La Liga

La Liga Top Five, Round 23: Maverick Messi the provider for Barca

The Argentine was, again, in sensational form for the Blaugrana in the win versus Betis

10:00am on Monday 10th February 2020
Martin Macdonald
Lionel Messi
W (R), F (C) - Barcelona - 32 yrs
Feb 9, 2020

If Lionel Messi isn't scoring goals, you can bet he is busy setting up his team-mates, and that is exactly what he did in the 3-2 Barca win over Betis, earning a hat trick of assists.

His first was probably the assist of the weekend in Spain, as he bided his time around 30 yards out before clipping a stunning ball up and over the Betis defence for Frenkie de Jong, who finished superbly.

For the next two, he displayed his prowess from set pieces as he dinked a pair of crosses in for Sergio Busquets and Clement Lenglet respectively.

As usual, his passing was exemplary, as he completed 58/65 passes, 30 of which were sent into the final third.

Jorge Molina
ST (C) - Getafe - 37 yrs
Feb 8, 2020

Thirty-seven-year-old Jorge Molina rolled back the years for Getafe at the weekend, scoring two goals as the Madrid-based club comfortably defeated Valencia 3-0.

Both goals showed his veteran instinct inside the box, as for the opener he pounced upon a poor save from Jaume Domenech to stab a rebounded finish into the roof of the net.

His next was absolutely superb. After initially bulldozing his way through a couple of tackles inside the box, he then showed brains as well as brawn as he cleverly feigned to pass before rolling the ball in the other direction which allowed him to finish with his left foot.

Vicente Iborra
DM, M (C) - Villarreal - 32 yrs
Feb 8, 2020

Vicente Iborra was dominant in midfield as Villarreal drew 1-1 away at Real Valladolid.

He won 11/18 duels, 2/3 tackles, and 5/7 aerial duels, as well as making seven ball recoveries, three interceptions, and three clearances.

One of the aerial duels which he won directly resulted in Villarreal's equaliser, as he rose high inside the box to nod down for Gerard Moreno.

He had 107 touches throughout the game which was the second-most of any player in La Liga this weekend.

Alexander Isak
S (C) - Real Sociedad - 20 yrs
Feb 9, 2020

Alexander Isak was the difference maker in the Basque derby as his goal and assist led to Real Sociedad defeating Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

Prior to this weekend's match, he had scored seven goals in five games, and made it eight in six by scoring the winner in the 83rd minute by reacting quicker than anyone inside the box to latch on to his own rebounded shot to score.

Prior to that, he recorded an outstanding assist, flicking the ball beyond his marker with flare before sending a cross into the box for Portu to score.

He had 13 touches inside the opposition box which was the most of any player in the league alongside Jaime Mata of Getafe.

Iago Aspas
ST (C) - Celta - 32 yrs
Feb 9, 2020

If Celta are going further distance themselves from the relegation zone, they wil need Iago Aspas to be in the kind of form he was against Sevilla.

After a barren period of goalscoring, he equalised 12 minutes from time after dancing the ball around the keeper before squeezing a finish over the line despite the efforts of the Sevilla defenders.

It was a truly talismanic performance, as he won 10/19 duels, as well as making four ball recoveries, three interceptions, and one clearance.


In an otherwise dismal campaign, one bright spark for Atletico Madrid has been the emergence of Angel Correa (7.9) as a potential match winner, which is exactly what he was as Los Colchoneros defeated Granada 1-0.


Rodrigo (4.9) was abject in attack for Valencia. In an hour, he had zero shots on goal and completed just 3/9 passes before being hooked.

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