MADRID (Reuters) - Talking points from the weekend in Spanish football.
LA LIGA MINNOWS RESIST PEREZ'S SUPER LEAGUE PUSH
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez caused a stir by saying proposed reforms to competitions such as a European Super League "cannot wait", but Real's end-to-end match with Eibar showed the enduring value of national leagues.
Madrid left with a 3-1 win but minnows Eibar went toe-to-toe with the champions and could have earned a draw had they not been so wasteful.
"The match in Eibar showed the value of national leagues against the opulence of a Super League," said newspaper Marca.
"Let's hope they never rob us of games like this, which speak so well of our football and our league."
MADRID TURN ON THE STYLE BUT STILL LOOK VULNERABLE
Real Madrid are on a roll after winning five games on the spin and are starting to look a lot like the consistent side that swept to last year's title.
Their win over Eibar showcased their best moments of the season, with virtuoso displays from Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, but the performance was also riddled with individual errors.
One mistake which could have proved costly came from captain Sergio Ramos, who gifted the ball to Eibar's Takashi Inui by his own area and then committed what looked to be a handball but escaped punishment.
POOR DEFENCE UNDERMINING BARCA TITLE BID
Just when it looked like they may turning a corner after their statement win over Real Sociedad, Barcelona showed how far they still have to go with Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Valencia.
Barca have yet to string three successive league wins together and they trail leaders Atletico Madrid by eight points while playing a game more.
Coach Ronald Koeman was unhappy with his defence yet again, and despite picking a side containing four players aged 21 or under he criticized the team for not being mature enough.
COUDET'S CELTA REVOLUTION CONTINUES
Argentine Eduardo Coudet had no experience of coaching in Europe when he took on a Celta Vigo side in freefall in November when Oscar Garcia was sacked, but he has overseen a dramatic transformation in little more than a month in charge.
His side eased to a 2-0 win over Alaves on Saturday to record a fourth consecutive victory in five league games in charge, turning his side from relegation candidates to contenders for the European places.
SOCIEDAD'S EARLY PROMISE FIZZLES OUT
Real Sociedad looked like dark horses for the title after an excellent start to the season but the fragility of their squad has been shown up by a run of eight games without a win in all competitions, including Saturday's 2-1 defeat at struggling Levante.
Coach Imanol Alguacil told worried fans to keep believing, but unless they can bounce back in Tuesday's showdown at home to leaders Atletico Madrid they will be written off altogether.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Peter Rutherford)