La Liga

La Liga: Messi saves Barca blushes...again

After the Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, the Blaugrana got back to winning ways thanks to their captain

 
12:08pm on Monday 9th March 2020
By
Martin Macdonald
Lionel Messi
W (R), F (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Mar 7, 2020

Things were all doom and gloom this time last week as Barca had just been comfortably defeated by Real Madrid. However, they suddenly find themselves top of the league again after Madrid were defeated by Betis, while they themselves squeezed through with a 1-0 win versus Real Sociedad.

Lionel Messi was, of course, the match winner, scoring a penalty with 10 minutes to go after Barcelona spent the majority of the game huffing and puffing to find the opener.

The Argentine had 16 touches of the ball in the opposition half which, to put into context, was seven more than anyone in La Liga this weekend.

In terms of distribution, he completed 33/37 passes, with 22 of those being sent into the final third, while he also completed more dribbles than anyone else in this round, with nine.

Dani Parejo
M (C) - Valencia - 30 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Mar 6, 2020

Another captain's performance now, this time from Dani Parejo, who scored as Valencia lost ground in the race for the Champions League by only earning a point away at Alaves.

He certainly deserved to be on a winning side, though, and scored Valencia's only goal of the game 10 minutes before half-time with a brilliant free-kick whipped high into the top left corner from 25 yards.

His passing was, as usual, excellent as he completed 81/90 balls to team-mates and won 9/12 duels.

Óscar
M, AM (C) - Leganés - 21 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.3
Mar 8, 2020

Leganes pulled off one of the surprises of the round in Spain as they came back from a goal down to beat Villarreal 2-1, with Oscar Rodriguez bagging two.

The equaliser for the visitors, which came shortly after half time, was absolutely spectacular as Oscar waits for the ball to bounce on the edge of the box before firing an unstoppable volley in off the crossbar, with the keeper not even able to move on the line to stop it.

The comeback was complete when he confidently dispatched a penalty into the bottom right corner.

Throughout the game, he kept things ticking over for Leganes, with just three misplaced passes out of 30.

Rubén Blanco
GK - Celta - 24 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.3
Mar 7, 2020

High flying Getafe were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Celta Vigo, who just kept themselves afloat above the relegation zone after the point gained.

They have goalkeeper Ruben Blanco to thank for that, as he made six saves within the 90 minutes to deny Celta the opening goal.

The best stop of the bunch came as Mauro Arambarri curled a beauty of the strike destined towards the top right corner, only for the Celta stopper to somehow turn it over the bar with an outstretched arm.

Iñigo Córdoba
AM (L) - Athletic - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.0
Mar 8, 2020

It has been a good week for Athletic, as they followed the win over Villarreal last week with progression to the Copa del Rey final during the week, which was then followed up by a 4-1 win at Real Valladolid.

Inigo Cordoba was the star of the show with a goal and an assist, with the latter coming first as he set up his team's second with a fantastic left-footed cross from the left wing straight on to the head of Raul Garcia.

He impressed throughout the game, even winning 4/5 tackles, and grabbed a deserved goal with a well-taken half-volley which was sent low into the corner from the edge of the area.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Villarreal may have lost to Leganes, but Gerard Moreno (7.8) still put in a decent shift for the Yellow Submarine, scoring what turned out to be their consolation.

ROUND TO FORGET

Valladolid were humbled 4-1 by Athletic, with goalkeeper Jordi Masip (4.3) not providing much protection, if at all, to his goal in behind him. He conceded four, one of which was directly his fault after he allowed Inaki Williams to score into the empty net.

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