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La Liga team of the week – match week eight

ANALYST
Modified 09 Oct 2013, 09:56 IST
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Diego Costa leading Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the scoring charts

Diego Costa leading Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the scoring charts

Eight wins out of eight for two teams for the first time in the history of the La liga and it’s no wonder Atletico Madrid and Barcelona dominate our pick for the eleven players with the best showing and performance after Match week 8. Time to reward hard work and quality as well as honourable feats and achievements! It’s La Liga Blog’s team of match week eight!

In goal this week, we opt for the outstanding Celta Vigo shot-stopper, Yoel. The only player who finished on the losing side in this week’s team, Yoel shone like a million stars stopping Atletico Madrid time and again from finishing the job against Celta. The former Spanish Under 21 goalkeeper had an amazing ten saves throughout the match, including a Diego Costa penalty.

We stick with a 3-man defence, and this week’s trio is led by Real Madrid centre-back, Sergio Ramos who was in top form for the capital side as they battled in a hard fought 3-2 win over Levante in Valencia. The former Sevilla man was influential on both ends of the pitch, grabbing Real’s crucial first equaliser minutes after Levante went ahead, as well as defending with vigour whenever Levante   threatened. Surprisingly too, Ramos had a total 111 touches in the match, more than any player on both sides.

Miranda is the first of two Atleti players in this week’s team, and he slots in at centre-back with Ramos. The Brazilian was a rock in defence for Atletico Madrid as he did a yeoman’s job to thwart the periodic attacks from Celta Vigo. Always willing to put in a crucial tackle, Miranda made a total six tackles, more than any player on both sides.

Completing the backline is Elche’s 26 year-old Spanish defender, David Lomban who was a rock in defence for the newly promoted boys as they fought to acquire all three points against Espanyol. The former Barcelona B defender put in a solid performance, troubling the Espanyol forwards all afternoon.

Cani ran the show for Villareal in their comfortable 3-0 bashing of Granada, and gets the left-midfield position in our 4-man midfield for this week. Cani was huge offensively, providing two crucial assists but also pulled his weight defensively as he made a total of seven assists, only bettered by team mate Javier Aquino(8).

In the heart of midfield are two goal scorers, Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic and Valencia’s Ever Banega. Rakitic continued to almost single handedly bail out Sevilla and salvage the Andalusinas all three points with a late header against an inspired Almeria in the 2-1 success at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

As he has done time and again this season, the Croatian put in an all-round shift both in defence and offence. Valencia’s Banega once again showed how crucial he is to Valencia’s cause this season as he delivered a man of the match display in his side’s 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames. The Argentine gave a complete showing in the heart of midfield and was on hand to convert Valencia’s only goal from the penalty spot.

On the right side, and completing our 4-man midfield for Match week eight is Getafe’s Pedro Leon who was in world class form as his side saw off a tough challenge from a well-drilled Real Betis side. The former Real Madrid flop got a brace in just 35 minutes on the pitch. The first was a stunning strike from almost 40 yards, and the second, a header after a well-timed run into the Betis area. Not many players can put up a man of the match performance in 35 minutes, Pedro Leon did!

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Upfront, Barcelona forward Neymar makes his debut in our team of the week after he came to the fore for the Catalan giants who continued their record start to a league season with their eighth straight win. The Brazilian made sure Barca didn’t miss the irreplaceable Lionel Messi as he seamlessly slotted into Messi’s preferred ‘false 9’ position, running rings round the Real Valladolid defence as Barcelona romped to a 4-1 win despite trailing to an early goal.

The former Santos man completed the scoring for Barcelona, grabbed an assist, and had more dribbles (nine) than any other player in the ten matches that took place in match week eight. Alexis Sanchez joins his team mate and fellow South American upfront this week. The Chilean was in inspired form scoring twice and providing an assist as he gave Barcelona fans a reminder of what a quality forward he is.

The Primera Division’s top scorer Diego Costa completes the team after another commendable performance that saw him grab two goals to move clear of Lionel Messi on the scorers chart with 10 goals. Despite missing a penalty early in the game, the 25 year-old didn’t drop his head and made a nuisance of himself as the Celta Vigo backline battled to keep up with his strength, skill and pace. We still cannot fathom why the prolific goal scorer is yet to represent any country at senior international level!

So there you have it, our team of the week is complete. Do you agree?

Published 09 Oct 2013, 01:40 IST
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