thumbnail Hello,

There’s a certain flavour of youth in our team of the week as Goal.com picks the best XI from Jornada 14.

Formation: 3-4-3

Goalkeeper

Sergio Asenjo (Atletico Madrid)

The young goalkeeper had to pull off nine saves to avoid his Atleti being trampled against Villarreal. He conceded twice in the end but things could have turned out much worse for the sleepy Rojiblancos if it wasn’t for Asenjo. Not for the first time this season, his defense let him down again.

Defenders

Facundo Roncaglia (Espanyol)

The versatile 22-year-old, on loan from Boca Juniors, had a cracking game against Barcelona. He made countless vital interceptions and challenges and to top it off, he managed to keep Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta well shackled. He is one of the reasons why Barca only walked away with a slender and fortunate 1-0 win.

Pepe (Real Madrid)

The Portuguese has become Madrid’s immovable object at the back this season and in the past few games, he has been rock solid. After taking two blows to the head in midweek against Marseille in the Champions League, Pepe got clobbered again in a collision with Valencia ‘keeper Cesar Sanchez while setting up what looked a legitimate goal.

Nico Pareja (Espanyol)

Together with Roncaglia, Pareja formed a brick wall infront of goal and he was instrumental in marshalling the heart of the Espanyol defence to frustrate Barcelona’s frontline throughout the evening. He has stepped in effortlessly as the team’s new defensive anchor to replace the departed Dani Jarque.

Midfielders

Jesus Navas (Sevilla)

The Spanish international was a livewire throughout the evening against Sporting Gijon, causing headaches down the flank as well as through the middle with a few decent attempts at goal. Made the assist with a determined cross for Frederic Kanoute to score the winning goal for Los Nervionenses.

David Fuster (Villarreal)

The fairly unknown 27-year-old had a barnstorming game against Atletico Madrid. He was an ever-present attacking threat for El Submarino throughout the game at the Vicente Calderon, constantly testing the opposition defence and goalkeeper, Sergio Asenjo and he was eventually rewarded with the decisive equaliser that set Villarreal on their way to victory.

Ever Banega (Valencia)

The 21-year-old Argentine may have ended up on the losing side against Real Madrid, but he was easily his team’s best player. Inventive and industrious in midfield, he dictated Los Che’s attack like a seasoned veteran and had a few scoring chances of his own. A completely unrecognisable player from the struggling, lost youngster who first arrived in Spain from Boca Juniors just almost two years ago.

Juan Albin (Getafe)

Without Roberto Soldado, Albin had to shoulder the goalscoring duties for El Geta, even though he played as an attacking midfielder. The Uruguayan has a knack for scoring just when the team needs it most and he struck twice against Tenerife to make sure Los Azulones continued their excellent run of form.

Forwards

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)

‘Pipita’ is finally delivering the goods for Los Blancos this season after an indifferent start amidst the Galacticos rebuilding project. He was the hero for his side again in this round after netting twice at Valencia but he could so easily have bagged a hat-trick. If there were any doubts, he has now firmly established himself as Madrid’s main marksman.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Barcelona)

The big Swede converted his penalty with authority, accuracy and aplomb… and it had to be or Carlos Kameni would have saved it. But it was his all-round performance that allowed the Blaugrana to forget that they were missing Lionel Messi. He’s starting to show that he’s not just there to prod the ball into the back of the net, and that he’s slowly settling in into Barca’s style.

Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao)

‘Bartman’ was only on the pitch for 30 minutes for the Basque outfit against Real Zaragoza, but such was his influence that he took just 120 seconds to do what neither his team-mates nor opponents could: carve open the defence and set up a goal. His introduction completely lit up a game devoid of clear-cut chances and 20 minutes later, he made another assist for Athletic.

                                             Asenjo
                              Roncaglia - Pepe - Pareja
                       Jesus Navas - Fuster - Banega - Albin
                             Higuain - Ibrahimovic - Muniain

Honourable Mentions

Carlos Kameni (Espanyol)
Ezequiel Garay (Real Madrid)
Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia)
Jose Luis Marti (Mallorca)
Diego Perotti (Sevilla)
Juan Mata (Valencia)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

KS Leong, Goal.com

Who is the Very Best? Just the coolest world music group right now. They talk about their love of football--Henrik Larsson!--in the DEC/JAN issue of Goal.com Magazine.

Related

From the web

From the web