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 football.

Real Madrid and Barcelona both scored five on Saturday as the top two in Spain returned to form in impressive fashion with victories over Levante and Real Mallorca respectively.

Jose Mourinho left out Cristiano Ronaldo & Co. for the clash against Levante, but the Portuguese still managed to get among the goals in the latter stages as the home side recorded a thumping 5-1 win.

Barcelona, who were without the injured Lionel Messi, scored four goals in the first period to thrash Mallorca 5-0, who had dropped to the bottom of the table earlier in the day with Deportivo La Coruna overcoming Real Zaragoza in a five-goal thriller.

Real Sociedad also continued their pursuit of Champions League football with a 4-2 win over Malaga, who will not compete in Europe's leading competition next season regardless of their final standing in the league table.

The week's action began on Friday as Real Betis continued their pursuit of the top four with a thumping 5-1 win over Granada, who themselves are now in relegation trouble.

Celta Vigo welcomed Rayo Vallecano in the opening match on Sunday, but it was the away side that picked up all three points in a 2-0 win, before Espanyol edged a tight 2-0 clash against struggling Osasuna.

Atletico Madrid then made the short trip to Getafe in the penultimate match of the weekend, but Diego Simeone's side, who were reduced to nine men, could only draw 0-0 as their push for second stalled.

Valencia completed the weekend's action as they hosted Real Valladolid, with the home side continuing their push for the top four with a 2-1 victory, courtesy of a Jonas header in the third minute of stoppage time.

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

Francisco Casilla (Espanyol)
The Spanish goalkeeper was once more in fine form in Espanyol's 2-0 win over Osasuna on Sunday. The 26-year-old, who has been one of the best stoppers in La Liga this season, made a number of key saves in the latter stages, while his distribution and handling were of the very highest order.

Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid)
The Spaniard has been criticised for his performances in recent months, but he put in arguably his best display of the season in the 5-1 win over Levante on Saturday. Not only was the former Liverpool right-back solid in defence, he demonstrated his ability to link with the forward players.
Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)
The 21-year-old put in another impressive display in Sociedad's 4-2 win over Malaga on Saturday. His performance in the heart of the back four radiated class, while he also got his name on the scoresheet with his side's fourth early in the second period.
Carlos Marchena (Deportivo La Coruna)
At the age of 33, you could forgive Carlos Marchena for showing signs of tiredness at this stage of the season, but it was quite the opposite in the 3-2 win over Real Zaragoza on Saturday. Not only did the Spaniard score his side's second of the match, he stood up to be counted under severe pressure in the latter stages.
Federico Fernandez (Getafe)
The Argentine is part of a Getafe defence that has not conceded in their last five matches in the league. The on-loan Napoli defender was in fine form in the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on Sunday, as he completely quelled the threat of Radamel Falcao.

Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
The German was left on the bench for Madrid's win over Levante with the Champions League in mind, but he still had time to score two goals in the last five minutes to add gloss to the score. There is no question that along with Ronaldo, the playmaker is now one of Mourinho's indispensables.
Ruben Perez (Real Betis)
The 23-year-old once more showed why he is one of the brightest midfielders in the division with a fine display in his side's 5-1 win over Granada on Friday. Not only was the Spaniard intelligent in possession of the ball, he was prepared to drop deeper and demonstrate his defensive capabilities in the latter stages.
Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
The 25-year-old was the star of the show as Barcelona recorded a thumping 5-0 win over Mallorca on Saturday. He scored two and laid on two for Alexis Sanchez in the first period, before completing his hat trick in the early stages of the second half. It was arguably his best performance in a Barcelona shirt.
Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona)
Alongside Fabregas, Sanchez was in stunning form in the win over Mallorca as he scored two and laid on two for his Spanish teammate in a wonderful first half of football. He somewhat faded in the second period, but his performance will certainly have improved his confidence as we approach the business end of the season.

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)
It has not been the best of seasons for the Argentine as he continues to vie with Karim Benzema for the striker role in the Madrid team, but he has hit some form in recent weeks. That run continued in the 5-1 win over Levante as he scored his side's opener with a sensational volley, before assisting Ronaldo in the latter stages.
Ruben Castro (Real Betis)
When Real Betis play well, Ruben Castro is usually right at the heart of their performance. That was certainly the case in their 5-1 win over Granada on Friday as the 31-year-old scored twice in two first-half minutes to move his side into the lead. He is a vital part of their challenge for the top four.

Espanyol's Sergio Garcia celebrates his goal on December 16, 2012
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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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