Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and La Liga Team of the Week After Matchday 14

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23: Luka Modric of Real Madrid celebrates 3-1 with Karim Benzema of Real Madrid  during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 23, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to set the pace at the top of La Liga as they both came from behind to secure wins in Week 14.

The Blaugrana battled back to win 2-1 at Leganes on Saturday, with Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal on target. Later in the day, Los Blancos recovered from an early setback to beat Real Sociedad 3-1, with goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric putting them level with their great rivals on 28 points.

Across the league, there were a number of standout performances to savour. Here is the best XI from the Week 14 action and an assessment of why each individual made the cut.

     

(GK) Fernando Pacheco - Alaves

Alaves made it two wins in succession thanks to a robust performance in the 2-0 triumph at Eibar.

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While Joselu grabbed the headlines with his goals in the 85th and 91st minutes, the foundation for the victory was strong rearguard action, with Pacheco, who made seven saves on the day, excellent between the sticks for Asier Garitano's team.

    

(RB) Jorge Miramon - Levante

Levante moved into the top half of the La Liga table with a 2-1 win over Mallorca on Friday, with Miramon providing a constant threat with his raids forward on the right flank.

The full-back set up both of his side's goals, and his energetic surges have made him one of Levante's standout performers over the course of the campaign.

   

(CB) Ximo Navarro - Alaves

Navarro was also part of Alaves' rock-solid defensive display, and he marshalled the side brilliantly from the base of the team.

While he is often used as a right-back, he stepped into the heart of his side's defence on Sunday and produced a commanding performance. He made 12 clearances, four interceptions and put in four tackles in a colossal effort.

   

(CB) German Sanchez - Granada

Granada have slipped down the table in recent weeks after their sensational beginning to the season. Sanchez ensured they got back on track on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid.

After Granada fell behind, the defender came forward for a corner and steered a header past Jan Oblak:

That capped off a fine all-round performance from Sanchez, who kept the in-form Alvaro Morata quiet throughout the fixture.

   

(LB) Lodi - Atletico Madrid

Atletico took the lead at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes through Lodi, with the left-back showing off his attacking intelligence.

The 21-year-old, who joined the Madrid club from Athletico Paranaense in the summer, timed his run perfectly to latch on to Hector Herrera's through ball and finish with the composure of a forward.

      

(CM) Ever Banega - Sevilla

In an attritional 1-0 win at Real Valladolid for Sevilla, Banega was able to provide some of his trademark class.

The veteran midfielder opened the scoring from the penalty spot early on and was then able to control the game for long spells.

He eventually netted at the second time of asking:

From his central-midfield berth, Banega completed 58 passes and six dribbles, ensuring Sevilla remained just a point behind the league leaders.

   

(CM) Sergio Canales - Real Betis

Canales was the orchestrator of a much-needed win for Betis, and his last-gasp goal saw them pull four points clear of the relegation zone.

In stoppage time, Canales was able to produce arguably the goal of the weekend. The midfielder hammered in a stunning free-kick from wide on the right flank:

Spanish football writer Andy West compared the technique of Canales to that of Barcelona icon Lionel Messi:

      

(CM) Luka Modric - Real Madrid 

There have been some questions about Modric's place in the Madrid team this season, but the Croat offered a reminder of his world-class talent with a standout performance in the win over Sociedad.

Per OptaJose, it was his most effective game for the club in terms of productivity:

Not only did Modric grab a goal and a couple of assists, he wrested back control of the game for his side once they fell behind with his typical midfield elegance.

      

(FW) Inaki Williams - Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao became the first team to win at Osasuna in 31 league matches, and Williams was the star performer in their 2-1 success.

The forward produced a cool finish to open the scoring for the Bilbao outfit and offered a regular threat on the counter-attack with his searing speed.

   

(FW) Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

For many, Benzema has been the best player in Spain this season, and he prolonged his fantastic start to 2019-20 with another goal on Saturday.

The striker's finish against Sociedad means only a couple of stellar names have netted more goals than the Madrid No. 9 this year:

As is always the case with Benzema, there was more to his play than just his goal on Saturday. The Frenchman's ability to pin defenders, link play and create chances for his team-mates makes him a huge asset for Zinedine Zidane's team.

       

(FW) Iago Aspas - Celta Vigo

Aspas continued to underline his importance to Celta on Sunday, as his brace saw them end a run of five consecutive defeats in La Liga with a 3-1 victory at Villarreal.

His second goal was a stunning one, with Aspas showing incredible composure to finish at the conclusion of a searing surge:

Celta remain in the bottom three of the table and are two points from safety. But with Aspas in their ranks, they will fancy their chances of clawing their way out of trouble.

    

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com  

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