Whilst both Barcelona and Real Madrid enjoyed convincing wins over the weekend, the real story was Valencia’s 3-1 defeat of Sevilla. On the other end of the table, after four straight defeats, Osasuna finally got off the mark with a 2-1 victory over Elche, whilst Almeria once again failed to capitalize after taking a two goal lead, as they could only draw 2-2 with Levante.
Atletico Madrid continued their winning start to the season by beating Valladolid in a round of games, which saw three nil-nil draws. So, let us look who made it into this week’s La Liga XI.
GK: Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Although Barcelona scored four goals in their game over the weekend, their player of the game was without a doubt their goalkeeper who pulled out a string of amazing saves right throughout the game. In the process, he also managed to save his second penalty in three days.
Whilst all the focus has been on Barcelona’s famed attack, and rightly so, Valdes has once again showed just why he is revered by the Nou Camp faithful, by putting in another amazing performance behind the goal.
RB: Javi Chica (Real Betis)
Javi Chica’s tackling was a big factor in helping his side to a nil-nil draw over Granada. The right back was at his best, whilst stopping the attacks and also played a pivotal part in starting a few attacks from the right hand side. With five tackles, the defender ensured that nothing got past him and also managed to go forward enough to take two shots at goal.
CB: Antonio Amaya (Real Betis)
If Chica had a stellar all-round game against Granada, Antonio Amaya was the bed rock in the centre of defence and let nothing pass him as he helped his side to their second clean sheet in just five games. Whilst Chica was all action, Amaya was calm and composed in the centre of defence and his positional prowess meant that he was always in the right place at the right time, to sniff out any danger.
CB: Pepe (Real Madrid)
After a bad day against Villareal, Pepe was back to his best against Getafe with a solid performance in defence. He even capped his performance with a goal, early in the game, which started an avalanche of Real attacks. Pepe once again showed that, on his day, there are few defenders who can match his prowess in both boxes.
LB: Zakarya Bergdich (Valladolid)
Although his team ended up losing to Atletico Madrid, Bergdich acquitted himself very well and did a great job of ensuring that the opposing winger and fullback didn’t cause too much harm. He made some crucial tackles and was one of the main reasons why Atletico didn’t score and even managed to dribble past the winger, to start a couple of attacks and was the sole shining light from any otherwise dismal performance from the home side.
CM: Victor Sanchez (Espanyol)
In a game which saw five goals and plenty of goal mouth action, it was Victor Sanchez’s two goals and his tackling that made the difference as Espanyol beat Athletic Bilbao 3-2. Aside from his two goals, the Spanish central midfielder also made eight tackles, the most of any player this weekend and ensured that he was calm even when it was chaos all around him.
CM: Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
For the first time in over five years, Barcelona had less than 50% of the possession, but that didn’t stop Fabregas from having one of his best days as a Barca player, as the Spaniard made the most of what little possession they enjoyed.
Having played a lot of through balls and creating an assist for Pedro, the former Arsenal midfielder capped off a fine performance with a well taken finish, towards the end of the game. The game demonstrated his ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and showed that he is more than an able deputy for Xavi, and in the long run, looks well placed to replace him.
RAM: Fede (Valencia)
Playing in only his second ever game for the club, Fede put in a performance and a half and ran the show to save his coach’s blushes as Valencia beat Sevilla 3-1. Fede excelled in both aspects of his game, not only did he provide an assist and have six shots on goal, he also had the most tackles of any player on the pitch and was a constant menace to Sevilla’s defence throughout the game.
CAM: Pedro (Barcelona)
It is not often that Lionel Messi finishes a La Liga game without a goal. But Pedro’s striking exploits meant that Messi played more as a creator against Rayo Vallecano. Whilst there were grumblings about a move in the summer, the Spaniard has stayed put and is now reaping the rewards. All three goals that he scored were a joy to watch and it is perhaps with him in mind that Barcelona let go of David Villa. On Saturday’s evidence, he looks more than capable of filling Davis Villa’s huge boots.
LAM: Suso (Almeria)
On loan from Liverpool, Suso had had an immediate impact at Almeria. He was brilliant once again against Levante, but couldn’t help Almeria to victory as they could only draw 2-2. He was superb on Sunday, as he scored a goal, created another by virtue of winning a penalty and had four shots on goal, whilst also completing six successful dribbles.
ST: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
For only the second time this season, Messi failed to score a goal in a league game. But the thing about the Argentine is that even when he is bad, he is still better than most and that showed during the game against Rayo, when he wasn’t at the peak of his powers, but still managed to notch up an assist to his name. He also completed a staggering six dribbles throughout the game and is still the leading goal scorer in La Liga this season with six goals so far.