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Before anyone shouts at us, this list doesn’t necessarily feature each clubs’s statistically best player.
In some cases it may, but in other cases it may recognise an unexpected contribution of a player to their club, or a player exceeding all expectations.
So take your mind off the Christmas gap in La Liga by reminiscing on some of our top performers from the first half of the season…
one. Beñat y brilliant Betis beat Los Blancos. Jose Mourinho is surely sick of the sight of Seville. Having already fallen to Sevilla earlier in the season it was Betis’ turn on Saturday tonight. Their main man Benat scored the only goal in the first half as they put last weekend’s derby defeat behind them. Most worryingly perhaps was how pedestrian Madrid were in chasing the game. That and also the fact Cristiano Ronaldo now has scored just one in six.
one. Topsy-turvy Barcelona win another ding-dong battle. 3-0 soon became 3-2 before Leo Messi gave the scoreline a more comfortable feel in a game which certainly shares similarities with Barca’s battle in Depor. Never the less they won again to continue their remarkable start to the La Liga season, while Messi now has his sights set on Gerd Muller’s 85 goals in a calendar year after passing Pele’s 75. Atletico continued the hunt with a 2-0 win over Getafe while Real Madrid overcame a scare in tough conditions to beat Levante 2-1. Canterano Alvaro Morata with a late winner after Xabi Alonso had squandered a penalty.
one. Neither Ronaldo nor Messi on target. Not since December last year has a La Liga weekend passed without a goal from one of the big two. Until now. Barcelona and Real Madrid still recorded their standard wins- Celta and Zaragoza dispatched respectively- but neither had their poster boys on the scoresheet. The Catalans remain eight points clear of the chasing Real.
one. Anything you can do, we will equal. Barcelona moved first. They moved emphatically. Away at Rayo Vallecano they predictably ran riot. Their 5-0 win included two more assists for the league’s top provider Cesc Fabregas. It also included two more goals for Pichichi front runner Leo Messi. Real Madrid moved the following night at Mallorca- a game that a month ago would have looked like a tricky one. It wasn’t. Two for Ronaldo and two for Higuain were added to by Jose Callejon as a dominant trend from recent seasons reappeared.
one: We will score more than you. Barcelona score five, Depor four and Messi three. You shouldn’t lose if you score four at home, you shouldn’t sneak home if, like Barca were, you are 3-0 up inside twenty minutes. This game had many things; nine goals, nine yellows, a red, a debatable penalty, dives and Lionel. It ultimately also had another three points for Tito’s side who still harbour real concerns defensively. It also keeps them eight points clear of Mou’s Madrid who cantered to a 2-0 win over Celta at the Bernabeu.
Following a successful start to our futbolgrande flutter last week, we thought we’d give it another go. So here it is:
one: Tito’s perfect start continues in Seville. Six wins from six and eighteen points see Barcelona propped familiarly at the top of La Liga. Their latest win was the most dramatic, and in turn it ended Sevilla’s unbeaten start. The home side led 2-0 but a Fabregas brace, some Medel madness and a late Villa winner span the game right round. It keeps the Catalan club eight points clear of Real Madrid who smashed Depor 5-1 which included a Cristiano treble.
The Basque born midfielder has been the subject of much speculation surrounding a return to the club where he played just six La Liga minutes back in 2006.
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