The 23-year-old goalkeeper passed an important message across to manager Juan Ignacio Martinez by making a massive seven saves, as well as controlling his defence masterfully, which help Almeria to a 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Getafe.
In defence this week, Real Madrid’s Brazilian leftback Marcelo makes a return to the Team of the Round after he imposed himself on the game in Los Blancos 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Sociedad. La Real had taken a shock lead, but Marcelo was influential, and delivered the crucial assist for the world champions equaliser en route their trouncing of David Moyes men. His teammate Sergio Ramos, who’s been in inconsistent form of late, gave credence to the saying that class is permanent by putting Ancelotti’s men in the lead just before the half time break. Both players ensured that Real Madrid were hardly threatened any more (after they conceded first within a minute).
Celta Vigo steadied the ship with a 1-0 win at home against Cordoba after a recent downward slope, and they have former Barcelona man Andreu Fontás for a solid display at the rear. Fontas was reliable in his primary defensive duties, and also played a part in helping the Galician side starve Cordoba of possession.
Sevilla’s Diogo Figueiras completes our four-man defence line for this round after his goal helped Unai Emery’s men to a 3-2 win against Espanyol.
In midfield, Rafinha makes the cut after enjoying what was probably his best performance in a Barcelona shirt. The 21-year-old vindicated Luis Enrique’s decision to give him a start by stepping up big in what was a really testy 3-2 win for Barca at home against Villarreal. He barely put a foot wrong, and had a hand in his side’s first two equalising goals, scoring the second himself.
On Friday, Deportivo La Coruna kept themselves as far away as possible from the relegation zone with a big 2-1 win away from home. 26-year-old holding midfielder Celso Borges was the man who bagged both goals for them. He also paid his part defensively as Depor held on for all three points.
Denis Cheryshev is becoming a constant feature in the Team of the Round, and it’s not so hard to see why. He’s back again this week after he put up a commendable show in the Yellow Submarines 3-2 loss at the Camp nou against second placed Barcelona. The Russian international, who’s now being touted to return to parent club Real Madrid scored Villarreal’s first and was a constant threat to Barce whenever his side moved up on the counterattack.
In attack, the unstoppable Lionel Messi was the difference, scoring the odd goal in Barca’s 3-2 win against Villarreal. Messi may have been stopped by the visitors for long periods, but he
stepped up in grand style to score the goal that kept Luis Enrique’s team on the heels of leaders Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Karim Benzema scored twice – including a wonder strike – as la liga leaders Real Madrid continued their march to the title. His second strike put him level with former world player of the year Ronaldo on league goals for Los Blancos.
Finally on our best XI for Match Round 21 is Athletic Bilbao big man Aritz Aduriz, who scored both goals in his side’s 2-0 win away against bottom side Levante. Enersto Valverde’s side needed a big boost going into the game…the veteran striker was all he needed.