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 top performers in Spain following another pulsating weekend of action in La Liga.

The battle for second position in La Liga gathered pace this weekend as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid both picked up comprehensive wins, while Lionel Messi scored in his 18th league match in a row as Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano.

Real recovered from 2-1 behind on Saturday to record a 5-2 win over Mallorca and move clear of Atletico in second position, but Diego Simeone's side cut the gap to one point with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Osasuna on Sunday.

Real had moved temporarily to within 10 points of Barcelona, but the Catalan outfit restored their 13-point gap at the summit with a 3-1 win over Rayo at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

The action on week 28 got underway on Friday with Deportivo La Coruna picking up a vital three points in their relegation six-pointer against Celta Vigo, but the 3-1 win was not enough to move them off the foot of the table.

Real Sociedad moved into fourth position in the opening match on Saturday as they recorded a 4-1 win over Real Valladolid. Getafe then welcomed Athletic Bilbao, with the home side picking up a 1-0 victory to continue their pursuit of a European position in the latter stages of the season.

Valencia also continued their pursuit of the top four with an impressive 3-0 win over Real Betis, whose indifferent league form has placed their European hopes in doubt.

Sunday's action was opened by Malaga and Espanyol, with the away side picking up a 2-0 win as Manuel Pellegrini's side's league form continued to stutter. Sevilla also returned to winning ways with a thumping 4-0 win over 10-man Real Zaragoza.

While Barcelona made light work of Rayo, Granada and Levante were also in action, with the points being shared during a fairly uneventful 1-1 draw.

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

Kiko Casilla (Espanyol)
The 26-year-old stopper is without question one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the league. His performances have not gone unnoticed in recent weeks, however, with the 26-year-old in stunning form. He continued that high standard with a dominant display in his side's 2-0 win against Malaga on Sunday.

Silvio (Deportivo La Coruna)
The 25-year-old was at his defensive best in Deportivo's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo on Friday, but there is also another reason for his spot in this team. With his side struggling in the second period, the Portuguese thumped a 30-yard strike into the top corner to send Deportivo into a two-goal lead.
Sergio Escudero (Getafe)
With his side coming under pressure in the latter stages of their 1-0 win over Bilbao on Saturday, the 23-year-old defied his tender years with an experienced performance. Not only was he powerful in the air, but he was prepared to take an extra touch where necessary in order to build from the back.
Coke (Sevilla)
The 25-year-old put in a man-of-the-match display in his side's 4-0 win over Real Zaragoza on Sunday. Not only was the Spaniard a dependable performer in defence, he scored twice as Sevilla continued their solid run of form at the Estadio Ramon.

Jose Antonio Reyes (Sevilla)
It has a been an indifferent season for the Spaniard as he continues to spend periods out of the team, but he was in fine form in Sevilla's 4-0 win over Real Zaragoza on Sunday. Along with Jesus Navas, the Spaniard caused all sorts of problems with his pace and movement, while he added his side's third just past the hour mark.
Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad)
After a difficult start to the season, Griezmann has really started to find his form for Real Sociedad. He struck twice in their 4-1 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday, with the opposing side simply unable to deal with his pace and movement. The 21-year-old has been a key cog in their push into the top four.
Koke (Atletico Madrid)
The Spaniard has emerged into a key player for Atletico Madrid this season, with his form continuing this weekend against Osasuna. It was the youngster that provided both goals for Diego Costa in the 2-0 win, while his all-round display was of a high standard.
Giovani dos Santos (Real Mallorca)
His side may have been on the end of a 5-2 defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday, but once more the Mexican was one of the star performers. He assisted both of Mallorca's goals in the Spanish capital, while his movement caused all sorts of problems. He has the ability to be gracing a side at the top end of the table.

Riki (Deportivo La Coruna)
It is no coincidence that Deportivo's best performance of the season came as Riki returned to the team. In the relegation six-pointer, the Spaniard struck the opener in his side's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo. His performances will go a long way to shaping their survival hopes.
Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)
It hasn't been the best of seasons for the Argentine, but he returned to form with two goals and an assist in Real Madrid's 5-2 win over Mallorca on Saturday. He struggled in the first period, but thrived alongside Karim Benzema as space began to open up in the second half.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Just the average night of football for the Argentine in his side's 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. Two goals, one assist. His first of the evening made sure that he scored in his 18th league match in a row. Another stunning display from the record breaker.

Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata scores against Rayo Vallecano on February 17, 2013
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2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
4Real Madrid1895432171532
7Real Betis198383336-327
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
20Las PalmasLas Palmas1932141446-3211
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