On a weekend in which Barcelona matched a long-standing La Liga record and Bayern Munich claimed their sixth-straight Bundesliga title, there were goals aplenty across Europe’s top-five leagues.
Manchester United produced a memorable comeback victory against arch-rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, while Lyon produced the performance of the weekend in France, as they beat Metz 5-0 away from home.
Here, we pick out the individuals stars from the latest round of matches with our European Team of the Weekend.
GK – Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)
Sometimes goalkeepers need a bit of luck, and Sirigu certainly had that as he kept a clean sheet, with Internazionale denied by both the crossbar and the post in Torino’s 1-0 win. But the Italian stopper also produced a fine display, making a total of eight saves, including a stunning stop to deny Inter striker Mauro Icardi when the game was goalless, to ensure victory.
RB – Aritz Elustondo (Real Sociedad)
While the right-back can’t claim too much credit for assisting Real Sociedad’s opening goal, scored by Sergio Canales, Elutondo’s defensive display was exceptional. The 24-year-old made an impressive seven tackles and 10 interceptions, both more than any other player managed, as Sociedad kept a clean sheet against Girona. As well as his assist, the Spaniard also played two key passes and won five aerial duels.
CB – Marcelo (Olympique Lyonnais)
A clean sheet. Two goals. Three points. Marcelo proved his worth at both ends of the pitch in Lyon’s 5-0 demolition of Metz on Sunday. The defender headed home from two Memphis Depay corners inside the opening 20 minutes to hand Lyon a two-goal advantage before showing his class at the back, making ten clearances and two interceptions in the convincing win for his side.
CB – Kevin Long (Burnley)
Long was vital in helping Sean Dyche’s Burnley take another step towards European football next season. The central defender made 11 clearances for the Clarets against Watford, as well as three interceptions. The Irishman also won eight aerial duels as he came out on top in the battle with Troy Deeney, before popping up at the other end to provide the assist for Jack Cork’s winner.
LB – Miiko Albornoz (Hannover 96)
The left-back was exceptional for Hannover as they picked up an important win against Werder Bremen. After setting up Martin Harnik with an excellent low cross for the opening goal, the Chilean did superbly in defence. Albornoz made a game-high four tackles, three interceptions and one clearance as Hannover moved to within a point of Bremen in the Bundesliga table thanks to the 2-1 victory.
CM – Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
After a disappointing first-half performance against rivals Manchester City, Pogba produced a stunning individual display to bring Jose Mourinho’s side back level, before Chris Smalling won the game. The Frenchman’s first was expertly taken, as he lifted the ball over Ederson, but his run from deep and clever headed finish for the equaliser was even better. Without question, this was Pogba’s most stand-out United performance to date.
CM – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Eriksen has been in excellent form this season, and he showcased his importance to Tottenham once again away at Stoke City. The Dane finished calmly from Dele Alli’s pass to open the scoring, before teasing a free-kick into the box that was missed by everyone and found the far corner to hand Spurs the victory. Eriksen finished with a pass accuracy of 85 per cent and also made two key passes.
CM – Daniel Didavi (Wolfsburg)
A crucial win in Wolfsburg’s bid to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga came largely thanks to the performance of Didavi. The 28-year-old opened the scoring in just the second minute with a fine low finish from 20 yards, before confirming the three points with an equally well-taken strike seven minutes from time. The German made four key passes and four tackles in an impressive all-round display.
ST – Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais)
The Dutch international has recovered from his Manchester United disaster superbly in Ligue 1. This was arguably his best display yet. Directly involved in all five of Lyon’s goals, Depay grabbed four assists and a goal in a convincing 5-0 win. After Marcelo netted twice from Depay’s corners, he scored himself, before teeing up strike partners Bertrand Traore and Mariano to complete the rout.
ST – Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
A 40th career hat-trick for Barcelona’s main man. After a subdued display against AS Roma in the Champions League, the Argentine was back to his very best against Leganes. A fine free-kick got his evening started, before a composed strike doubled his tally just five minutes later. Messi completed his treble with a clever dink over the goalkeeper from close range. Another masterclass from the magician.
ST – Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)
Just pipping Paulo Dybala, who also netted a hat-trick this weekend, Aspas was in fine form as he helped Celta Vigo hammer Champions League quarter-finalists Sevilla 4-0. Even more impressive was the fact all three of the Liverpool flop’s goals came with his weaker right foot. The first was the most clinical, controlling the ball superbly before rolling the ball into the far corner.
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