Luis Suarez has finally ended Gonzalo Higuain's reign atop the 2015-16 Golden Shoe rankings, knocking the Napoli man off the top spot with a goal in Barcelona's 2-1 win over Las Palmas.
The Uruguay international has now scored 25 goals in La Liga this season, one more than Higuain has in Serie A. The prolific Argentinian will have a chance to bridge the gap on Monday, however, as Napoli will will play host to AC Milan.
Benfica's Jonas found the net in his side's 3-1 win over FC Pacos de Ferreira to tie Higuain in the rankings, with Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo sitting further back.
Here's a look at the current standings:
|Position||Player||Team||Goals x Factor||Points|
|1||Luis Suarez||Barcelona||25 x 2||50.0|
|T2||Gonzalo Higuain||Napoli||24 x 2||48.0|
|T2||Jonas||Benfica||24 x 2||48.0|
|T4||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||22 x 2||44.0|
|T4||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||22 x 2||44.0|
|6||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Borussia Dortmund||21 x 2||42.0|
|T7||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||19 x 2||38.0|
|T7||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||19 x 2||38.0|
|9||Eran Zahavi||Maccabi Tel Aviv||25 x 1.5||37.5|
|T10||Neymar||Barcelona||18 x 2||36.0|
|T10||Islam Slimani||Sporting CP||18 x 2||36.0|
|12||Zlatan Ibrahimovic||PSG||23 x 1.5||34.5|
Rules: Each league is attributed a difficulty constant (between one and two), which is multiplied by the number of goals scored to produce a total.
For example, La Liga is considered among the hardest leagues in Europe, so Ronaldo's 22 goals are doubled to create a total of 44. By contrast, the Israeli top flight has a grade of 1.5, meaning Eran Zahavi’s 25 goals equate to 37.5 points.
Suarez Continues Red-Hot Form
Per WhoScored.com, Suarez took his scoring streak to seven matches across all competitions against Las Palmas, playing a key role in the 2-1 win that preserved the Catalans' lead in La Liga.
Barcelona put together one of their most inconsistent performances of the season on Saturday, but once again, the attacking trio of Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi proved too much for their opponents. It took Suarez just six minutes to find the target, tapping home from close range after a lovely pass from Jordi Alba.
Here's a look at the goal:
Barcelona's official Twitter account shared this graphic of the impressive passing sequence that preceded the goal:
FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona
Goal number 25 in the league for @LuisSuarez9 when he finished off Alba's cross #FCBlive #LasPalmasFCB https://t.co/4V48zii57J2/20/2016, 3:20:06 PM
Las Palmas tied things up through Willian Jose shortly after, and Neymar scored the winning goal just before half-time.
The hosts did a phenomenal job of putting pressure on Barcelona, who were without the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, and it's telling that even in a difficult match like Saturday's, the Catalans managed to create plenty of danger.
Suarez should have added to his tally, and Neymar also wasted a number of glorious chances. Per the club's official Twitter account, Suarez didn't make a secret of the fact Barcelona struggled:
FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona
Liga top scorer @LuisSuarez9 - "To win trophies you have to suffer. These games are ones that give you the league" https://t.co/XOhg2ZJ1ig2/20/2016, 5:20:25 PM
The Barcelona machine seems close to unstoppable at this point, and Suarez has played a huge part in their fantastic run. Scoring in seven straight matches is no easy feat, and given the wealth of talent the Blaugrana field in the attacking third, his numbers stand out that much more.
Ronaldo, who scored in the 1-1 draw against Malaga, remains his closest rival in the Liga top-scorer's standings, sitting three goals behind the former Liverpool man, while the title race already appears over. After 25 matches, Barcelona hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Suarez will now turn his attention to the UEFA Champions League, where he'll try to take his streak to eight straight matches with a goal against Premier League giants Arsenal.
Bundesliga Stars on Target
Both Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found the target over the course of the weekend, with the former firing Bayern Munich to a 3-1 win over Darmstadt and the latter scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Aubameyang's goal didn't come without a shade of controversy, as it resulted from a quick free-kick that angered the Leverkusen players and coaches to such an extent the match had to be momentarily suspended, per Fox Sports' Danny Michallik.
The Gabon international likely didn't care, as his quick thinking resulted in yet another vital goal. As shared by Squawka Football, Aubameyang is doing all of his damage from inside the box, clear proof of his remarkable instincts:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 21 Bundesliga goals this season; all from inside the box. Fox in the box. https://t.co/CYzKQZaJ932/21/2016, 8:38:03 PM
He still chases Lewandowski in the Bundesliga rankings by a single goal, and in all likelihood, their epic battle will go down to the wire. The Bavarians hold the top spot in the standings and are unlikely to be caught, having lost just a single Bundesliga match all season, per WhoScored.com.
Both will still like their chances of winning the European Golden Shoe as well, although it will take something special to catch the likes of Suarez and Higuain. The fact the Bundesliga only has 18 teams, meaning the duo will play less domestic matches, won't help, either.
Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic passed the duo in the actual scorer's rankings thanks to a brace in the 4-1 win over Reims, but with Ligue 1's constant sitting at just 1.5, he finds himself outside of the top 10 of the Golden Shoe standings.
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