LaLiga's top performer from matchday 33
With 277 players in LaLiga action over the weekend there were plenty of candidates for the coveted AS English prize, but there could only be one winner.
Matchday 33 of the competition offered up plenty of stellar individual performances, including James Rodríguez’s point-proving master class against Getafe, Tito’s Villarreal-pacifying heroics at Vallecas and Iraizoz’s clean sheet display at La Rosaleda.
However, only one man could scoop the prestigious ‘AS English man of matchday 33’ award and that man is none other than Diego Alves.
Valencia’s goalkeeper was an immoveable wall at the Camp Nou on Sunday night, and almost single-handedly ensured Los Che left the Catalan capital with three points in the bag.
The 30-year-old denied Neymar early on with a no-nonsense punch after his fellow Brazilian tried a cheeky lob, and then parried well to keep Messi from breaking the deadlock in the 25th minute.
Alves was to the rescue again just before the break when he produced a reflex save to frustrate Messi yet again.
While the South American shot-stopper eventually did concede to the relentless barrage of Barça attacks, Valencia still managed to hang onto their lead and record a famous win against los azulgranas.
Perhaps the pick of his saves was the sensational trajectory-changing strong arm he extended that diverted a Rakitic left-footed thunderbolt away from his goal mouth.
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