Sports Mole's La Liga Team of the Week

Sports Mole's La Liga Team of the Week
© PA Photos
Sports Mole selects its 11 star performers in Spain following another pulsating week of La Liga action.

Lionel Messi scored his 300th league goal for Barcelona on Saturday as the Catalan outfit came from behind to pick up a 2-1 win over a revitalised Granada, while Atletico Madrid won on the road for the first time since November with a 3-0 win over Real Valladolid.

The action got underway on Friday with Sevilla recording a 3-1 win over basement outfit Deportivo La Coruna, as the away side's troubles continued.

Saturday was also full of drama as Getafe recorded three much-needed points against struggling Celta Vigo, while Malaga consolidated fourth position in the table with a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Messi then scored twice as Barcelona picked up the three points against Granada, before Osasuna were 1-0 winners over Real Zaragoza in the relegation six-pointer of the weekend.

Sunday also provided much excitement as Real Sociedad and Levante shared the points in a 1-1 draw, before Valencia scored twice in the second period to beat struggling Real Mallorca. Atletico also moved to within 12 points of leaders Barcelona with an impressive win over a disappointing Valladolid outfit.

The weekend ended with Real Madrid against Rayo Vallecano, with the former scoring twice in the first period to record a 2-0 win. Meanwhile, Espanyol continued their stunning run of form with a 1-0 victory over a struggling Real Betis side.

Here, Sports Mole selects its 11 top performers in La Liga following another enthralling week of action in Spain's top division.

Willy Caballero (Malaga)
The 31-year-old has been a fixture in this team all season, but with his performance against Bilbao on Saturday, he simply has to be given the goalkeeping spot once more. In my opinion, the Argentine has been the best stopper in La Liga this season and demonstrated that once more with a series of fine stops at the weekend.

Federico Fernandez (Getafe)
The 23-year-old was in fine form in his side's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday. The Argentine scored the decisive third goal for Getafe, while he also impressed with his positional ability. It was a performance that defied his tender years.
Diego Lugano (Malaga)
The Uruguayan was at his towering best in his side's 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. Malaga came under pressure, especially in the second period, but the experienced defender was unfazed as he used his positional ability to sniff out each threat.
Diego Mainz (Granada)
The 30-year-old was the star performer in a Granada defence that came close to picking up a point against Barcelona. Unfortunately for the home side they could not hang on, but it did not take anything away from the Spaniard's performance, who was sensational all evening.
Ricardo Costa (Valencia)
Just when his side needed the experienced defender to come up with the goods, he thumped a header into the back of the net in their 2-0 win over Real Mallorca on Sunday. He was also a calm head as the Mestalla outfit came under pressure in the second period.

Gary Medel (Sevilla)
The 25-year-old is not really known for his goal-scoring expertise, but he scored twice in Sevilla's 3-1 win over Deportivo on Friday. However, it wasn't just his goals that impressed, with the Chilean a willing worker throughout the 90 minutes.
Michael Essien (Real Madrid)
The Ghana international was in fine form in Madrid's 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder was prepared to do the leg work in midfield, but also demonstrated his underrated ability on the ball. He was certainly their star performer.
Kaka (Real Madrid)
The Brazilian has not been given too many chances this season, but it must not be forgotten that he was once the best player in the world. That explosive pace may have deserted him, but his touch and brain remains unharmed. On this form, he is still up there with the best.

Odion Igahlo (Granada)
The 23-year-old was in fine form on Saturday as he opened the scoring in his side's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona. Even when Granada were under pressure in the second period, the Nigerian was always a threat with his pace and power. I suspect that his performance would have attracted the interest of a few scouts.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
How can you keep the Argentine out of the headlines? Messi scored twice as his side came from behind to beat Granada on Saturday. Not only was it the 14th league game in a row that he had found the back of the net, he also took his tally to 301 league goals for the club. Just stunning.
Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)
It might not have been the Colombian's most vintage display, but he opened the scoring for his side in their 3-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday. He also caused concern with his pace and physical presence, with the home side simply unable to cope.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal against Celta Vigo on January 9, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Villarreal2010462822634
5Real Madrid1895432171532
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7EibarEibar198382431-727
8GironaGirona207672929027
9Getafe207672520527
10Real Betis198383336-327
11Athletic Bilbao206862322126
12Celta Vigo197483327625
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante203981628-1218
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga1932141333-2011
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