It was a Match-Round blessed with so many goals, with only one game, the clash at the San Mames between Athletic Club and visitors Granada the only fixture to produce less than two goals. It’s therefore not a surprise that most of our picks for the Team of the Round either scored, assisted, or had a hand in their side’s goals.
In goal, Almeria goalkeeper Ruben Matinez was solid for the Andalusian side as their ten men held on to steal all 3 points at Anoeta.
Though Almeria were aided by the woodwork many times in the game, Martinez still managed to make a total 5 saves. He also masterfully controlled his defence and area, winning 100% of his aerial duels and making sure La Unión were in control in set pieces and when defending aerial balls.
Mauro Dos Santos joins teammate Martinez after getting the goal that made the difference for Almeria. The Argentine defender put the visitors two up with a header just after half time and proved reliable defensively, helping Almeria hold on for their first three points of the season. Villareal captain Mateo Musacchio continues the cast of defenders after playing a key role in Villareal’s comeback win at home against Rayo Vallecano.
The Yellow Submarines were two down after just half an hour in the game, but bounced back emphatically to record a 4-2 win. Musacchio played his part by scoring the goal that drew his side level and helped his side defensively, making more tackles (4) than any player on both teams. It was yet another inspirational display from him.
On Friday in the first match of the round, Eibar big man Raúl Albentosa was crucial, scoring an all-important second goal to relax the nerves of the newly promoted side. It was a superb display from the centreback and one which ensured they got all three points at Elche with a 0-2 scoreline.
Completing the defence is Real Madrid leftback Marcelo who was at his menacing best for the European Champions in their record 8-2 win at Raizor against a hapless Deportivo La Coruna side.
Marcelo weighed in with two assists, had as many tackles (4) as any other player on the pitch as well as maintain an enviable pass accuracy of 94%. He’s gradually getting to the level that saw him respected as one of the world’s best leftbacks.
Barcelona’s Crotian midfielder Ivan Rakitic leads the trio of midfielders after running the show from the middle for the league leaders. Rakitic was had a game high 140 touches, and was involved in most of the attacking moves for Barca. The former Sevilla man was rewarded for his great show with a screamer of a goal – one that will be remembered for a very long time.
Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes makes the cut as well after finishing off the move of the match as Los Che emphatically took apart a lifeless Getafe side at the Coliseum.
James Rodriguez’s wonder strike was one of the highlights of Real Madrid’s 8-2 dismantling of Deportivo La Coruna. The former Monaco had what was arguably his best match for the Los Blancos, and pulled his weight as well from a defensive point of view.
Up front, Lionel Messi showed the side to his game that we are starting to see more of this season – the provider. La Pulga may have lost a penalty in the game but he still turned up with a Man of the Match performance for Barcelona as they cruised to a 5-0 victory at Levante. Messi scored Barca’s 5th of the night and provided 2 assists to take his season tally so far to 4, thus becoming the league’s top assist giver.
Cristiano Ronaldo sprang to life early in Real Madrid’s 8-2 win at Deportivo La Coruna, and never looked backed. He completed his hattrick after 78th minutes, and was always probing as well as asking questions of Germán Lux in goal for the home side. It was his 24th hattrick for Real Madrid, and the days of niggling injuries in his knee and thigh seems to be a thing of the past.
Villareal youngster Luciano Vietto came off the bench to bag the two goals that made the difference in Villarreal’s 4-2 victory over Rayo.