La liga table-toppers Barcelona, Real Madrid and Champions Atletico Madrid all sealed crucial victories to maintain the pace at the top and therefore have contributed the bulk of our team for Round 6.
Kiko Casilla wins the right to stay in goal after his sterling performance and saves meant Espanyol left Cordoba with one point in the bag as both sides wrestled to a goalless draw. The former Real Madrid academy goalkeeper was on top of his game again, exuding calmness to control his area in set piece situations, and making 4 crucial saves.
Barcelona rightback Dani Alves seems to be back to his best form these days. He showed glimpses of that as he marauded the right flank against hapless Granada. The Brazilian was always willing to receive the ball as an attacking outlet for Barca, and he was rewarded with a marvelous assist for all his good works.
Hard to imagine where Atletico Madrid will be without the influence of Miranda (and his centre back partner Diego Godin). When he’s not making a last-ditch match-saving tackle, he’s scoring or assisting a goal. Against Sevilla, Miranda showed just why he’s a crucial piece in Diego Simeone’s Atleti team, providing the assist for what was one of the best set piece routine goals you will ever see. His confidence is at an all-time high.
Rafael Varane joins at centre back after his solid display for Real Madrid in their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season. Real Madrid held on for a 2-0 win against Villareal at Madrigal, and it was down to Varane who’s gradually getting back to the form he showed over a year ago.
At left back, Valencia’s 19-year-old Spanish defender Jose Gaya was highly influential as Los Che got a 1-1 draw at Anoeta against a really strong Real Sociedad side. Gaya made a total of 8 tackles; more than any player on the night, and wasn’t scared to bump forward when afforded the opportunity.
In midfield, Getafe have Michel to thank for taking them off the relegation zone. His well taken goal in the 25 minute after a team move ensured they held on for all three points at the Coliseum against 10-man Malaga.
Atletico Madrid duo Koke and Saul Niguez complete our midfield trio. Both players were on target for Los Colchoneros in their 4-0 win over Sevilla. Koke showed that 22, he’s come of age in the Atleti side and he led the team offensively and defensively all game long. 19-year-old Saul Niguez scored his first goal for Atletico Madrid, finishing off a properly executed set piece move for Atleti’s second of the night.
In attack, a rejuvenated Leo Baptistao was the difference as his first half brace secured all three points for visiting Rayo Vallecano in their 2-0 win at Levante. Baptistao seems to be enjoying his football back at his former hunting ground.
Lionel Messi once again showed class in Barca’s 6-0 whitewashing of Granada, delivering two delicious assists and getting a brace himself. It was a Man of the Match performance for the little magician, and he hardly put a foot wrong all match long.
Neymar completes the team of the round after he scored his first league hattrick for Barcelona. He exhibited the desire of a man looking to make things happen as his 7 shots showed. Neymar has now bagged 6 league goals this season.