La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 17: Atletico stars show what they can do

Saul and Kieran Trippier feature, with Rafinha leading the way with the best performance of the week.

 
4:01pm on Monday 16th December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Rafinha
M, AM (C) - Celta - 26 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.7
Dec 15, 2019

Celta lost out on a vital three points as Mallorca earned a late 2-2 draw on Sunday, but one player who deserved to be on a winning side was Rafinha, who opened the scoring at Balaidos with a lovely glancing header into the bottom right corner. It was his contributions in other areas which boosted his rating, however, as he sent the second-most passes into the final third out of everyone in the league this weekend, as well as enjoying 102 touches and completing 64/69 attempted passes. He was effective defensively, too, as he won the majority of duels, the majority of his tackles, and the majority of his aerial duels, as well as making nine ball recoveries.

Saúl
M (C), D (L) - Atletico Madrid - 25 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.3
Dec 14, 2019

Atletico won their first Liga match since the start of November thanks to a 2-0 defeat on Osasuna, with Saul Niguez scoring the second 15 minutes from time to take the game beyond the visitors. After darting forward from deep, he exchanged a neat give-and-go with Angel Correa before gliding into the box to calmly finish with confidence past the goalkeeper. He also won 12/20 duels, 10/15 aerial duels, and made nine ball recoveries. Further back, he made two interceptions and five clearances.

Kieran Trippier
D (R) - Atletico Madrid - 29 yrs
90'
8.2
Dec 14, 2019

Kieran Trippier missed a penalty for Atletico a week ago in the Champions League, but made it for it with another positive performance for Los Colchoneros, continuing to adhere himself to his new fans. In this match, he assisted the opening goal for Alvaro Morata with a signature whipped cross into the penalty from a free-kick. He also won 7/11 duels, 100% of his tackles, and made six ball recoveries.

Luis Suárez
S (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.2
Dec 14, 2019

Barcelona weren't at their best this week as they could only manage a 2-2 draw away at Real Sociedad, but Luis Suarez certainly did his best for the win as he scored one and assisted another. After the hosts took the lead, he enabled Barca to equalilse with a threaded pass down the left channel for Antoine Griezmann to drink a strike home. He then turned the match on its head by scoring to make it 2-1, largely due to the unselfishness of Lionel Messi who squaured for the Uruguayan to easily pass into the empty net.

Edu Expósito
M, DM (C) - Eibar - 23 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.1
Dec 14, 2019

Eibar earned an admirable 0-0 draw away at Athletic in the Basque derby, with Edu Exposito key in controlling things for the visitors as well as ensuring Athletic couldn't muster up much in midfield or going forward. He won 10/15 duels, the majority of his tackles, and made 10 ball recoveries, four interceptions, and two clearances. HIs command of the ball was important, too, as he impressively completed 30 out of 32 attempted passes.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Jose Campana (7.9) helped Levante move to within a point of the top half of the table with two assists in the 2-1 win over Granada, while sending 23 passes into the final third and making six ball recoveries.

ROUND TO FORGET

Leganes drew 1-1 with Alaves, but never looked likely to score anymore with misfiring striker Youssef En-Nesyri (5) who had zero shots on goal and had just one touch inside the oppsotion penalty area in the full 90 minutes.

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