Enough of Santa’s gifts and all the celebrations that comes with the festive period, the league resumed over the weekend and clubs hit the ground running immediately. At the top, there was certainly no margin for error, and that was very evident in the way Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid dispatched their opponents.
Real Sociedad won the Basque derby otherwise known as the fight for the Champions League giving a solid performance against an impressive Athletic Bilbao side.
Elsewhere, Villareal were in all-conquering mood as they dismantled Rayo Vallecano to keep their European dreams alive.
La liga Blog’s unique Team of the Round is back, and in goal this round is Real Sociedad’s Chilean shot stopper Claudio Bravo after his clean sheet against a rampant Athletic Bilbao side. Bravo had a strong defensive wall in front of him but was equally up to the task whenever called upon to rescue his side.
Almeria’s Sebastián Dubarbier leads our four man defensive line after he proved himself one of the heroes of his side in the Andalucían derby versus Granada. The Argentine left-back got his side’s first and put them on course for a healthy 3-0 win.
Fedirico Fazio was impressive for Sevilla in their 3-0 win over Getafe, leading the side from the back with calm and precise passing as well as grabbing an assist for himself. Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan stalwart Diego Godin continued his great form as he gave the rojiblancos a strong defensive platform in their one goal win against Malaga at the Rosaleda. Atleti continue to boast the best defensive record in the league and also hold on to their joint-top status with Barcelona ahead of the top-of-the-table clash against the league leaders next weekend.
Dani Carvajal was strong defensively and efficient offensively for Real Madrid in their 3-0 drubbing of Celta Vigo on Monday. The Spain Under-21 defender grabbed an assist and was neat in his display managing a 92% pass accuracy as he proved himself one of Real’s top performers on the night.
League’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo wins the left midfield spot after he once again showed his importance for Los Blancos, scoring two late goals to put to bed their 3-0 win over Celta Vigo. The 2013 Ballon D’or nominee was as always a constant goal threat, and didn’t relent until he got his reward-two goals enough to send him above Diego Costa in the race for the Pichichi.
In the heart of midfield, Real Sociedad’s new sensation Ruben Pardo once again proved his quality as one of the fastest developing talents in Spanish football with an all-round display that bellied his age in the Basque derby. Pardo was arguably the man-of-the-match and was rewarded for his good show with a late clincher in what was his only shot of the game. Another youngster who’s looking everyday like a future star Koke gets our second central-midfield spot after proving crucial, scoring Atletico Madrid’s only goal after a well-timed run into the Malaga area. Despite being only 3 years into his professional career, Koke continues to show his importance to Diego Simeone’s side amidst rumours of a potential exit to England.
The second Chilean on the team, Alexis Sanchez stole the show in Barca’s comfortable 4-0 win over Elche on Sunday as he scored a hat trick which included an expertly taken freekick. Surely Sanchez has found a new lease of life under Tata Martino and he oozed confidence, looked assured and quite like he was enjoying his football again, all at the detriment of a hapless Elche side.
From one man who hit a treble to another, Ikechukwu Uche was the star of the night as Villareal ran over Rayo Vallecano in a 5-2 scoreline. The former Zaragoza man who’s seemingly back to his best completed his hat trick in under 54 minutes, and still had time to cost his side a penalty. It’s hard to understand how he can’t get a call up to the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the moment.
Joining the Nigerian and rounding up this week’s team is Sevilla’s Colombian hit man Bacca who ran the show in his side’s 3-0 home win against Getafe. Bacca was a handful and barely put a foot wrong as he had a hand in his side’s 3 goals with one goal and 2 assists.
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