It was a key match round for second placed Real Madrid, and fourth placed Valencia, as they were the only two sides in the top seven to manage wins. Celta Vigo meanwhile had a huge win margin, while Almeria sealed a really crucial win.
No surprises, it’s the Andalusian side’s goalkeeper Ruben who gets the nod in goal in our team of the round. Almeria had Ruben to thank for a rare win and clean sheet. The 30-year-old saved all of Granada’s shot on target, and provided a reliable platform for Sergi Barjuán’s men to grab a 3-0 win.
Valencia had to do without the services of first choice left back Jose Gaya on Monday night, in their 3-0 derby victory over rivals Levante. However, stand-in left back Lucas Orban made sure Gaya wasn’t missed one bit. The 26-year-old Argentine delivered an impeccable performance in the game, both defensively and offensively. Orban had a game-high seven tackles, and he also grabbed the assist for Los Che’s second of the night with a good cross to Sofiane Feghouli.
Despite conceding twice against Barca, Sevilla defender Daniel Carrico is included in our team due to his commendable show in Sevilla’s 2-2 scoreline at the Sanchez Pizjuán. Carrico was one major reason Barcelona didn’t earn all three points, especially in the second half when he put up a classy show.
Joining Carrico in defence is Ángel Trujillo, who kept a clean sheet with Almeria. But it wasn’t just the defensive aspect of his game he excelled at, Trujillo was also at his best on the front foot, claiming the assist for Almeria’s first goal.
Finally in defence is Real Madrid right back Alvaro Arbeloa. Not the most celebrated in Real’s galaxy of stars, but he shone bright in a rare start against Eibar last Saturday. The 32-year-old was always willing to join the Madrid attack as they dominated possession, and it was no surprise he was on hand to cross in for Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who headed home a second goal for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Our three man midfield stars the largely unknown Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey. In what was a make or break relegation dogfight for Almeria against Granada, the 21-year-old stepped up big with a massive performance. Thomas won the ball well in the centre of the park, worked hard to close down the opposition—and had three great chances to score vital goals. He converted two of those chances, scoring his side’s first and third goal. Without doubt the Man of the Match.
Ever Banega led Sevilla’s amazing comeback against Barcelona with a fierce strike from over 30 yards out. His goal for the home side just before the halftime break inspired the team, and provided them the platform to earn a 2-2 draw despite trailing 0-2 against league leaders Barcelona.
Finally in midfield, is Sofiane Feghouli, whose creativity and industry helped Valencia to a 3-0 win at the Mestella against city rivals Levante. While he was on the pitch, the Algerian was buzzing. And he got exactly what he deserved when he headed home for his side’s second goal.
In attack, we start with Atletico Madrid’s goal machine Antoine Griezmann, who was yet again on target for the Rojiblancos. The French international scored twice – the first goal of the game, to put Atleti 1-0 up, and the last of the game – as Diego Simeone’s side struggled to a 2-2 scoreline at La Rosaleda.
Nolito did not score in his side’s 6-1 win over Rayo on Saturday, but he had a hand in most of his side’s goals, and was a thorn in Rayo’s flesh. The Spanish international claimed the assist for three goals in what was yet another superb showing from the 28-year-old.
Man of the moment, Santi Mina rounds up our team of the week in grand style. The 19-year-old attacker who’s come through from the Celta academy, scored four of Celta Vigo’s goal in the 6-1 trouncing of Rayo Vallecano, becoming the youngest player in La Liga history to score four goals in one game. A perfect game for him to introduce himself. Remember that name – Santi Mina!