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LaLiga File: Bench Buddies Rescue the Parakeets

Leo Baptistao and Hernan Perez saved the day for Espanyol, while Isco and Messi took it upon themselves to collect maximum points for their teams.

by Gabrielle Amado

 

Player of the Round: Lionel Messi 

How cliché...we know. But when you net a brace and pick up an assist, singlehandedly bagging your side a crucial three points, there is no other option but to make you the player of the round. 

La Pulga hit the back of the net in the 17th and 37th minutes and set up Paco Alcacer in the 44th to complete Barcelona’s hard fought 3-2 win over the always-tricky Real Sociedad.

Messi has now won more LaLiga points for the Blaugrana this season with his goals than any other player, 17 points with his 29 goals…and the stats just keep on coming!

He has also now scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this season, which means Real Madrid may want to keep that space on lockdown when the sides meet in Round 33’s little ‘matchAZO’, better known as El Clasico.

 

Super-Sub: Espanyol's Double Trouble

Both Leo Baptistao and Hernan Perez came on as substitutes in Espanyol's trip to Leganes this weekend and proved to be the most effective tactical switch ups of Round 32.

Baptistao and Perez joined forces to paint a picture-perfect counter-attack in stoppage time with the former Rayo Vallecano man finishing it off in style.

When your subs combine to score the lone goal and bag your side a late winner, that’s what we like to call a solid day at the office for Quique Sánchez Flores.

 

Rising Star: Dani Ceballos

Way back when, in Round 17 of LaLiga, a little bird warned the world to keep an eye on a 20-year old by the name of Dani Ceballos.

Fast forward to Round 32 and this youngster scores his first ever goal in LaLiga in his 100th game for Real Betis.

Dani Ceballos came on in the 62nd minute and netted a fabulous individual effort to finish off a sweeping counter-attacking move, and thus seal his side’s 2-0 win over Eibar.

Aside from the goal Ceballos was key in this victory, putting an end to Betis’ three game losing streak in the Spanish top flight and showing once again that he is a rising star worth keeping a close eye on. 

 

Goal of the Week: Isco Disco 

Isco Disco was in FULL effect in Round 32 as the Spaniard had arguably the performance of his career against Sporting Gijon.

The 24-year old leveled the board for Los Blancos in the 17th minute with a ‘Messi-esque’ style goal that left jaws markedly dropped and Real Madrid fans drooling. But the show didn’t stop there…

The Spaniard would then go on to score the game winner in the 90th minute, finishing off a Marcelo pass to clinch three points for Zizou’s men in dramatic fashion. We know what you’re thinking…“a late Real Madrid goal? SHOCKER!”

Isco now has the best shot conversion rate in LaLiga this season, and has had his hand in eight goals in his last eight league starts, racking up six goals and 2 assists in the process. 

Real Madrid are also now the side with the most points won away from home from losing positions in the division this season. #ComebackKids

 


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