Barcelona fluff their lines in La Liga

Well, who would’ve thought it?

A team, in Granada, that on the previous 24 occasions they’d visited the Camp Nou they’d lost, coming away with a victory in a game that Barcelona needed to win to put them on top of the La Liga table for the first time in the 2020/21 campaign.

The Andalusians executed their game plan to the letter and got exactly what they deserved. Continue reading

La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 33

The top 4 in La Liga almost couldn’t be closer and just 3 points separates 1st placed Atletico Madrid from 4th placed Sevilla. Though the weekend has given advantage to Barcelona who are 2 points behind Atletico in 3rd place but have a game in hand over them and Real Madrid.

Atletico lost at the weekend and Real Madrid drew against Real Betis. There were wins for Barcelona and Sevilla, and though they will be the underdogs Sevilla can’t be ruled out of winning the title. It has at least been a very exciting season in Spain and this league title could well go down to the wire.

Let’s take a look at the players who made the fantasy team for La Liga this past week and you can check if any of your players have made the selection.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Courtois was the only goalkeeper in La Liga to earn the full 7 points. It’s not that other keepers didn’t keep a clean sheet but yellow cards can take points away. Courtois’s club Real Madrid had a poor result from their point of view at the weekend though as they could only draw 0-0 at home to Real Betis.

Defender: Stefan Savic- Atletico Madrid 8pts

This is a team full of Atletico Madrid players and we start with Stefan Savic who was able to earn 8 points this week. Earlier in the week Savic was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet as Atletico beat Huesca. At the weekend the club lost to Athletic Bilbao however Savic did score a goal as they went down 2-1. Despite giving the club hope, it wasn’t to be. That was Savic’s first goal of the season.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Raphael Varane helped to keep a 13th clean sheet as Real Madrid drew 0-0 with Real Betis. Varane is the leading defender at the club with a total of 65 points this season.

Defender: Victor Ruiz- Real Betis 5pts

Victor Ruiz has helped to keep seven clean sheets so far for Betis and has 17 points so far for the season. He was solid in defence as Betis pulled off a terrific draw which finished 0-0.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 5pts

Nacho is certainly one of the unsung heroes at Real Madrid and he is always the professional. He earned another 5 points as Madrid kept a clean sheet but not the desired result against Real Betis.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 8pts

Atletico played two games in a week and their first match against Huesca ended with victory. It was also a good game for Yannick Carrasco who scored his 5th goal of the season and kept a clean sheet. The midfielder now has 55 points and has been brilliant value at 6.5m.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Angel Correa has been solid this season for Atletico and he made a starring role in their victory over Huesca by scoring a goal. With 73 points Correa is the 2nd best midfielder for Diego Simeone’s team.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Marcos Llorente was brilliant against Huesca earlier last week as Atletico won 2-0. Llorente assisted in both goals. He has scored 11 goals and made a fantastic 10 assists so far and he is ranked as the best midfield player for the side with 90 points so far.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 4pts

Portu scored as Real Sociedad beat Celta Vigo 2-1 earlier last week. Portu picked up another four points to add to his already 59 points for his club. Currently Portu is the best ranked player for his club and is 1 point ahead of Remiro.

Striker: Roberto Soldado- Granada 12pts

Roberto Soldado earned a fantastic 12 points over the week as Granada hammered Eibar 4-1 and he grabbed 2 of those goals. He also scored at the weekend although his side lost 2-1 to Sevilla. Soldado now has 9 goals so far and has acquired 31 points.

Striker: Antoine Griezmann- Barcelona 11pts

It’s not always been an easy time for Griezmann at Barcelona but he has had a good week. Griezmann scored both of Barcelona’s goals at the weekend as they won a very important fixture 2-1 away to Villarreal. Griezmann has now scored 11 goals so far this season in the league.

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Granada game the turning point for Barcelona?

A few days before any of the other La Liga teams play again, Barcelona go into battle at the Camp Nou against Granada.

The Andalusians have shown themselves to be no pushovers in the past, and even with home advantage, the Catalans can’t afford to be complacent.

It’s a game in hand of huge significance to Ronald Koeman’s men too.

If they were to emerge with the three points on Thursday night, they will sit atop the table for the first time this season, and with the destiny of the title absolutely in their own hands. Continue reading

Copa del Rey win is great for Barca and Messi

What a way to win a cup final! FC Barcelona were imperious against Athletic Club in what could’ve been a very tricky assignment for them, but turned out to be anything but.

The Catalans dominated every facet of the final against the Basque team, just as they had done against he same opponents in the Copa del Rey finals of 2009, 2012 and 2015.

No wonder Athletic’s manager, Marcelino, had said before the game he wished they could play a final against Barca without Messi present. Continue reading

Brilliant Barca beaten by route one Real

It was a Clasico that lived up to its top billing in a torrential rainstorm that can only be described as biblical.

