Lionel Messi, Koke, Nabil Fekir and La Liga Team of the Week After Matchday 25

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between FC Barcelona v Eibar at the Camp Nou on February 22, 2020 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi scored four times in a single game for the first time in almost three years as Barcelona romped to a 5-0 win over Eibar and reclaimed their place atop La Liga in Week 25.

The Argentinian led Barca to a rout at the Camp Nou before Real Madrid were stunned 1-0 at Levante, where goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez gave a man-of-the-match performance to keep a clean sheet for the hosts.

Koke enjoyed a dazzling display in Atletico Madrid's dominant 3-1 win over Villarreal, as he scored and assisted to help drive his side up to third in the standings.

Nabil Fekir had a similar influence for Real Betis in Week 25 but failed to clinch maximum spoils as Real Betis drew 3-3 at home to Mallorca. Elsewhere, Sevilla sealed a superb 3-0 win away to Getafe and moved up to fourth and one point in front of their Madrid hosts.

      

Week 24 Results

Real Betis 3-3 Mallorca

Celta Vigo 1-0 Leganes

Barcelona 5-0 Eibar

Real Sociedad 3-0 Valencia

Levante 1-0 Real Madrid

Osasuna 0-3 Granada

Alaves 2-1 Athletic Bilbao

Real Valladolid 2-1 Espanyol

Getafe 0-3 Sevilla

Atletico Madrid 3-1 Villarreal

        

GK: Aitor Fernandez, Levante

Real Madrid dominated with almost two thirds of the possession at the Ciutat de Valencia, but Fernandez held firm as Levante became the first team this season to beat both Los Blancos and Barcelona:

Fernandez made a remarkable eight saves during the match—six of which came in the first half—and is now up to 111 saves this season. No other goalkeeper in La Liga has more than 83.

      

RB: Dimitri Foulquier, Granada

Dimitri Foulquier returned to former club Granada in January—on loan from Watford—and scored his second goal for the club to seal a 3-0 win at Osasuna, contributing a match high of four tackles along the way.

      

LB: Nacho Monreal, Real Sociedad

Nacho Monreal was in the right place at the right time and put his body on the line to double Real Sociedad's lead at home to Valencia, heading them into a two-goal advantage right after the half-time break:

Sociedad moved up to sixth with their third win in four and kept their first clean sheet in almost a month.

      

CB: Jules Kounde, Sevilla

Sevilla's win away at Getafe promises to have a dramatic impact on the hunt for a top-four finish in La Liga, and Jules Kounde's sure-footed finish put the result beyond doubt after 75 minutes (U.S. viewers only):

The 21-year-old Frenchman also won more aerial duels than any other defender in the match (five) and looked comfortable after sitting out their previous two league matches.

      

CB: Rodrigo Ely, Alaves

Rodrigo Ely was one of eight players cautioned in Alaves' narrow 2-1 win against Athletic Bilbao, but the centre-back was a hero nonetheless following his injury-time winner for the hosts in their Basque derby.

Granada's Victor Diaz receives an honourable mention at centre-back following his towering tally of nine successful aerial duels and three tackles in their clean-sheet win at Osasuna.

      

CM: Fernando, Sevilla

Former Manchester City man Fernando recorded his first goal for Sevilla during their rampant result away to Getafe, but it was also the usually defensively minded midfielder who set up Kounde for their third. The Brazilian also put in four tackles, second only to team-mate Joan Jordan on the day.

      

CM: Koke, Atletico Madrid

Koke has been a crucial presence for Atletico Madrid since returning from injury in early January, and his goal and assist were key when they bested Villarreal to go three unbeaten in La Liga.

The captain also completed 92 percent of his passes and recorded two successful tackles.

      

CAM: Nabil Fekir, Real Betis

Fekir's goal against Mallorca may have come from the penalty spot, but his influence was felt across the park as he and Joaquin conducted matters from midfield: 

The Frenchman missed only three of his 47 attempted passes and completed four dribbles, more than any other player on the pitch.

      

CAM: Darwin Machis, Granada

Darwin Machis looks almost certain to receive more playing time in attacking midfield after revelling in the role at Osasuna, where he scored his first brace in Spain's top flight, per La Liga Lowdown:

The Venezuela forward hit the back of the net with two of his five shots on goal and was responsible for half of Granada's total attempts.

      

CF: Lionel Messi, Barcelona

Messi returned to scoring form in style on Saturday when he ended a four-match league run without a goal by bagging four in one outing at home to Eibar:

As fate would have it, Jose Luis Mendilibar's side were the last team to concede four goals to Messi in a single game back in September 2017, with Eibar leaking 26 in their six total visits to the Camp Nou.

      

ST: Jose Luis Morales, Levante

Only two of Levante's eight attempts against Real hit the target, and Jose Luis Morales had the pick of the bunch with his scorching finish past Thibaut Courtois. 

Real's stopper might have coped better in preventing the strike at his near post, though Morales showed terrific ambition to attempt the well-timed half-volley in the first place.

    

All statistics provided by WhoScored.com

Related

    OG Ronaldo Calls Galacticos 🌟

    Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Casillas and Figo all on video calls...

    World Football logo
    World Football

    OG Ronaldo Calls Galacticos 🌟

    MARCA in English
    via MARCA in English

    Liverpool Have $248M Wiped Off Squad Value

    (Transfermarkt)

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Liverpool Have $248M Wiped Off Squad Value

    via liverpoolecho

    Crespo: It’s Difficult Being Messi

    'Somehow it is soccer that owes Messi. But that is not going to take away greatness.' (Diario Ole)

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Crespo: It’s Difficult Being Messi

    Barca Blaugranes
    via Barca Blaugranes

    How Isolation Affects Managers

    From London to New York, how two football coaches are dealing with isolation

    World Football logo
    World Football

    How Isolation Affects Managers

    Dean Jones
    via Bleacher Report