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 weekend of action in La Liga.

Lionel Messi came off the bench to score in his 17th successive La Liga match, breaking a world record in the process, as Barcelona recorded a 2-0 win over basement side Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

The Catalan outfit struggled in the first period, but picked up the three points to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points as they prepare for the visit of AC Milan in the Champions League next week.

Real Madrid also continued their sensational run of form with a 2-1 victory over Celta Vigo, but they needed a controversial penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to take all the points against the struggling outfit, who remain 19th.

The action on week 27 got underway on Friday as Real Betis continued their pursuit of the top four with a 2-1 victory over Osasuna, who are not yet safe from relegation.

Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol opened Saturday's action, with the home side picking up all three points in a 2-0 win, before Malaga's stuttering form continued with a 1-1 draw away at Real Valladolid.

Real Mallorca hosted Sevilla in the final match of the day, with the home side picking up a vital three points to keep their slim survival hopes alive.

Athletic Bilbao shocked Valencia in Sunday's opening match with a 1-0 win at San Mames, before Levante and Getafe shared the points in a dull encounter in Valencia.

Arguably the most attractive fixture of the weekend completed events on Sunday as Atletico Madrid welcomed Real Sociedad, but it ended in disappointment for the capital outfit as Sociedad ended their perfect record at the Vicente Calderon this season with a 1-0 win.

Here, Sports Mole selects its 11 star performers in Spain following another pulsating weekend of action in La Liga.

Daniel Aranzubia (Deportivo La Coruna)
But for the intervention of the 33-year-old, Deportivo would have lost by four or five against Barcelona. With the basement outfit under serious pressure in the opening 30 minutes, Aranzubia produced a masterclass in shot-stopping at the Camp Nou.

Dani Alves (Barcelona)
The Brazilian has arguably been Barcelona's best player during their recent dip in form. The full-back was up to his old tricks once more as his attacking runs caused all sort of problems to Deportivo, while he assisted the opening goal for Alexis Sanchez.
Paulao (Real Betis)
With Betis coming under pressure in the latter stages of their 2-1 win over Osasuna on Friday, the Brazilian was a calming influence as he marshalled the back four. The experienced centre-back has arguably been one of the best defenders in La Liga this season.
Martin Demichelis (Malaga)
The 32-year-old led by example in his side's 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid on Saturday. Aside from his goal, which sent Malaga into the lead, the Argentine was a tower of strength in defence as he won the aerial battle with Manucho.
Alan Hutton (Real Mallorca)
The on-loan Aston Villa defender was in fine form in Mallorca's 2-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday. The Scottish international was quick on the scene in defence, while he was also prepared to demonstrate his attacking instincts. He has really started to settle into his new surroundings.

Markel Bergara (Real Sociedad)
The 26-year-old is not the most technically gifted player in the league, but he put in a fine display in Sociedad's 1-0 win over Atletico on Sunday. His defensive capabilities provided a shield to the back four, consequently restricting Atletico to very few clear opportunities.
Alejandro Dominguez (Rayo Vallecano)
The 31-year-old returned to the scoresheet on Saturday in Rayo's 2-0 win over Espanyol. With his side coming under pressure in the latter stages, the experienced midfielder was prepared to put his foot on the ball, which rubbed off on those around him.
Xabi Prieto (Real Sociedad)
The Spaniard scored the winner in his side's 1-0 win over Atletico on Sunday. Aside from his goal, the combative midfielder demonstrated his wonderful engine with an all-action display. He was everything that his team needed him to be.

Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)
The Spaniard started on the bench as his side welcomed Valencia on Sunday, but he certainly made his mark with a fine winner in the latter stages. With Bilbao struggling in the bottom half of the table, those three points handed them a comfortable cushion.
Giovani dos Santos (Real Mallorca)
Alejandro Alfaro might have scored the goals for Mallorca in their win over Sevilla, but it was the Mexican that produced a man-of-the-match display. The former Barcelona attacker was just everywhere as his pace and movement caused all sorts of problems to the opposing defence.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
It was hardly a vintage display from the Portuguese in Sunday's clash with Celta Vigo. But he ensured that his side moved into second position with a brace against the struggling outfit. Even when he isn't at his best, he still finds the back of the net.

Kaka
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7EibarEibar198382431-727
8Getafe207672520527
9Real Betis198383336-327
10Athletic Bilbao206862221126
11GironaGirona197572828026
12Celta Vigo197483327625
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol196671521-624
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante193971526-1118
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Malaga1932141333-2011
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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