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Sports Mole's La Liga Team of the Week

Sports Mole picks out its 11 star performers from another weekend of enthralling La Liga football.

There are now just two points separating La Liga leaders Real Madrid and second-placed Barcelona following another pulsating round of fixtures in Spain's leading division.

Barcelona initially cut the gap to just one point with a 3-1 win at struggling Granada on Saturday, before Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Villarreal at the Bernabeu in Sunday's late start.

Reigning champions Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, are now seven points off the summit following a 0-0 draw with top-four hopefuls Sevilla, who now sit seven points behind fourth-placed Valencia, who beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Mestalla.

Week 25's action opened on Friday evening and it was a fairly low-key affair, with Espanyol dispatching basement side Cordoba by just the one goal.

On Saturday, as mentioned, Barcelona won at Granada, before Rayo Vallecano beat Levante 4-2 courtesy of a four-goal haul from Alberto Bueno, with all four of the Spaniard's strikes coming in a 15-minute spell in the first period.

Almeria and Deportivo La Coruna played out a 0-0 draw in the penultimate match on Saturday, before Malaga beat Getafe 3-2 in Madrid.

As touched on, Sunday proved key in the race for the top four, while Eibar's struggles continued as they lost their sixth successive league match with a 1-0 defeat at home to Athletic Bilbao.

The week's action concluded on Monday evening as Elche scored late on to secure a point in a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo.

Here, Sports Mole picks out its 11 star performers from another weekend of enthralling La Liga football.

Sergio Asenjo (Villarreal)
Asenjo was beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo from the penalty spot in Villarreal's 1-1 draw against Real Madrid, but nothing else found its way past the stopper. The Spaniard made three or four excellent saves, but his standout moment came when he somehow saved a point-blank Ronaldo header late on.

Mario Gaspar (Villarreal)
With Villarreal lining up at the Bernabeu with an under-strength XI, they needed their experienced players to perform. Mario answered that call, with the Spaniard producing a real captain's performance at the heart of the defence. He made a number of crucial interceptions and challenges in Madrid.
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico came under a lot of pressure in the second half of their 0-0 draw against Sevilla on Sunday, but managed to keep their clean sheet intact. Much of that was down to the performance of Godin, who was again excellent at the heart of the defence. Has maintained such a high level over the last 12 months.
Carlos Gurpegi (Athletic Bilbao)
A couple of injuries to key defenders has seen Gurpegi enjoy a run in the Bilbao team and the centre-back has taken his chance. He was excellent at the heart of the defence against Eibar on Sunday, while it was the Spaniard's goal towards the end of the first period that ultimately secured the points.

Pablo Piatti (Valencia)
Piatti's performances in recent weeks and have been of a high level and that was again the case at the weekend. The Argentine, who has played both wing-back and wide midfield this season, netted both goals in Valencia's 2-0 win over Real Sociedad, who found the 25-year-old difficult to contain.
Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)
The Croatian was in excellent form this weekend as Barcelona recorded a comfortable 3-1 win at Granada. Rakitic opened the scoring with a close-range finish, before setting up Luis Suarez for the away side's second. It was a classy midfield performance from the 26-year-old.
Sergi Darder (Malaga)
Darder was excellent in Malaga's 1-0 win at Barcelona last weekend and he continued that form in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Getafe. The midfielder, who has been strongly linked with a move away from La Rosaleda, scored an absolute stunner in the second period – rattling one into the top corner from distance.
Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano)
Bueno struck four times for Rayo during 15 first-half minutes on Saturday as the capital outfit overcame Levante 4-2. The 26-year-old's goals came in front of Spain boss Vicente del Bosque, who certainly would have taken note. It was just an afternoon where everything went right for the forward.

Alvaro Vasquez (Getafe)
Getafe were a touch unfortunate not to take something from their trip to Malaga on Saturday, with the capital side playing well in a 3-2 defeat. Their star on the night was Vasquez, who netted twice in the second period. Malaga's defence found the Spaniard really tough to contain at La Rosaleda.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
The Uruguay international continued his strong form for Barcelona with a goal and an assist in their 3-1 win at Granada. Suarez could have easily scored his side's third, but instead, somewhat surprisingly, played in Lionel Messi for a close-range finish. Continues to improve in a Barca shirt.
Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
The Spaniard had an excellent night as Villarreal claimed a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid on Sunday. Moreno's hold-up play was fantastic, while he got his name on the scoresheet in the second period with a well-taken goal. Real Madrid found the 22-year-old to be a very tricky customer indeed.

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Atletico Madrid's French forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring with Atletico Madrid's Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic beside Almeria's goalkeeper Julian Cuesta during the Spanish league football match Atletico Madrid vs UD Almeria at the Vic
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico23174245162955
2Real Madrid24164442192352
3Barcelona24155453223150
4Sevilla23153534161848
5Real Sociedad24118541202141
6Villarreal2481333325837
7Real Betis24113103238-636
8Levante2471073433131
9Granada2486102941-1230
10Athletic Bilbao2385103327629
11Celta Vigo247892936-729
12Valencia246993032-227
13Osasuna2467112233-1125
14CadizCadiz2467112140-1925
15Getafe2466121730-1324
16AlavesAlaves2457122038-1822
17ElcheElche2349102034-1421
18EibarEibar2449111927-821
19Real Valladolid2449112235-1321
20Huesca24310112135-1419

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