The Alfredo di Stefano stadium was the venue for a Real Madrid v Barcelona match for the first time ever and the hosts would go on to triumph against their eternal rivals for the second time this season.

As is normally the case with these matches, it didn’t pass without incident.

Referee, Gil Manzano, a late substitute for Mateu Lahoz who was injured in midweek, needs to look long and hard at some of the decisions made, particularly in the first half. Continue reading

3 things to look for in El Clasico

Barca head to the Alfredo do Stefanie stadium on Saturday for one of the most important El Clasico games in years.

Let’s be clear. El Clasico is always important, but a win in this one could really hand the advantage to the Catalans in the race for the league title.

Zinedine Zidane’s side, despite missing key players including Sergio Ramos, will still represent a formidable test for the Blaugranes, who haven’t beaten Los Blancos since March 2019.  Continue reading

Dembele the saviour for Barcelona

Monday night’s game at the Camp Nou could go down as being one of Barca’s most important of the season.

Valladolid had arrived with 12 players out injured and they were, for all intents and purposes, cannon fodder. No one gave them a hope of getting anything.

However, as Cadiz and Eibar had shown earlier this season, if Barca take their foot off of the pedal they are vulnerable, and the visitors can count themselves unlucky to lose. Continue reading

La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Week 29 looks like it was a turning point in La Liga was a huge blow to Atletico Madrid’s chances of winning the title. Atletico lost 1-0 away to Sevilla and have seen their huge lead cut down. Real Madrid are only 3 points behind and if Barcelona win their game in hand they will only be 1 point behind. Is the writing on the wall for Atletico? It looks increasingly likely.

Barcelona didn’t play at the weekend but they remain the best in form side in La Liga and have earned an incredible 28 points from a possible 30.

Let’s take a look below at the players who impressed the most as La Liga returned this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Bono- Sevilla 7pts

Bono has been here so many times and is clearly one of the best goalkeeper’s in Spain this season. This was his 13th clean sheet of the season and what it was as Sevilla marched to Champions League qualification as they beat league leaders Atletico Madrid 1-0.

Defender: Ferland Mendy- Real Madrid 5pts

Ferland Mendy has been of Real Madrid’s best defenders this season and he earned another 5 points at the weekend to take his tally to 53. He has helped to keep 11 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 5pts

Nacho has 30 points now as Real Madrid beat Eibar 2-0 at home to keep yet another clean sheet and possibly close in on the league title. Nacho made some great judgments on the ball and had a solid game.

Defender: Pedro Lopez- Huesca 5pts

Pedro Lopez showed a lot of maturity at the back for Huesca as they pulled off a terrific result to beat Levante away from home by 2-0. He’s hardly played any games this season and that is why he only has 9 points overall. His value is worth 5m.

Defender: Alberto Moreno- Villarreal 5pts

Alberto Moreno was part of a Villarreal defence that kept a clean sheet as they went to Granada and won 3-0. Moreno now has a total of 5 points given that this was indeed his first game for the club this season.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 6pts

Marco Asensio had an interesting game for Real Madrid as they beat Eibar 2-0. He scored the opening goal but it was ruled out by VAR but then a couple of minutes later he made amends for that and scored a proper opening goal.

Midfielder: Casemiro- Real Madrid 4pts

Casemiro has had a solid and professional season with Real and he assisted in the clubs first goal as they beat Eibar 2-0. Casemiro now has two assists for the season and has a total of 40 points so far.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Jesus Navas helped out at the back at times as Sevilla beat Atletico Madrid 1-0. Navas also assisted in the only goal of the game, to round up a very good performance from the midfielder. Currently he is the clubs 4th best midfielder so far.

Midfielder: David Ferreiro- Huesca 4pts

David Ferreiro assisted in Huesca’s goal as they beat Levante 2-0 at the weekend to earn a good 4 points. He has 3 assists now and is ranked at number 1 Huesca midfielder with a total of 23 points.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 14pts

It was a special weekend for Gerard Moreno who doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves. Villarreal beat Granada 3-0 and he scored all the goals to get a hat-trick. Moreno now has 19 goals this season and is 2nd in the top goalscorers.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 8pts

Iago Aspas had a terrific game as he scored and assisted in the other 2 goals as Celta Vigo beat Alaves 3-1. Aspas has had a good solid season and has appeared in the team of the weeks a few times now. He has 10 goals and has also assisted in a further 10.

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Is Haaland a realistic purchase for Barca?

News that Erling Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and father, Alf-Inge Haaland, have been talking to Barcelona about a possible deal will have anyone of a blaugrana persuasion rubbing their hands together.

It’s also worth pointing out at this stage that the pair then took a plane straight to Madrid and are expected to talk with Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United on Good Friday in what is a whistle-stop tour of the world’s biggest football clubs.

Make no mistake, Erling Haaland is the game’s hottest property. Continue reading