* Spain dropped to tenth in this month’s FIFA World Rankings, their lowest position since 2006. They are still reigning European champions, so summer 2016 is the earliest the golden age of La Roja can officially be said to have ended
* La Primera went back to being a two-horse race as Atletico Madrid surprisingly collapsed 2-0 at Celta Vigo on Sunday to fall six points behind Barcelona in third place. Coach Diego Simeone apologised to his fans and admitted he had picked the wrong team to travel to Galicia.
* City rivals Real resumed normal service a week after their Saturday from hell with a workmanlike 2-0 victory at home to Deportivo La Coruña. Isco and Karim Benzema were on target, Ronaldo assisted one goal and Gareth Bale still got booed by a fraction of the never-satisfied Bernabeu.
Read the Real-addicted press and there is always a crisis for the league Dominoqq Terpercaya leaders. This week it is Ronaldo’s lack of goals in 2015 – only three versus Lionel Messi’s 15. Then there is Carlo Ancelotti’s favoured 4-3-3 formation, which 91% of Real fans said this week they would like to ditch in favour of 4-4-2.
* A new Bernabeu stadium, planned since 2004, is once more on hold after Madrid’s Supreme Court halted work. The rejigged stadium, 15 metres higher and 24 metres deeper than the present one to accommodate a hotel, shops and parking, will have to go back to the drawing board.
* Barça were more florid, hammering Levante 5-0 at the Camp Nou with Messi bagging yet another hat-trick. Neymar and Luis Suarez also scored, putting the finishing touches to a familiar tableau of a hapless victim being ravished by the mega-club of Catalonia and its global superstars.
Coach Luis Enrique, whose head Messi was apparently demanding only a few weeks ago, could not help eke out an “I told you so” gloat to the press in the light of an eleventh straight win which matched Pep Guardiola’s tenure.
“We have the best positional attack in the world,” he opined. “We are the best at attacking ten defenders,” he added, before his now customary praise for his Argentine maestro.
Positionally, Enrique’s Barça resemble Guardiola’s in their use of tiki-taka as they approach enemy lines but then tend to differ by whipping the ball wide to set-up a cross, while Messi has become very fond of a chip over the back four for Neymar to latch onto.
* Real resume the three-pronged Spanish challenge for the Champions League this week with a midweek trip to Schalke. Los merengues are rated second by the bookies behind Bayern Munich with Barcelona third and Atletico fifth, behind Chelsea.
* Barça moved closer to the Copa del Rey with a bread and butter win over Villareal in their semi-final first leg. 3-1 should have been 4-1 had Neymar not fluffed a penalty. An all-Catalonia final is still on the cards …