Luis Suarez leads the La Liga team of the week after El Clasico heroics
Barcelona took a huge stride towards securing the league title with a crucial 2-1 home win against arch-rivals Real Madrid on Sunday. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Valencia kept up the pressure on the top two with respective home wins. And Europa League kings Sevilla took a key step in their quest to make Europe’s second tier competition yet again.
In the biggest match of the round, it was Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo who kept the Blaugrana in as they held on to defeat Real Madrid at Camp Nou. The Chilean could do little about the goal he conceded, but made sure not to concede another by pulling off strings of inspiring saves, including stopping a Cristiano Ronaldo pile driver.
In defence for this week’s team is yet again another Barcelona player Jeremy Mathieu, who scored the first goal of the Clasico. The Frenchman chose the perfect time to score his first league goal for Barcelona – and what an important goal it was.
Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi is at the heart of defence in our team of the round. The Argentine was yet again at his best last Friday as Los Che thumped Elche 4-0 at the Mestalla. Otamendi put up a show at both ends of the pitch; helping his side keep a clean sheet and scoring a goal at the other end. Athletic Bilbao’s 27-year-old defender Xabier Etxeita joins Otamendi in defence after his opener for the Basque side put them on course for a 2-1 win over Almeria – their fifth straight win in the league.
Completing the defence at right back is Sevilla man Coke, who was arguably the man of the match in Sevilla’s 2-0 win at Madrigal. The right back scored a crucial goal for the fifth-placed team few minutes after the break and laid the platform for a crucial away win.
Further in midfield is Atletico Madrid’s Spanish international Koke. Despite struggling with fitness in recently, he showed glimpses of his extraordinary self on Saturday. The midfielder provided the assist for Fernando Torres’s opener against Getafe and was arguably the best match on the pitch for Real Madrid.
Valencia beat Elche 4-0 in the first game of the round, and they have Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes, who put up a commendable display to thank for the huge scoreline. The 21-year-old scored his side’s first goal, and then claimed the assist for the second which Paco Alcacer converted.
Completing our three-man midfield is the unstoppable Vitolo. The Sevilla man marked his first La Roja call up with yet another goal for Sevilla in their 2-0 win against Villarreal. It wasn’t particularly a classic from the 25-year-old, but he still managed to notch a sixth goal in six competitive games.
In attack, El Clasico hero Luis Suarez is an obvious choice. The Uruguayan’s goal was the difference as Barcelona stretched their lead over Real Madrid to four points. The striker showed excellent composure under pressure to finish from a difficult angle and proved a constant threat to the Madrid defence all game long.
Suarez is joined by Valencia youngster Paco Alcacer, who made it two goals in two games, and played his part in Valencia’s win against Elche. Snubbed from the National Team, the 21-year-old showed exactly what he was capable of pulling off, as he tormented the Elche defence all through the time he was on the pitch.
Imanol Agirretxeis the final name on our team this week. The La Real top striker set the tone for a 3-1 win for his side against eight-man Cordoba by scoring a first half equaliser with a sumptuous header. He leads the line masterfully, hitting more shots than any other player on the night, and he also had an assist to show for his efforts.