Four things we learned from matchday 29 in Spain

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-03 16:40:17|Editor: Mengjiao Liu
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MADRID, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The 29th round of matches in Spain heralds the start of 42 days of live football during a week that boasted three matches, and also highlighted several important points of interest.

1) - Firepower sees Real Madrid through yet again

Another week, another game in which La Liga leaders Real Madrid were no better than their rivals, but it's also another game in which they chalked up all three points. For much of their Sunday match at home to Deportivo Alaves, Real Madrid failed to make their theoretical superiority show. It's true they controlled the first half, but all they had to show for it was a Karim Benzema goal, which should have been ruled out for offside.

Alaves were the better side in the second half and had chances to equalize, only to waste them. They were then caught on the break five minutes from time for Isco to seal the win before Nacho headed home a third which gave the result a glisten that the performance didn't deserve. Once again Madrid's firepower pulled them through on a day when they could have dropped points.

2) - No Messi; Suarez to the rescue

Leo Messi was suspended for Barcelona's trip to play struggling Granada and at times it looked as if the Argentine's talents would be missed, however, when most needed, Luis Suarez stepped up to show that Barca is more than a one-man team. The Uruguayan scored Barca's opening goal just before halftime and then teed up Paco Alcacer for Barca's second of the game, 14 minutes after the home side had equalized.

Neymar also got in on the act, netting his 100th goal for Barca in the dying minutes to keep them in the title race, while Messi was (for once) able to put his feet up.

3) - Aduriz doesn't feel his years

Athletic Club Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz may be starting to feel his 36 years with a series of minor physical issues, but that has not stopped him remaining vital to his club, where he remains their principal reference in attack.

Saturday saw him net his 10th league goal of the season to open the scoring in Athletic's 2-1 win away to Osasuna and reach a milestone in his career. The goal was his 100th for Athletic, a total he has reached in three separate spells in Bilbao.

Aduriz is a striker who has matured with age, indeed only Real Madrid legends, Alfredo Di Stefano and Puskas have scored more goals after passing their 31st birthday.

4) - Lets switch to overall goal difference

Struggling Leganes' next game is at home to Real Madrid on Wednesday night, so it was a disappointment to see midfielder Eric Moran get booked for wasting time in the last minute of his side's 1-1 draw away to Real Sociedad. The booking, which the player clearly provoked deliberately, means he is suspended for the Madrid game but also highlights a larger problem in the Spanish league.

After facing Madrid, Leganes have a vital match away to Osasuna, which they have targeted for a win. As such, they appear willing to rest key players at midweek for a game they have little chance of taking anything away from. Given that, in the event of a tie on points, it is head to head goal difference with direct rivals (rather than overall goal difference) it doesn't matter if Leganes lose 1-0 or 10-0 to Madrid, what matters are the results of matches against the team they are level with.

This begs an important point. Currently, league position is based a team's performances over all 38 games, but basing it instead on overall goal difference would guarantee that sides are obliged to play their strongest 11, and can't afford to simply ignore matches against the league's biggest clubs.