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Mario Mandzukic leads this week's La Liga team of the week

Modified 11 Feb 2015, 05:32 IST
Mario Mandzukic celebrates goal with his team-mates

I believe only a very few will argue if we go ahead and name Atletico Madrid the outright team of the round after they pulled off the biggest result (both in scoreline and importance) of the round of matches. But we won’t. Once again this week, there’s a mixture of players from different club sides, including the champions, Barcelona, and Valencia.

In goal this week, Almeria goalkeeper Julian is our pick after he put up a majestic performance for the Andalusia side. Julian pulled off an impressive six saves to help Juan Ignacio Martínez’s side to a 2-1 win away at Cordoba. While Julian was making the saves, defender Macedo was doing the scoring. The 24-year-old Brazilian was the surprise hero for his team, scoring a brace. His effectiveness impressed even more as the two goals were off his only shots of the game – a header and a left footed strike.

Villareal captain Mateo Musacchio also makes the cut in defence after he helped the Yellow Submarines to a clean sheet against Granada. The 24-year-old was solid in defence, making crucial tackles and leading the team from the rear. He also scored his side’s first of the game as they cruised to a 2-0 win.

Damian Suarez continues the roll-call of goalscoring defenders in our Team of the Round. In Monday night’s fixture, the right-sided defender hit a beautiful screamer to help Elche climb out of La Liga’s relegation zone. Elche went on to win 2-0 against 10-man Rayo Vallecano.

Completing the defence is Valencia’s every regular, ever consistent left-back Jose Gaya who put in a remarkable shift for Los Che as they squeezed out a 2-1 win away at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. Hard to believe he’s still only 19, Gaya was one of the star men for his side, claiming the assist for his side’s frist goal, as well as racking a joint game-high five tackles.


In the midfield, Atletico Madrid duo Saul Niguez and Tiago are recognized after they led the team in stifling as well as choking illustrious neighbours Real Madrid in the champions 4-0 win at Vicente Calderon. Tiago scored the first for Diego Simeone’s men with a well drilled strike from outside the area and proved untouchable, running rings around a hapless Real Madrid midfield.
Saul Niguez meanwhile was an early substitute, coming on for Koke after only 10 minutes, and he had to leave the pitch after 71 minutes as well. But in those 61 odd minutes, he was absolutely magnificent. The 20-year-old had a goal (a spectacular overhead goal) and an assist in what was a superb showing. Valencia captain Dani Parejo completes the midfield after he scored the goal that made the difference for Nuno Santos’ team in their 2-1 win against Espanyol.
This week’s three-pronged attack is led by Levante’s hattrick hero David Barral whose goals gave Levante an unlikely 4-1 win at home against Malaga. Atletico Madrid’s Mario Mandzukic was also at his best in the Madrid derby, scoring one and assisting another as the league champions crushed Real Madrid.
Finally upfront is the unstoppable Lionel Messi. No surprises here. Messi played arguably his best game of the season against Athletic Bilbao and was the focal point of the Blaugrana’s attack in a 5-2 win. The Argentine forward scored Barca’s first before assisting another two goals.
Published 11 Feb 2015, 05:22 IST
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