Soccer Football - LaLiga - Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid - Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - September 18, 2022 Real Madrid's Federico Valverde celebrates after the match REUTERS/Susana Vera | SUSANA VERA


Federico Valverde on track to ensure Carlo Ancelotti doesn't have to rip up his coaching badges, while racism once again rears its ugly head and the top four battle is as open as it ever has been.

Here are the talking points from the weekend's action in La Liga.

Valverde keeping Carlo in a profession Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti joked in midweek that he had told midfielder Federico Valverde that he would rip up his coaching badges if the Uruguayan did not score at least 10 goals this season.

It appears the 24-year-old took the threat literally as he bagged his third goal in his last three games in Real's 2-1 win over Atletico on Sunday, taking his tally to four for the season already. If he keeps up this kind of form, Ancelotti will breathe easily.

Racist chants mar Madrid derby

A video emerged in the build up to the game of hundreds of Atletico fans chanting "Vinicius you are a monkey" about the Real Madrid forward - just days after the Brazilian had released a statement condemning the amount of racist abuse he has received thus far in his career.

Spanish football has long had problems with racism, with former Barcelona defender Dani Alves famously eating a banana that was thrown at him when on the pitch in 2014, while last season an Atleti fan who was filmed making monkey gestures at last season's Champions League tie with Manchester United was arrested by police and fined for his behaviour.

La Liga must act swiftly and strongly in response to what occurred. Top four battle open as ever In the past couple of seasons, the top four in Spain has been a closed shop, with Real, Barca, Atleti and Sevilla making the Champions League spots their own.

However, with Atleti and Sevilla both enduring stuttering starts to the season while the likes of Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao flourish, there is every chance the two regulars could miss out on qualification for the European Cup next season unless they find form soon.