La Liga Team of the Week: Pepe, Ander Herrera & Giovani shine

Goal looks at the standout performers from the 10 Spanish fixtures as the Primera Division reached its halfway stage over the weekend

Real Madrid closed to within three points of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga at the halfway stage after the Catalans and los Colchoneros played out an entertaining goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday and Carlo Ancelotti’s side took advantage by beating Espanyol a day later.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao thrashed Almeria 6-1 and Villarreal trounced Real Sociedad 5-1, while there were also wins for Granada, Celta Vigo, Osasuna and Levante.

Here, Goal looks at the standout performers from the 19th round of Primera Division action.

In goal, Keylor Navas impressed as Levante held out for a hard-fought 1-0 at home to Malaga, while Pepe was solid at the back for Real Madrid and headed his side to victory with the only goal of the game at Espanyol. Daniel Carrico was also a hero for Sevilla with a last-minute leveller at Elche, while Jeison Murillo shone for Granada in the Andalusians’ stunning 4-0 victory over Valladolid.

Ander Herrera and Mikel Rico were superb in midfield for Athletic Bilbao in their 6-1 success, while Moi Gomez shone in Villarreal’s wonderful win on Monday and Recio struck two of Granada’s four goals in their victory at home to Valladolid.

In attack, Charles is included following his double for Celta, while Ikechukwu Uche and Giovani dos Santos netted four between them in Villarreal’s win over Real Sociedad to continue their recent fine form.

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