Sports Mole's La Liga Team of the Week

Sports Mole's La Liga Team of the Week
© AP Photos
Sports Mole selects its 11 star performers in La Liga following another enthralling week of Spanish football.

Barcelona continued their march towards the La Liga title with a comprehensive win over Real Zaragoza on Sunday, while Real Madrid moved three points clear of third-placed Atletico Madrid with victory over a struggling Athletic Bilbao side.

Barcelona, who were without the injured Lionel Messi, made short work of Zaragoza as they overcame the relegation-threatened outfit 3-0, before Madrid recorded the same margin over Bilbao to move 13 points behind their Catalan rivals.

The action on week 31 commenced on Friday in the Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla. It was the away side that raced into a three-goal lead, but Betis responded to share the points in arguably one of the most pulsating fixtures of the La Liga season to date.

Real Valladolid welcomed Getafe in the opening match on Saturday, with the away team overturning a 1-0 deficit to pick up all three points and consequently move into 13th position in the table. Deportivo La Coruna also continued their sensational run of form with their fourth straight win against a poor Levante side, a result that moved them out of the bottom three.

Another six-goal thriller followed as Espanyol and Valencia shared the points in a 3-3 draw, with four goals scored in the last 10 minutes of the match. The action on Saturday was concluded in fairly low-key style, however, with Malaga recording a 1-0 win over Osasuna.

Real Sociedad strengthened their grip on fourth position with a 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano in Sunday's early start, before Atletico returned to form in style with a thumping 5-0 win over Granada, but it was not enough to move Diego Simeone's side into second position.

The programme of fixtures was completed on Monday as basement outfit Real Mallorca welcomed Celta Vigo, who sat just one place above them in the table at the start of play. It did appear that the points would be shared, but Giovani dos Santos had other ideas as he won it for Mallorca in the final minute of stoppage time.

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

Andres Fernandez (Osasuna)
But for the heroics of Fernandez, Osasuna would have been comfortably beaten by Malaga on Saturday. A late goal from Julio Baptista did seal the home side all three points, but that took nothing away from the 26-year-old's performance. He has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the league this season.

Aythami (Deportivo La Coruna)
To suggest that Deportivo have struggled defensively this season would be one of the biggest understatements of the century, but that was not the case in their 4-0 win over Levante on Saturday. The 27-year-old was the pick of the bunch as he quelled the opposition's attacks on each occasion.
Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)
It hasn't been the best of seasons for the Spanish defender, who has failed to earn a regular spot in the Real Madrid team. However, he proved that he can still compete at this level with a confident and composed display in his side's 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. It may well have put him in contention for the Champions League semi-finals.
Alberto de la Bella (Real Sociedad)
Sociedad continued their sensational run of form with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, but it was their defensive unit which really caught the eye. The 27-year-old, who has been one of the most consistent defenders in the league this season, was once more on top of his game as he demonstrated his ability to attack and defend with equal success.

Cristian Tello (Barcelona)
Barcelona might have been without Messi for the trip to Real Zaragoza on Sunday, but the Argentine was certainly not missed as the Catalan outfit recorded a comfortable 3-0 win. Tello was the star of the show as he scored a goal in either half to wrap up the points. He has now scored seven times in 17 league games this season.
Raul Garcia (Atletico Madrid)
The 26-year-old was in fine form in Atletico Madrid's 5-0 win over Granada on Sunday. Not only was he a composed presence in the middle of the park, he added a goal of his own just past the hour mark in the match. The fact he cannot get a call-up for Spain just further demonstrates the sensational wealth of talent at coach Vicente del Bosque's disposal.
Juan Carlos Valeron (Deportivo La Coruna)
Like Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, Valeron appears to be getting better with age. It is no surprise that the Spaniard has been at the heart of his side's recent four victories in a row. He was at his composed best in the 4-0 win over Levante on Saturday, opening the scoring with a curling effort.
Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol)
The 22-year-old may not be the most technically gifted player in the division, but he has plenty of pace and power. That was in full show in the 3-3 draw with Valencia on Saturday as he scored a fine opener before laying on a late equaliser for Sergio Garcia. The Ghanaian could have a huge role to play for Espanyol next season.

Imanol Agirretxe (Real Sociedad)
The 26-year-old has regained his place in the Sociedad team in recent weeks with Carlos Vela moving into a wide position. He fully justified his selection this weekend with a brace in the 2-0 win against Rayo Vallecano. It was a result that moved his side four points clear of fifth-placed Malaga with seven matches remaining.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
There is little more that can be said for a player who has scored 31 goals in 30 La Liga games this season and 143 in 131 league games for Real. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Portuguese was up to his old tricks in the 3-0 win over Bilbao, opening the scoring after two minutes before adding his second 20 minutes from time.
Giovani dos Santos (Real Mallorca)
The Mexican scored the decisive goal as Mallorca recorded a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo in their relegation six-pointer on Monday. It was a match that struggled to provide real quality, but the former Tottenham Hotspur attacker radiated class with each touch. It would be a surprise if he didn't join one of the premium clubs in Spain at the end of the season.

Gonzalo Higuain
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona2017305794854
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Real Madrid19105439182135
5Villarreal2010462822634
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7Celta Vigo208483528728
8EibarEibar208482532-728
9GironaGirona207672929027
10Real Betis208393341-827
11Getafe207672520527
12Athletic Bilbao206862322126
13Leganes197481719-225
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad206593436-223
16AlavesAlaves2061131629-1319
17Levante203981628-1218
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2044122244-2216
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga2033141434-2012
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