La Liga Team of the Week: Neymar & Alexis Sanchez sparkle in Messi absence

Barcelona’s South American forwards were outstanding as the Catalans thrashed Valladolid 4-1 and Diego Costa joins them following another superb show for Atletico Madrid

Round 8 of La Liga brought 30 goals, with wins for Barcelona, Atletico, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Sevilla, Getafe, Elche, Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna.

Barcelona and Aleti both preserved their perfect records, while Madrid needed a last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo strike to overcome Levante in Valencia. Here, Goal takes a look at the standout performers from the latest round of action in Spain’s Primera Division.

In goal, Andres Fernandez helped Osasuna to an unexpected win at Malaga with a couple of fine saves in the second half of the Navarrans’ 1-0 success at La Rosaleda.

Filipe Luis won a penalty and was superb going forward as Atletico edged out Celta Vigo in a 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderon. Right-back Dani Alves was excellent in a similar role for Barcelona on the other side as the Catalans cruised past Valladolid, while the Brazilian’s team-mate Marc Bartra showed he is developing into a fine young centre-back with a mature display in the heart of the defence. David Rodriguez Lomban completes the back line following his solid showing in the 2-1 victory over Espanyol.

Pedro Leon netted twice for Getafe (one a wonder strike, the other a header) as Getafe beat Betis 3-1; Cani was outstanding for Villarreal in the Yellow Submarine’s 3-0 win over Granada, while Ivan Rakitic gave Sevilla all three points with a late strike against Almeria in the 2-1 success at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Neymar shone in Lionel Messi’s absence through injury with a goal and an assist for two-goal Alexis Sanchez, who also set up the Brazilian’s strike in a brilliant performance. Finally, man of the moment Diego Costa is back in again after hitting the two goals for Atletico in their win over Celta and taking his Liga tally to 10 for the season.

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