One thing that cannot be levelled at La Liga this season is a lack of drama, an often cited reason from fans with a strong preference for the English Premier League.
Just as in England, the table is topped by one of the title favourites, but there are also some unlikely clubs in the mix, namely Celta Vigo and Villarreal.
Neither side can hardly be described as minnows, but their presence amongst the top four is one of the stories of the season so far – not least on the back of Celta’s 4-1 demolition of Barcelona that affords them more credit.
In winning at Villareal on Sunday, Celta went level on points with Real Madrid and Barcelona, and in the process denied their hosts the opportunity to themselves top the table.
A day earlier, Barca’s class had eventually seen off the bold approach adopted by Rayo Vallecano, who continue to persist with an all-out-attacking strategy, no matter where or who they are playing.
A 6-1 loss in last year’s corresponding fixture was no reflection of how well Rayo performed in the attacking third of the pitch, and a 5-2 loss at the Camp Nou this season followed another competent display at one end of the pitch whilst perfectly demonstrating the art of kamikaze defending and giving away goalscoring chances too easily at the other.
The drama continued on Sunday night in Galicia, where La Coruna came from two goals down to earn a point in a fiercely contested match against Athletic Bilbao, played out in the terrific atmosphere of a packed Riazor stadium.
Athletic continue to look much better than their league position suggests, but have struggled to collect victories since their explosive start to the Spanish season when they hammered Barcelona in the Super Cup.
But the pick of the round was saved for last night’s match at El Molinon, with Sporting Gijon entertaining bottom-of-the-table Granada.
Sporting began strongly and, after an early goal, looked in the mood to add to the scoreline and put in a dominant showing. But a scrappy equaliser helped Granada settle into the match and from then on it was end-to-end for the duration.
Two goals from distance put the visitors in total control, before a sending off and a consolation strike with minutes to spare gave Gijon late hope of salvaging something.
Surviving the five minutes of allotted time with ten men was likely to be enough of a challenge for Granada, though the task became even more difficult when a second yellow card was awarded to Doria for time-wasting at a free kick, not only of reducing Granada’s numbers to eight outfield players but also in extending the amount of time to be added on.
And as the clock edged towards the end of a sixth minute of added time, a stunning strike by Gijon’s Miguel Angel Guerrero made it 3-3.
It was a fitting finale to a weekend that had already contained so much drama already, and the best advert to anyone doubting the appeal and excitement of arguably Europe’s strongest league.