Lionel Messi leads the Team of the Week in La Liga after his outstanding performance for Barcelona in the 5-1 win against Alaves.After being rested for the previous league match against Betis, Messi (10) was restored to the starting XI for league action versus Alaves, and he looked dangerous from pretty much the opening whistle.He would score two and set-up another in the game, with his first coming via a whipped strike in off the post from 25 yards.It would have taken a lot to better his opening goal, but he managed it, with an absolutely beautiful curled effort into the top left corner from around the same distance.Messi’s assist would be for Francisco Trincao, but he also played a huge part in the fifth and final goal, too, as it was his delightful scooped pass over the top of the Alaves defence which was met by Antoine Griezmann to assist Junior Firpo.Trincao (8.8) makes the Team of the Week too after his first ever double for the Blaugrana.Leading the line is Celta’s Santi Mina (8.7) who scored two to end his team’s run of six without a win with victory versus Elche.Making up the front four is Alex Berenguer (9.1), who also scored two goals, this time for Athletic Bilbao in an impressive 4-0 away win at Cadiz.Toni Kroos (9.5) kept things ticking over in midfield for Real Madrid as he usually, does, completing 101/107 passes and enjoying 115 touches of the ball. He did, however, also play a part in both goals in the 2-0 win against Valencia with a goal of his own plus an assist.Sergio Canales (8.3) joins him in midfield following a solid outing for Betis.Firpo (7.7) makes it in at left-back following his goal for Barcelona, while he also misplaced just four out of 57 attempted passes.Nobody had more touches of the ball or completed more passes this weekend than Clement Lenglet (7.5) with tallies of 121 and 106.Lucas Vazquez (8.2) is the only substitute in the Team of the Week, as he replaced Dani Carvajal in the first half for Real Madrid to go on and earn himself an assist for Kroos.Diego Carlos (7.6) makes up the back four.Osasuna earned a potentially vital 1-0 win away at Levante, and have goalkeeper Sergio Herrera (8.4) to thank after his four saves to earn his clean sheet.LA LIGA TEAM OF THE WEEK
Real Madrid kept up the pressure on runaway leaders Atletico Madrid by producing a solid if unspectacular 2-0 home win against Valencia. Toni Kroos was in excellent form throughout for Zinedine Zidane’s side, but which others were worth a look?Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCELucas Vazquez: 8.2Vazquez may only have featured for 60 minutes but he made a huge impact for the team after coming on for the injured Daniel Carvajal. He made an almost instant impact, reaching the goal line to cut the ball back perfectly for Toni Kroos to sweep home, and he was superbly diligent from the defensive perspective too. The auxiliary full-back won both of his tackles and 3/4 duels in an excellent display which will slightly soften the blow of Carvajal being injured once again. ❌ BAD PERFORMANCEManu Vallejo: 5.5It’s dreadful days for Valencia at the moment and things don’t look to be getting much better. And their utter lack of offensive force against Madrid was reflected in the efforts of Manu Vallejo, who touched the ball just 14 times before being hooked at half-time. No shots, and just one touch inside the opposition penalty area represents a display that is better off drawn under and forgotten about. Valencia have bigger problems coming up. ⭐ STAR MANToni Kroos: 9.5Real Madrid’s passing machine also provided vital impacts in the final third as he guided his team to a straightforward win here. He slipped in Karim Benzema to open the scoring before slotting home from the edge of the area in trademark style, rolling perfectly into the corner to effectively end the contest. Kroos made well over 100 passes with a 93% completion rate, including 40+ in the final third, showcasing his ability to retain the ball but play penetrative passes forward, too. Real Madrid 2-0 Valencia: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats
Zinedine Zidane’s bid to continue as Real Madrid manager will get a whole lot tougher with his squad down to bare bones as they prepare to take on Getafe on Tuesday night.Their unavailable list makes a pretty line-up in itself: Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Fede Valverde, Isco and Eder Militao are among the injured contingent while Toni Kroos will miss through suspension. Zidane won’t have either of his right backs in Carvajal or Alvaro Odriozola to choose from, meaning one of Ferland Mendy and Marcelo will likely have to deputise on the right – and even the latter hasn’t started a league game since December.Real Madrid: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations2020/21 La Liga: Matches, Team Stats, Player StatsNacho Fernandez and Raphael Varane are the only fit centre-backs, and similarly Casemiro and Luka Modric will play in midfield with no other options available. Marco Asensio is likely to be forced to drop into midfield out of necessity, which would leave Karim Benzema to be partnered by Mariano and Vinicius Junior in the front three.Either that, or perhaps Zidane may be inclined to adjust the tactic slightly to become more of a 4-2-3-1. In that, Benzema could play just behind Mariano as a no.10 with Asensio and Vinicius on the flanks.The Galacticos had six players on the bench for their win over Huesca on the weekend, and two of those were goalkeepers. With two players from that game now unavailable and no returns expected from any of the injured crew, the bench will be even more depleted, unless Zidane populates it with youth players. It will be a mammoth task for Madrid, but they can take confidence from the fact that Getafe have only won twice in their last eight games, conceding eight goals in the last three as they have slipped to 13th on the table. Zidane and his staff will desperate for the players to get through this match unscathed and will hope to bring some players back ahead of Valencia’s visit on the weekend.
Huesca 1-2 Real Madrid Player Ratings: Varane double earns Zidane’s side vital points in late comeback victory
Real Madrid got back to winning ways in the Spanish Primera Division with a hardfought 2-1 victory over Huesca. Following a fiery press conference that saw Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane shout down speculation about his job, the French coach watched his side come from behind to win and claim an important three points for their season and his job security. Huesca v Real Madrid: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player StatsSo which players stood out most?✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCECasemiro: 8.4In a match that truly put Madrid to the sword with an opening goal from Javier Galan just a few minutes into the second half, Zidane needed his big players to step up and drive his side on to victory. In the case of Casemiro, that’s exactly what the Brazilian midfielder did. Whether through interceptions, key passes or a shot that eventually led to the all-important winning goal, the midfielder was everywhere and the difference on the day to ensure Madrid picked up a vital three points. ❌ BAD PERFORMANCELuka Modric: 6.6While a 6.6 rating is by no means the worst rating a player can get, Modric was Madrid’s poorest outfield player aside from left-back Marcelo – and that’s because the defender only played 23 minutes of football. Indeed, the Croatian international is usually Madrid’s go-to playmaker and match winner but on Saturday he offered very little in attack by failing to register a single shot over the course of the 90 minutes and just 30 passes into the final third. ⭐ STAR MANRaphael Varane: 9.4It’s very rarely a good sign for any team when they need to depend on their defenders to score their goals but Madrid would have undoubtedly appreciated Raphael Varane’s efforts in front of goal on Saturday. Not only did the French international show up at the right place in the right time when he knocked home a rebound in the 55th minute to equalise for Zidane’s side, but he then snatched a late winner six minutes before time when he fired home yet another rebound after a big save from Casemiro’s shot. Huesca v Real Madrid: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats