European Team of the Week: Lionel Messi Is Star Man as Barcelona Lead the Way

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European Team of the Week: Lionel Messi Is Star Man as Barcelona Lead the Way
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Lionel Messi is WhoScored.com's player of the week following a barnstorming performance against Osasuna. Barcelona trounced their Primera División counterparts 7-0, with Messi netting a hat-trick and providing an assist to land a perfect 10.

Borussia Monchengladbach's Raffael partners Messi following the Brazilian’s starring role in the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. Raffael opened the scoring in the victory and went on to complete nine dribbles and make eight tackles to secure the man-of-the-match award.

Jonathan has endured a tumultuous time since signing for Inter Milan, but manager Walter Mazzarri has sought to bring out the best in the full-back and was again duly rewarded with an impressive display against Verona. The 28-year-old provided the assist for Rodrigo Palacio’s opener, before getting on the scoresheet midway through the second half to confirm all three points for the Nerazzurri.

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On the opposite flank, Nolito was Celta de Vigo’s primary offensive threat in the 1-0 win over Levante. The Spaniard netted the only goal of the game, but could easily have bagged a hat-trick having struck the woodwork twice. With 38 percent of Celta’s attacks coming down the left, Nolito exhibited his quality on the flank to help secure Celta’s first league win in four.

Clement Chantome and Andres Iniesta make up the midfield as they received respective WhoScored.com ratings of 9.8 and 9.3. Chantome was pivotal for Toulouse in their 3-2 win over Reims having scored and registered the assist for Serge Aurier’s eventual winner, while Iniesta netted one and provided two in Barcelona’s rout of Osasuna.

Iniesta’s team-mate Dani Alves is at right-back due to his performance in the same game. The Brazilian executed an impressive three key passes and was on hand to assist Messi’s hat-trick goal late on.

At left-back, Jon Flanagan was effective in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Manchester United, making 11 tackles to consistently deny United on the right and help the Reds keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford.

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Centre-back Laurent Koscielny was able to regularly repel the Tottenham attack in Arsenal’s 1-0 win in the North London derby, their first in the Premier League at White Hart Lane since 2007. The Frenchman made 15 clearances in the victory, while his one last-man tackle and one clearance off the line helped the Gunners to their 13th clean sheet of the season.

Despite Sampdoria going down 3-0 to Atalanta, young German defender Shkodran Mustafi partners Koscielny as a result of his performance on Sunday. Mustafi made two last-man tackles in the defeat, won a commendable seven aerial duels and made 11 clearances, ensuring he was able to leave the field of play with his head held high despite the disappointing loss.

WhoScored.com

Goalkeeper Raphael Schafer completes the team of the week, regardless of Nurnberg’s 2-1 defeat to Hamburg. The veteran, 35, made a total of 11 saves and six punches clear in the encounter, with the latter figure reinforcing his statistically calculated WhoScored.com style of "likes to punch the ball."

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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