VALENCIA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 01: Carlos Vela of Real Sociedad celebrates scoring during the La Liga match between Valencia and Real Sociedad at at Estadio Mestalla on December 1, 2012 in Valencia, Spain.
Intrigue and tumult have followed Carlos Vela and his choices this season. Amid all of the controversy and uncertainty, the former Arsenal man continues to produce. Vela reached the 10-goal mark for a second consecutive campaign by scoring from the spot in a 1-1 draw with Levante on Sunday. The tricky winger possesses a reasonable shot of topping last year's haul of 12 goals with 14 matches still to play. His success won't quiet the skeptics at home, but it does show that his career is finally on track. Vela's entry into double digits provided the top achievement this weekend for Mexicans Abroad. Read on to learn more about the meeting of a pair of internationals at the Mestalla and Javier Aquino's Villarreal debut.
Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad
Sociedad maintained its push for a European place with a 1-1 home draw with Levante on Sunday. Both sides converted first-half penalties before sharing the points at the final whistle. Vela won the penalty award and lashed home his 10th goal of the season to give Sociedad the lead after 19 minutes, but Michel matched his success nine minutes later to hand both sides a share of the spoils.
Guillermo Ochoa, Ajaccio
Ajaccio extended its unbeaten run to six matches with a 1-1 draw at Stade Brestois on Saturday. Dennis Oliech equalized 20 minutes from time for the visitors to ensure a share of the points. Ochoa once again did his part between the sticks by mustering a late save on Florian Raspertino to protect the hard-earned point. The stalemate left Ajaccio three points clear of the drop zone with 13 matches to play.
Javier Hernandez, Manchester United
Chicharito provided the margin of victory on Monday as United held off Reading 2-1 in a fifth round FA Cup tie. The prolific striker headed home Nani's cross after 72 minutes to double United's advantage on the day. Jobi McAnuff issued Reading's reply nine minutes from time and prompted a furious finish at Old Trafford. United held firm to book a quarterfinal date with either Chelsea or Middlesbrough in March.
Javier Aquino, Villarreal
The former Cruz Azul winger made his Villarreal debut off the bench in a 1-1 draw at Hércules on Sunday. Aquino replaced Moisés after 67 minutes in a bid to help the promotion chasers claim a late winner, but he could not produce the breakthrough required to settle the affair. The January arrival will hope to work his way into the starting XI in time for the home affair against Las Palmas on Sunday.
Giovani dos Santos, Mallorca; Andres Guardado, Valencia
Ricardo Costa and Roberto Soldado scored in the final half-hour to hand 10-man Valencia a 2-0 home victory over Mallorca on Sunday. Los Che weathered Tino Costa's early dismissal to sweep aside relegation-threatened Mallorca at the Mestalla. Dos Santos forced Diego Alves into making a couple of saves as part of his energetic display, but Guardado – once again deployed at left back – and his teammates emerged victorious to continue their push for a top-four place.