La Liga talking points

·2-min read

MADRID (Reuters) - Talking points from the weekend in Spanish football.

OSASUNA RING CHANGES TO END DROUGHT

Without a league win since October, Osasuna coach Jagoba Arrasate made a surprising seven changes to his line-up against Granada on Sunday, three days after drawing 1-1 at Valencia.

But the radical makeover proved to be a stroke of genius as the Navarrans won 3-1, less than two weeks after losing 2-0 away to Granada.

"Last time (against Granada) I played practically the same team as after our draw with Real Madrid and it didn't work as we were so tired. You should always learn from your errors and we needed some freshness and spark today," Arrasate explained.

The coach was ecstatic after a first win in 14 league matches lifted his side out of the relegation zone, but he also admitted: "I've forgotten what it feels like to win a game."

NEITHER AGE NOR COVID-19 CAN SLOW DOWN JOAQUIN

Real Betis captain Joaquin is 39 years old but he only needed 14 minutes to shake up his side's match with Real Sociedad and snatch a 2-2 draw.

The veteran midfielder came on to the pitch in the 77th minute with his side two goals down but promptly served an assist to Sergio Canales before levelling the match with a strike of his own in the 91st.

His impact was all the more remarkable given this was his first game back since testing positive for coronavirus on the second day of the year.

SUAREZ FORM KEEPS DEBUTANT DEMBELE ON BENCH

Atletico Madrid's latest signing Moussa Dembele must have been looking forward to playing at least some part in Sunday's game against Valencia after spending the whole of Thursday's visit to Eibar warming the bench.

But the Frenchman waited in vain as coach Diego Simeone kept faith in Luis Suarez, who is a decade older than Dembele and had completed 90 minutes against Eibar only 72 hours earlier.

The Argentine coach has plenty of reason to keep trusting Suarez, who scored in the 3-1 win to return to the top of the league's scoring charts.

But spare a thought for Dembele, who left Olympique Lyonnais for Atletico precisely to get more playing time.

"I couldn't see any moment for Dembele to come on," Simeone said bluntly. "He's training as well as he can but I felt Suarez was having a great game."

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)