Spanish La Liga Team of the Week

Barcelona rested several star players but still had no problems overcoming Real Zaragoza 3-0 as they continued their unstoppable march towards the La Liga title.

Roberto Jimenez, Thiago Alcantara
Noah Tan

By Noah Tan

With the win, the Blaugrana are now 13 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, who counted on a familiar hero in Cristiano Ronaldo to propel them to a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Radamel Falcao showed he was not distracted by recent reports of a summer move to Manchester United as he scored a brace in Atletico Madrid's 5-0 rout of Granada, Deportivo La Coruna made it four wins on the trot with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Levante, and Real Valladolid came from behind to beat Getafe 2-1.

Elsewhere, Malaga staged a perfect response to their controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund with a 1-0 win over Osasuna, Real Sociedad beat Rayo Vallecano to remain in fourth, Mallorca moved off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win over fellow relegation battlers Celta Vigo, and Real Betis came back from three goals down to hold local rivals Sevilla to a 3-3 draw.

Finally, a last-gasp goal by Sergio Garcia rescued a point for Espanyol during a thrilling encounter at home to Valencia as both sides played out a 3-3 draw.

Here, FOX Sports picks our best 11 from the latest round of the La Liga. We've gone with a 3-4-3 formation.

GK: Daniel Aranzubia (Deportivo La Coruna)

Aranzubia was in inspired form for Deprotivo as Levante found their numerous attempts to score repelled by the 33-year-old custodian. Roger, Juanlu and Christian Lell all tried, but failed to get past Aranzubia, whose acrobatic save to deny Lell's goalbound shot in the second half was the highlight of his game. If the former Bilbao goalkeeper can maintain such displays till the end of the season, Deportivo will surely be able to avoid relegation.

CB: Pedro Geromel (Mallorca)

Geromel was once reportedly a target for Real Madrid, but the Brazilian centre-back failed to do enough to convince Los Blancos to take a punt on him. However, Geromel's recent displays for Mallorca have been nothing short of excellent, and there will undoubtedly be renewed interest in the 27-year-old's services this summer. Geromel was a rock at the back for Mallorca against Celta and showed great tactical awareness to prevent Os Celestes from making inroads into their penalty area.

CB: Manuel Pablo (Deportivo La Coruna)

Defensive solidarity is one of the hallmarks of the Deportivo team under new manager Fernando Vázquez, who only took charge of the relegation-battlers early this year. At the heart of Deportivo's recent defensive improvements is Pablo, who at 37 years of age is living proof that it is never too old to continue learning. Pablo was immense for the Blanquiazules in their clash with Levante and played a huge part in ensuring his side kept a clean sheet.

CB: Martín Demichelis (Malaga)

Demichelis cut an authoritative figure at the back for Malaga as he single-handedly stopped Osasuna from troubling his goalkeeper with a series of well-timed tackles and interceptions. The experienced Argentina international's positioning was superb throughout the game and won several crucial headers in defence which helped break down Osasuna's attacks.

LM: Jose Antonio Reyes (Sevilla)

Sevilla may have amazingly squandered a three goal lead to draw with Betis on Friday, but due credit must still go to Reyes for his immense contribution to the enthralling encounter. The former Arsenal player proved a tricky customer on the left flank and created several good goalscoring opportunities for his team-mates during the game.

Reyes was the architect for his side's first goal when he excellently picked out Rakitic at the edge of the area with a pinpoint pass which gave the Croatian time and space to pick his spot and score. And the 29-year-old got his second assist of the night when he embarked on a mazy run down the left before crossing the ball into the box for Álvaro Negredo to head home.

RM: Cristian Tello (Barcelona)

First-team opportunities for Tello have unsurprisingly been hard to come by this season, but the 21-year-old seized his chance when it came with both hands as he scored a well-taken brace to fire Barcelona to a win over Zaragoza.

The lively Tello cause all sorts of problems for the Zaragoza defence, and it was no surprise when he got the goal his performance deserved with a calm finish after combining well with Thiago in the build-up. Tello got his name on the scoresheet once again when he scored his side's third goal early in the second half, cutting in from the left and jinking past a stagnant Apono before firing the ball into the net past a stunned Roberto Gago in goal.

CM: Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla)

Rakitic was one of the few players who can be absolved of blame for Sevilla's unbelievable collapse against Betis. The Croatian international was a handful for Betis' defence during the game, and it was no surprise that it was he who opened the scoring for his side with an outstanding 25-yard drive which nestled into the bottom corner of the net. Rakitic also showed great reading of the game to grab his second goal of the night when he made a clever run behind the Betis backline to tap Negredo's low cross into the back of the net from close range.

AM: Julio Baptista (Malaga)

Baptista never managed to live up to his potential and endured underwhelming spells at Real Madrid and Arsenal, but in Malaga, the Brazilian seems to have finally found a club whose footballing style and philosophy suits his. "The Beast" was the best player on the pitch for Malaga on Saturday and proved a constant, menacing threat to Osasuna. Baptista capped off his fine display with a vital goal late into injury time when he struck from close range after Los Rojillos' failed to clear their lines.

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Ronaldo, often outshone by the heroics of Barcelona forward Messi, took full advantage of the Argentinian's absence this weekend to steal the spotlight in the La Liga as he scored two exceptional goals to propel Real to victory over Bilbao.

The Portuguese international took only two minutes to open the scoring when he curled a superb 30-yard free-kick into the top corner of the net which gave Bilbao custodian Gorka Iraizoz no chance in goal. Ronaldo then doubled his tally, and his side's advantage, midway through the second half when he raced onto Xabi Alonso's free-kick to plant a bullet header into the back of the net.

ST: Imanol Agirretxe (Real Sociedad)

Nobody could have predicted Sociedad to be as high up in the table (fourth) as they are at the current stage of this season. And the Txuri-urdin's fairy-tale run continued on Sunday as they beat Rayo, with Agirretxe proving to be the hero for Philippe Montanier's men. Agirretxe scored the first of his two goals with an instinctive strike to turn home Alberto De La Bella's inviting lay-off. The 26-year-old then clinically finished from close range after receiving a defence splitting pass from Xabi Prieto to double his side's advantage as Rayo simply crumbled under the striker's clever off-the-ball movement.

ST: Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

It has been quite some time since Falcao has done enough to warrant a place in our La Liga Team of the Week. The Colombian international, at the centre of yet more transfer speculation the past week, took his incredible tally to 30 goals in all competitions this season with two well-struck efforts against Granada.

The 27-year-old scored his first goal in typically predatory fashion as he timed his run to perfection to slide the ball home from close range after having been set up by Raul Garcia. Falcao then found himself in the right place at the right time to divert the ball into the back of the net just after the break following a set-piece situation.



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