La Liga Table 2016 Week 19: Updated Standings Following Saturday's Results

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2016

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 09:  Hat trick scorer Gareth Bale of Real Madrid shakes hands with Zinedine Zidane manager of Real Madrid as he is substituted during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 9, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

New Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane watched Gareth Bale score a hat-trick as his side deconstructed Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Barcelona grabbed a 4-0 win as Lionel Messi also bagged three against Granada in La Liga on Saturday.

The Blaugrana cruised to the points at the Camp Nou in the day's early game, but Bale gave one of the best performances of his Los Blancos career, scoring three goals in Zidane's first match in charge. 

The victory sees Barcelona temporarily assume control at the top of the Spanish Primera Division, but Atletico Madrid can leapfrog them if they capture three points on Sunday.

In Saturday's other matches, Sevilla eased past Athletic Bilbao 2-0 at home, as Getafe scored a vital 1-0 win over fellow relegation candidates Real Betis. Also, Levante beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in the final match of the night. 

Here are the latest results from La Liga, including updated standings after Saturday's fixtures:

Saturday's La Liga Results
Sevilla2-0Athletic Bilbao
Getafe1-0Real Betis
Real Madrid5-0Deportivo La Coruna
Levante2-1Rayo Vallecano
Sky Sports
Latest La Liga Standings
2Atletico Madrid181323258+1741
3Real Madrid1912435218+3440
5Celta Vigo189452825+331
7Athletic Club198472722+528
9Deportivo La Coruna196942623+327
14Real Betis195591328-1520
15Las Palmas184591826-817
16Real Sociedad184592027-717
18Sporting Gijon1743101627-1115
19Rayo Vallecano1943122143-2215

Saturday Recap

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi is congratuled by teammates after his hat-trick next to Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) and Barcelona's Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen (R) at the end of the Spanish league football match FC Barcelon
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Lionel Messi scored his first treble for 10 months for Barca, per Infostrada Sports, as the forward ended his longest hat-trick drought in six years.

Barca crushed their opponents 4-0 in Catalonia, with Granada no match for the reigning champions of Spain and Europe.

Messi struck twice in the opening 14 minutes, fed by the talents of Arda Turan and Luis Suarez, who both assisted the icon. 

Turan's incisive pass was captured on social media:

The Argentina captain completed his hat-trick just before the hour-mark, latching onto a Neymar shot that cannoned off the post and allowed him a quick-fire finish. 

Neymar added a fourth to complete the rout as the Blaugrana took the lead in the title race.

Football writer Rafael Hernandez congratulated Luis Enrique for his tactics and tipped his hat to new signing Turan:

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) is congratulated by Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs RC Deportivo La Coruna at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on January 9, 2

Madrid looked like themselves again after the removal of former boss Rafael Benitez, and Los Blancos shone for Zidane at home. 

Karim Benzema continued his fine form as he netted in the first-half, opening the door for Bale to smash a wonderful treble effort.

The Welshman completed his hat-trick with a beautiful header from a corner shortly after the hour-mark, and the attacker continues his best-ever run of form for Madrid since his world-record transfer.

Benzema wrapped up the points with a piledriver effort in second-half injury time as Madrid ran out easy winners in an impressive five-goal display. 

Presenter Kay Murray hailed Zidane's first result in charge:

In the day's other matches, Sevilla rose up the La Liga standings with a solid 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao in Andalusia.

Kevin Gameiro struck in both halves to claim the points for Sevillistas as the hosts took sixth spot in the table.

Getafe earned a vital 1-0 victory against Real Betis in a battle of the league's relegation candidates. A close range effort from Alvaro Vazquez was enough to claim success in the second half, giving the local fans from the Madrid suburbs something to cheer for. 

The win sees the Azulones temporarily climb eight points clear of the danger zone into mid-table safety. 

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) celebrates with Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (R) after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Granada CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on January 9, 2016
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Both Barca and Real look ready and charged as the race moves into the second half of the season, with both teams appearing motivated and prepared for a crack at the title.

Madrid seem like a different animal under Zidane, hungry and willing to go the extra mile after being given creative freedom, but whether the Frenchman's tactics will work long-term is debatable.

Real have a soft centre—an element Benitez tried to address with little success—but if the club adheres to its history and tradition, they will do their best to outscore every opponent rather than defend in numbers.


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