Since the last round of La Liga games the calendar year has ticked into 2013, but it is the patterns from 2012 that still remain poignant.
Barcelona cantered to a 4-0 home win in the Catalan Derby, nearest rivals Atletico Madrid dropped points at Mallorca and Real Madrid won an action-packed match against Real Sociedad 4-3.
Domingos Paciencia got off to a winning start in Galicia. His Deportivo La Coruna side impressively beat Malaga 1-0, with relegation rivals Osasuna and Granada both losing.
But who were the main men for the team whom end the weekend with smiles on their faces?
Deportivo, Sevilla and Barcelona may have been the three teams to keep clean sheets this weekend, but it was Granada's keeper who was the most impressive.
His side was beaten at home to Valencia 2-1, but without his help it may have been over long before Pablo Piatti's 82nd minute winner for Los Che.
The away side fired in almost 30 attempts on goal in Saturday's encounter, with Roberto making some fine stops.
Mallorca had been on a terrible run until last year ended with a much-needed three points against high-flying Real Betis.
The signs of improvement continued this weekend with a 1-1 draw against a team flying even higher—Atletico Madrid.
Central defender Geromel was their stand out performer. The Brazilian barely got a moment to breathe, making four tackles, six interceptions and 15 clearances (via WhoScored.com).
Both central defenders—Emir Spahic and Federico Fazio—put in solid performances as Sevilla shut out struggling Osasuna.
They were part of a back four which helped Sevilla to their first clean-sheet in La Liga since November 4th.
Spahic gets the nod in this side over his colleague, as he also turned one point into three with his 83rd minute win.
Call it the new manager effect, but Deportivo La Coruna picked up their first three points in La Liga since a 1-0 win over Mallorca on November 4th.
It was all-the-more-impressive for the fact they managed to keep fourth place Malaga from scoring.
Brazilian left-back Evaldo contributed to that clean sheet, and linked play well on the left side throughout the 90 minutes.
Xavi opened the scoring inside 10 minutes as Barcelona showed no mercy to their struggling neighbors in an exhilarating first half at Camp Nou.
The midfielder displayed his renewed hunger to get forward once again, finding himself in the right place to turn home Andres Iniesta's pass.
He was as affluent as ever with his use of the ball too. In 63 minutes he made 97 passes, with a pass completion rate of 96 percent (via WhoScored.com).
The second member of this XI to have been on the losing team this weekend is La Real's attacking midfielder Xabi Prieto.
Sociedad was on the end of a 4-3 defeat at the Bernabeu, but Prieto was nearly the man-on-the-spot to inflict more pain on faltering Madrid.
He twice leveled the scores, before completing his hat-trick to give the away side hope with 15 minutes to play, but unfortunately he—nor his teammates—could find a fourth.
At 6'3", Iborra is the type of central midfielder you'd expect to see marshaling Juan Ignacio Martinez's strong Levante side.
In their 3-1 win over Athletic Club this weekend, he was involved in action in almost every area of the pitch.
He scored the goal just before halftime to give Levante the lead and kept the lid on the likes of Iker Munian and Ander Herrera as Athletic looked to get back into the game.
Deportivo's match-winner this weekend was their Potuguese left winger Pizzi.
The 23-year-old displayed his ability to beat a man before smashing the ball past Malaga 'keeper Willy Caballero in the 57th minute.
The forward was a menace all game, but unfortunately for Depor he's set to rejoin Atletico Madrid in the summer permanently.
Allan Jiang pointed out on Bleacher Report this week, the many reasons why Premier League club's should be targeting Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas.
This weekend, he gave him two more reasons as he helped the Galicians overcome Real Valladolid 3-1.
His two goals—his second was a penalty—take him to eight for the season in La Liga, while he has handily contributed three assists too (via WhoScored.com).
Among all the talk of turmoil, unrest and injuries at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to huff and puff.
His second half brace put paid to a spirited effort from Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu, taking him to 16 league goals in the process.
Unfortunately, Los Blancos remain 16 points behind Barca, but the indications are Cristiano is still giving it all he's got.
If Pedro's New Year's resolution was to recapture the heights of his Barcelona form from a couple of seasons ago then it's so far, so good.
Playing wide right, the 25-year-old showed his willingness to run in between the lines time and time again, and he was rewarded with two goals.
Twice the offside flag denied him a hat-trick in the second half, before he was withdrawn in the 75th minute to a standing ovation from the Camp Nou.
So that was the XI, lining up in a rather adventurous 3-3-4 formation—Pizzi (left) and Pedro (right) flanking Ronaldo and Aspas in the middle.
Real Betis' Nacho was the best player on the pitch in their 2-1 win over Real Zaragoza on Friday night, but just missed the cut in this attack-minded side.
Likewise, Nabil El Zhar was involved in most of the good things that Levante did against Athletic, while Sergio Busquets was brilliant against Espanyol—barely breaking sweat.
For Real Madrid, Sami Khedira scored and set-up a goal, although as a holding midfielder will feel aggrieved to be on a side conceding three, while Benzema also showed flashed of his brilliance for Mourinho's men.