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 Spain following another pulsating week of La Liga action.

Barcelona and Real Madrid both prepared for their upcoming Champions League semi-final encounters with three points in La Liga this weekend, but it was far from straightforward for the top two in Spain.

Much-changed Barcelona, who had Eric Abidal in their starting lineup, needed a late strike from Cesc Fabregas to pick up all three points against Levante, while Madrid stumbled to a 3-1 win over Europe-chasers Real Betis at the Bernabeu.

Week 32 opened on Friday as Real Mallorca welcomed Rayo Vallecano to the Iberostar. It was the away side that took the lead in the early stages, but Mallorca kept their survival hopes alive with a 1-1 draw.

Saturday's action commenced as Granada welcomed Real Valladolid, with the two sides sharing the points in a 1-1 draw, a result that left the home team just one point above the bottom three. Valencia also sustained their pursuit of fourth position with a thumping 5-1 win over a disappointing Malaga at the Mestalla.

Espanyol continued their fine run of form with a 2-0 win against Getafe in the opening match on Sunday, before Deportivo La Coruna and Athletic Bilbao shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the Riazor.

Another draw followed in the clash between Osasuna and Real Sociedad, but the result kept Philippe Montanier's side in fourth position, two points clear of fifth-placed Valencia.

The glamour tie of the weekend followed as Sevilla welcomed Atletico Madrid to the Seville. The untidy affair brought just the one goal, however, with Radamel Falcao winning it for Atletico in the latter stages.

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

Ruben (Rayo Vallecano)
With Mallorca going in search of back-to-back league wins against Rayo Vallecano on Friday, the away side's shot-stopper had to be in fine form. Not only did the 28-year-old make a number of his key saves, he also demonstrated his wonderful distribution and aerial prowess. It was a confident display from the Spaniard.

Alan Hutton (Real Mallorca)
The 28-year-old Scot further enhanced his La Liga reputation with a buccaneering display in Mallorca's 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Friday. The on-loan Aston Villa right-back was not only defensively sound, but he also demonstrated his attacking instincts.
David Navarro (Levante)
His side may have been on the end of a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona on Saturday, but that did not take anything away from Navarro's performance. The Spaniard marshalled David Villa throughout the 90 minutes, while he was also prepared to put his foot on the ball when he deemed it necessary.
Miranda (Atletico Madrid)
The Brazilian was at his composed best in Atletico's 1-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday. While many of his teammates lost their discipline in the red-hot atmosphere, the centre-back demonstrated his fantastic temperament. He has been one of the outstanding defenders in the league this season.
Aly Cissokho (Valencia)
The French defender was simply stunning in Valencia's 5-1 win over Malaga on Saturday. The highlight arrived when the left-back moved past three players before laying on the opening goal for Dani Parejo; his pace and power caused problems to the opposition all evening.

Dani Parejo (Valencia)
The 23-year-old was the star of the show as Valencia recorded a 5-1 win over Malaga on Saturday. The Spaniard has struggled to win a regular spot in the team this season, but a goal in an all-round impressive display will certainly have aided his chances of regular football.
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
It wasn't vintage Real Madrid in their 3-1 win over Real Betis on Saturday, but once more the German international radiated class with each touch. He opened the scoring in first-half stoppage-time before adding his second in the final minute. He has developed into one of Madrid's invincibles this season.
Patrick Ebert (Real Valladolid)
It is no coincidence that Valladolid struggled while the German was on the sidelines. The 26-year-old made up for lost time with a wonderful goal in his side's 1-1 draw with Granada on Saturday. Valladolid will do well to keep him at the end of the season.
Joan Verdu (Espanyol)
It is no surprise that Verdu has been at the heart of Espanyol's fine form in the second part of the season. The Spaniard further demonstrated his ability with a wonderful opener in his side's 2-0 win over Getafe on Sunday. Aside from his goal, the playmaker was also prepared to perform his defensive work in the second period.

Roberto Soldado (Valencia)
The 27-year-old continued his impressive season with a double in Valencia's 5-1 win over Malaga on Saturday. Aside from his brace, he led the line with intelligence and awareness. It has been a golden season for the Spanish striker.
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)
The Spaniard, who will join Juventus at the end of the season, has endured a largely frustrating campaign on the sidelines. However, he demonstrated his undisputed ability with a fine header in an impressive display against Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

Espanyol's Sergio Garcia celebrates his goal on December 16, 2012
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico1912612882042
3Valencia19124340192140
4Real Madrid1895432171532
5Villarreal199462621531
6Sevilla199282328-529
7Real Betis198383336-327
8EibarEibar198382431-727
9Getafe197572318526
10GironaGirona197572828026
11Celta Vigo197483327625
12Athletic Bilbao196762019125
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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