The Spaniard put in a towering performance for Barcelona on Sunday as the Blaugrana earned a narrow 1-0 victory away at Atletico Madrid. While Lionel Messi will probably take the headlines due to his winning goal, Pique was Barca's best player on the night, ensuring the hosts never really got a sniff of too many chances. He won 8/12 duels, 100% of his tackles, 5/7 aerial duels, and made four ball recoveries, two interceptions, and five clearances. He saw plenty of the ball playing out from the back, too, completing 81 out of 86 attempted passes.
One player who didn't deserve to be on a losing side this weekend was Zambo Anguissa, whose good performance against Valencia proved to be in vain as the Yellow Submarine lost 2-1. It was the Fulham loanee who initially got Villarreal back into contention, scoring an equaliser nine minutes after the break with a lashed finish into the bottom left corner after the ball broke fortuitously to him just inside the box. His best work arguably came in deeper areas, though, as he won 12/19 duels and made a huge 10 ball recoveries.
Real Sociedad recovered from the loss against Real Madrid by comfortably defeating Eibar 4-1, with Odegaard the star of the show with a goal and an assist. He helped the home side take the lead by setting up the opening goal for Robin Le Normand with a superb, curled free-kick into the area for the substitute to glance a header into the net. His best moment was yet to come, though, as he scored one of the goals of the weekend with a magnificent, whipped left-footed strike into the top left corner from the edge of the box. Six ball recoveries, too, so he worked hard.
The match-winner in the mammoth clash between Atletico and Barcelona was, almost predictably, Messi, as the Argentine popped up with a lovely finish into the bottom corner after a one-two with Luis Suarez to make it 1-0 with four minutes to go. He was always the most likely player to break the deadlock as he, by far, made the most passes into the final third than any other player in Spain this weekend with 41, as well as completing more dribbles than anyone else with nine.
Athletic made it three consecutive league wins this weekend after overcoming Granada 2-0 to move up to fifth in the table ahead of Atletico. A major contributing factor to the victory was the complete midfield performance of Lopez, who was superb. As well as assisting the second goal of the game for Yuri Berchiche, he sent nine crosses into the box from deep areas, won 100% of his tackles, and made nine ball recoveries. He also completed 64 out of 67 attempted passes.
Jasper Cillessen (8.3) was key to Valencia winning in the game against Villarreal, keeping the visitors largely at bay with six saves, including one from a penalty to deny Gerard Moreno, and nine ball recoveries.
ROUND TO FORGET