the first half and constantly threatened Diego Alves in goal. The second half started more balanced, but the Txuri-urdin soon broke away.
The Basques finished with 17 shots in all and Valencia were left chasing ghosts with just 40 percent possession.
Two goals were scored in the last seven minutes to pull the game out of reach, but the final score of 5-2 was much more telling of the gap in quality than when Soldado's second brought the hosts to within one.
Man of the Match—Carlos Vela
Fans let the team know exactly what this match meant when they waited outside the Mestalla in groups to hound the directors and players for another abysmal performance.
Mauricio Pellegrino's sacking really shows how bad a spot the team is in. With former manager Unai Emery recently fired and looking for work, the board may yet have a chance to correct course in La Liga.
While Valencia are in shambles, La Real left Valencia feeling inspired. They've now won three of their last four, haven't lost in a month and are now in seventh place and just two points away of Champions League play.
Barcelona Break Record Against Bilbao in Route
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And to think this was actually a rivalry just a year ago.
After embarrassing Athletic Bilbao in a 5-1 shelling, Barcelona have now won their last three meetings against the Basques by a score of 10-1.
Tito Vilanova's first season as coach has now seen his club record the best ever start to a season of any Spanish club in history—with 13 wins and one draw from their first 14 games.
Lionel Messi is now just two goals away from making history. He scored another pair to get within one of Gerd Mueller's record for goals in a calendar year and had another shot hit the post.
Cesc Fabregas added another and also sent his league-leading assist total to nine on the year.
Adriano also reminded fans why he is one of Europe's best utility men while taking right-back responsibilities.
La Blaugrana ensured that they'd go into next weekend with their 11-point lead intact and piled pressure on both Madrid teams beneath them.
The Lions could finish the weekend as low as 17th place, just one point above the drop zone.
Ronaldo Leads Madrid to Win in Sloppy Derby
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Tell me if you've heard this one before—Real Madrid are struggling and need a victory, Cristiano Ronaldo steps up with a huge performance against Atletico to win the derby.
Déjà vu, anyone? And CR7 even scored from a free kick.
This Madrid Derby was one of the most anticipated in recent years, with Atletico having the chance to go home with an eight-point lead over their rivals.
In the end, the result was as predictable and typical of this near non-rivalry as it has been for over a decade.
Both teams were extremely sloppy, few players had truly exceptional performances and once again Ronaldo proved to be the game changer.
The first half was a pretty unexciting affair for neutrals aside from a spectacular free-kick goal from CR7.
Both defenses were pretty incredible for most of the match while the midfield units were both uncharacteristically sloppy.
Mesut Ozil had one of his better matches this campaign, but aside from a goal that came while he was unmarked and a great cross that Ronaldo sent to the bar, the German had a less than stellar performance—completing less than 80 percent of his passes.
Atletico's stars were visibly nervous and increasingly sloppy as the game wore on.
Los Rojiblancos continued to show that they have yet to shake their inferiority complex that appears to show up every time they play their rivals.
In the immediate future, as it relates to the title race, this match means very little.
Madrid are still 11 points behind Barcelona while Atletico hold a five-point lead over Los Merengues.
Long-term, however, this match could prove a pivotal moment for both clubs.
All of the dreams about lifting the La Liga title could have ended for Atleti and they may now even start their slide out of second place.
Madrid could use this match as inspiration for a historic recovery, even though winning the title is a very long shot at this point.
Feel free to comment about any of these matches.