La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 18: Luis Suarez the assist king

The Uruguayan scored for Barcelona but also impressively recorded a hat-trick of set-ups.

 
2:17pm on Monday 23rd December 2019
By
Martin Macdonald
Luis Suárez
S (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
85'
9.3
Dec 21, 2019

After the first goalless Clasico in 17 years, Barca got back to entertaining with a 4-1 defeat of Alaves, with Suarez setting up three goals for team-mates before earning a goal from the penalty spot. To assist the opener, he reversed a pass from the right of the box to the left for Antoine Griezmann to sweep home, before laying into the path for Arturo Vidal to smash into the left corner. He'll be given the assist for Barcelona's third with the pass to Lionel Messi, but it was the Argentine who made it, really, as the finish was stunning. Nice of Messi to hand the ball to his team-mate who had spent the game setting up others to claim a goal of his own with a well-taken penalty.

Unai Simón
GK - Athletic - 22 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
9.2
Dec 22, 2019

Real Madrid haven't been scoring a lot lately, and made it two 0-0 draws in a row on Sunday night after failing to find a way past Athletic, and Unai Simon in particular. The keeper was magnificent in the last game of the Liga weekend, keeping Los Blancos at bay with no less than eight saves. Undoubtedly the most dramatic of the lot came when Toni Kroos burst into the area before firing a strike at goal, which Simon saved with the top of his head! He probably didn't know too much about it, but he won't care as he earned his clean sheet bonus.

Chimy Ávila
F (C), AM (R) - Osasuna - 25 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.9
Dec 22, 2019

In the best game of the weekend, Real Sociedad squeezed out win a 4-3 win away at Osasuna, and one player who certainly didn't deserve to lose the game was Chimy Avila, who scored two goals of the highest quality. His first saw him collect possession inside the box before sending the defender for a hotdog with a cut inside, allowing him to dink over the keeper from close range. His second, however, was truly special. In a goal which you will not see the likes of again this season, he battles against his markers before looping the ball over their heads, giving him the opportunity to head, yes head, a finish over the goalkeeper from 12 yards. Ridiculous.

Toni Kroos
M, AM (C) - Real Madrid - 29 yrs
90'
8.7
Dec 22, 2019

Toni Kroos did his best to try and create something for Real Madrid against Athletic, but there was only so much he could do with his fine passing in midfield as the attackers didn't cover themselves in glory. Yes, he perhaps could have done better with the miraculous Simon headed save, but he controlled things in midfield as he tends to do, misplacing just five passes out of 88 attempted. He also enjoyed the second-most touches out of anyone in La Liga this weekend with 119.

Diego Carlos
D (C) - Sevilla FC - 26 yrs
MAN OF THE MATCH
90'
8.6
Dec 21, 2019

Diego Carlos was solid at the back for Sevilla as Mallorca failed to break through the opposition defence, as he won 100% of his tackles, the majority of his duels, and the majority of his aerial duels, as well as making seven ball recoveries, one interception, and eight clearances. He was effective at the other end of the pitch, too, as he scored the opening goal by bravely challenging the goalkeeper in the air to rise high and nod a header into the empty net.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Leganes made it three games without defeat after defeating Espanyol 2-0, with Martin Braithwaite (8.5) scoring the first goal 11 minutes in and just generally being a pest in attack.

ROUND TO FORGET

While Avila was brilliant in attack, Pervis Estupinan (4.9) was poor in defence for Osasuna in the loss against Real Sociedad. He only won one out of four attempted tackles, and made zero interceptions or clearances, as well as making one error that led directly to a goal.

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