La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 12: Simon and Robles frustrate opposition with clean sheets

Two scourges of Real Madrid and Barcelona, too.

 
12:19pm on Monday 4th November 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Unai Simón
GK - Athletic - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.9
Nov 3, 2019

In the 0-0 draw between Villarreal and Athletic, the home side had the majority of possession and the most shots on target, but were left frustrated by Simon between the sticks for the Basque outfit, as he saved all seven. Not only that, but he commanded his area with authority, making 11 ball recoveries after deliveries into the box to take the pressure off his defenders. His rating would have been better still if his long balls from the back found a team-mate more often.

Portu
AM (CR) - Real Sociedad - 27 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Nov 3, 2019

Real Sociedad's impressive start to the season continued as they moved up to third ahead of Atletico Madrid after a narrow 2-1 away win at Granada. Portu was the most influential factor in the win, scoring two goals to double his league tally to four for the season. The first came 21 minutes in after he latched on to a gorgeous through-pass from Mikel Oyarzabal to drill an emphatic finish into the bottom corner. His second required a little more finesse, as he showed composure to dance around the goalkeeper before passing into the empty net.

Joel Robles
GK - Real Betis - 29 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.5
Nov 2, 2019

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico all failed to win this weekend, and for the Blancos at least, they can put their failure down to Robles in goal for Real Betis. The former Everton stopper faced 22 shots from Madrid as the hosts battered the Betis goal, with seven of those going on target. He saved every single one, with the best of the bunch coming from close range against Sergio Ramos. The most important came late on, as he dived to save a Dani Carvajal volley before combining with his defenders to clear off the line.

Joaquín Fernández
D, M (C) - Valladolid - 23 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
86'
8.5
Nov 3, 2019

Real Valladolid moved to within goal difference of the top half of the table after a 3-0 victory at home against Mallorca, with Joaquin Fernandez putting in a towering performance in midfield to help them secure the three points. After breaking away to the back post, he opened the scoring with a bullet header across goal, but it was his work deeper which was just as important. He won 8/11 duels, 4/4 aerial duels, and 4/4 tackles, while also making five ball recoveries and two clearances.

Campaña
M, DM (C) - Levante - 26 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
87'
8.3
Nov 2, 2019

Levante moved up to 11th in the Liga table after ending Barcelona's winning run in emphatic fashion, securing a 3-1 win at the Ciudad de Valencia. Barca were poor, but Levante were excellent, driven on by the performance of Jose Campana in midfield. After initially going behind after a Lionel Messi penalty, it would be Campana to drag his side back into contention by latching on to a loose ball inside the box to fire a side-footed half-volley past the keeper. He would then help seal the victory by clipping a free-kick into the box, where Nemanja Radoja would deflect a strike home.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Radoja (8), too, was superb for Levante in that impressive win. Not only did he score the clinching goal, but won the majority of his duels, all of his tackles, and made 10 ball recoveries in midfield.

ROUND TO FORGET

Ruben Duarte was poor as Alaves slumped to a 4-2 loss versus Osasuna, leaving them lingering dangerously close to the dropzone. He only attempted one tackle all day, which he lost, and lost possession nine times as he continually allowed pressure to be put back on his team-mates.

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