La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 22: Messi and Fati see Barca to victory

The Blaugrana narrowly defeated Levante to bounce back from last weekend's loss against Valencia

2:54pm on Monday 3rd February 2020
Martin Macdonald
Lionel Messi
W (R), F (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
Feb 2, 2020

Lionel Messi put on a creative masterclass for Barcelona as they defeated Levante 2-1, putting on two assists for Ansu Fati.

The first was quite simply one of the best passes you will see this season, as while moving back towards his own half inside the centre circle, he looks up and threads a low ball through the Levante ranks which takes no less than eight players right out of the game, allowing the youngster to run through and score.

The second was a lot simpler as he played a ball to the feet of Fati again, this time from inside the area.

The Argentine completed eight dribbles (three more than anyone in La Liga), sent 46 passes into the final third (10 more than anyone), and had 15 touches inside the opposition box (five more than anyone).

He was also unlucky to not get on the scoresheet as he had 10 shots on goal himself.

Ansu Fati
W (L) - Barcelona - 17 yrs
Feb 2, 2020

While Messi was the provider against Levante, someone had to be there to finish the chances, and that is what Fati did, twice, to emerge as the match winner.

For his first goal, he latched on to the aforementioned outrageous pass from Messi to burst through one-on-one with the keeper, displaying impressive composure to lash a finish tinto the bottom corner.

He earned his second after peeling away to the left-hand side of the box to smash another good strike past the keeper, again after the pass from the Argentine.

It was a very mature performance from the 17-year-old, who misplaced just three passes during his time on the pitch.

Sergio Ramos
D (C) - Real Madrid - 33 yrs
Feb 1, 2020

From an attacking masterclass from the Barca pair to a defending masterclass from Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid, now, as the Blancos captain was superb in the most high profile match of the weekend against Atletico.

Even though Atleti find it very difficult to score at the best of times, they found it even tougher in the Madrid derby, with Ramos continually curbing their attacks.

He won the majority of his duels (5/9) and 100% of his tackles, as well as making 10 ball recoveries, one interception, and three clearances.

His passing from the back was also excellent, as he completed 84/90 attempted balls to team-mates.

Dani Parejo
M (C) - Valencia - 30 yrs
Feb 1, 2020

Valencia made it two wins on the bounce and moved ahead of Atletico in the table after a tight 1-0 win at home to Celta, with Dani Parejo running things from midfield.

It was a truly commanding performance from the Valencia captain, who won 12/18 duels, 3/3 aerial duels, and 3/3 tackles, while he also made nine ball recoveries, two interceptions, and one clearance.

He enjoyed 100 touches in the game and completed 56/68 passes, with 25 of these passes being sent into the final third.

Santi Cazorla
M, DM (C) - Villarreal - 35 yrs
Feb 2, 2020

Villarreal's good form continued with a comfortable 3-1 victory versus Osasuna which put them up to seventh in La Liga.

Santi Cazorla, once again, was their best player as he contributed to two of the goals with a strike of his own and an assist.

His assist came for the Yellow Submarine's second - a precise pass sent down the channel inside the box for Ruben Pena to score. Then, he would make it 3-1 via a well-taken penalty just before the hour mark.

He sent seven successful crosses into the box and 23 passes into the final third.


Granada won for the first time since the 5th January, overcoming Espanyol 2-1 at home with Darwin Machis (7.9) involved in both goals with a goal and an assist.


Sergio Camello (5.1) was given 16 minutes to impress as Atletico chased an equaliser versus Real Madrid, but in that time he had no shots and attempted just two passes - neither of which reached a team-mate. He also had just four touches.

Latest news

Premier League

Official: Wolves sign Nelson Semedo from Barcelona

The right-back will join the growing Portuguese contingent at Molineux after being deemed surplus to requirements by Ronald Koeman

  • 56 minutes
Premier League

Leeds set to sign Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad

The Spaniard will join from the Basque side as Marcelo Bielsa looks to further strengthen his backline

  • 1 hour
Premier League

Hudson-Odoi in Lampard's plans, but talks to commence about his future

The Chelsea boss insists the young winger needs to work hard to stake a claim for a starting berth, but will chat about potential player exits soon

  • 1 hour

Frank de Boer set to be appointed Netherlands coach

The former Ajax and Crystal Palace boss has joined on a deal until 2022, replacing Ronald Koeman

  • 3 hours
Book Extract

How Jurgen Klopp made Trent Alexander-Arnold a playmaking full-back

In an extract from Lee Scott's book on Jurgen Klopp, we look at how the German evolved TAA's role into something special

  • 3 hours
Premier League

Ancelotti and James helping to dispel the 'intense' Premier League myth

The Italian took umbrage to the suggestion that his playmaker would not be able to adapt to England - and he's dead right

  • 4 hours

Most read

Other interesting players

  1. image description Lionel Messi W (R), F (C)
    Barcelona 99
  2. Liverpool 92
  3. image description Bernardo Silva W (R), M (C)
    Man City 84
  4. Sevilla FC 83
  5. image description Dejan Kulusevski W (R), F (C)
    Juventus 82
  6. image description Rodrygo W (RL)
    Real Madrid 78
  7. Feyenoord 78
  8. image description Douglas Costa W (R), AM (L)
    Juventus 74
  9. image description Suso W (R), AM (C)
    Sevilla FC 74