Match Day 8: Team of the Week

Another weekend of thrills and spills in La Liga has come to an end and we have a new leader at the top of the table in Sevilla. Once again Real Madrid and Barcelona faltered but there were also engaging games in Bilbao and Girona over the course of Match Day 8. Here are the best performers from the weekend:

 

Goalkeeper:

Oier Olazabal

The Spaniard played a large part in helping Levante keep a clean sheet at Getafe on Saturday. Olazabal made a number of impressive saves and displayed a solidity that his defenders knew they could rely on.

 

Defenders:

Anaitz Arbilla

Despite conceding twice, Arbilla proved to be one of the most influential players in the Eibar side in terms of mounting a comeback against Girona. His powerful header on the stroke of half time ensured that the visitors went into the break level after a rocky patch saw them concede two quick-fire goals.

Victor Laguardia

Manu Garcia grabbed the headlines after Alavés’s shock win over Real Madrid on Saturday evening but Laguardia was just as important in securing all three points. He managed to keep both Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale quiet and extent Los Blancos’ baron run to eight hours without a goal in all competitions.

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Ezequiel Garay

The Argentine centre-back’s opener against Barcelona put Valencia ahead and, despite Lionel Messi’s goal, Neto was relatively untroubled in goal for the home side. That was mainly due to the help of Garay and his teammates who defended stoutly against a star-studded Barcelona front line.

 

Midfielders:

Luca Sangalli

The Real Sociedad academy product netted his first La Liga goal in the Basque Country Derby with Athletic on Friday evening. His tenacious performance also included winning the first penalty for the visitors after bravely sticking his head where it hurts.

Sergi Darder

The former Lyon man oozed class in Espanyol’s 3-1 triumph over Villarreal at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday. His sweeping finish put the hosts back in front in the 79th minute before another Espanyol goal secured the victory.

Ever Banega

Sevilla’s impressive start to the season continued against Celta Vigo on Sunday and Banega was instrumental in controlling the tempo and pace of the game from midfield. The hosts had the majority of the ball with the Argentina completing more passes than any other player on the pitch.

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Pablo Sarabia

Banega’s teammate proved to be the difference at the Román Sánchez Pizjuán with a goal and an assist. His first-half header was out of Sergio’s reach before he set up Wissam Ben Yedder to double the hosts’ lead after half time.

Mikel Oyarzabal

The match-winner in the Basque Country Derby contributed to La Real’s win with two cool penalties, one in each half. As well as his composure from the spot, Oyarzabal caused problems for Oscar De Marcos all evening and didn’t allow the Athletic full-back to have his usual frequent frolic forward.

 

Forwards:

Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s captain followed up his scintillating display at Wembley in midweek with another key performance as Barça managed a credible yet frustrating draw at the Mestalla. His low drive found the bottom corner on the 23-minute mark to level the scores after Garay’s early opener and steady the ship for the visitors.

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Christian Stuani

Although his side came away from their game with Eibar with nothing, Stuani’s quick-fire double turned the game on its head in the first half. His brace pulled Girona from behind to ahead in a matter of minutes as he climbed to top of the Pichichi standings.

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