Málaga, not Barça, begin to find themselves in an estado de Gracia or state of grace.
This compliment is meant, of course, for a noble, valiant Málaga, in praise of their coach’s plan, not for a tired, heavily rotational, and poor Barça, visibly fatigued after the high intensity encounters against Athletic and Espanyol in the Copa during recent weeks. Even with Arda and Aleix fitting in perfectly, playing a match every three days takes its toll.
This isn’t the easiest game on the schedule. Though a neither here nor there 12th place in the table Málaga provide awkward encounters. This season alone they’ve defeated Atlético Madrid (1-0), Celta Vigo (2-0), managed a 0-0 draw at the Bernabéu and made Barça grind out a 1-0 win at Camp Nou in August. All that said, Barça know the pressure is ever on not to slip up. With Atlético providing the title challenge expected in the summer and Real Madrid’s galáctios freed from Rafa’s rigidness, the race in Spain is one where draws are defeats and defeats are disasters.
Masche being treated unfairly
With the recent news that Javier Mascherano was sentenced to a year in jail, my initial thought was : “Hasn’t this been resolved already?”. There was, indeed, an agreement where the Argentine accepted a year in prison and an 800,000 euro fine for fiscal fraud. However, as has been the case with Blaugrana players, Masche’s trial was treated as if it was a public execution. He accepted his sentence in front of a judge, while a camera recorded him to make sure the world could see him in handcuffs. There is no doubting that he made a mistake and was culpable, but to shame him like this is despicably disrespectful. Messi and Neymar have trials coming up too, so I hope that Masche can forget about this ordeal and focus on his football, and Leo and Ney concentrate on on-field matters as well. We all know that this would never happen to a player in white, but there’s not much we can do about it. Guess our trophies will have to do.
NEYMAR, FAITHFUL TO BARCELONA
Neymar’s father to MD: “The rumours about the meeting with Madrid in Zurich is an invention.”
“He is happy in Barcelona and he wants to sign a new contract at the end of the season.”
Messi is already training and wants to travel to Malaga today
Barcelona, fed up with the referees
The club, coach and the players denounce the permission of violent play
Neymar is the player with the most fouls received in La Liga: 67
Messi could play in Malaga
Rafa: “Well, after Madrid’s games with Zizou on the bench, I confirm that the players have made me ‘a bed’ of size XXXL”
THE STREAK CONTINUES (1-2)
Without Messi and Suarez, Barcelona sealed its second triumph over Athletic and has a foot in the semi-finals
Neymar, with six goals against the Lions in six game, and Munir resolved the game in the first 25 minutes
A DUO AND A FREAKISHLY GOOD GOALKEEPER (1-2)
Munir and Neymar scored the goals in a great first half for Barcelona
Ter Stegen saved the victory with two great saves at the end
Messi: “I will never play in another European team.”
González González could not this time 1 A team without the trident 2
“This result is worse for me than the Lions… but if I am allowed to officiate the return leg, there are still possibilities.”
You’re the coach of the best team in the world. Your (and history’s) best player is injured, and your best striker (who is also Europe’s top scorer in all competitions) is suspended. Your first, second and third choice left-backs are also unavailable due to injury. To make your situation even better, you’re facing a team you just beat 6-0. at a ground where you also recently lost 4-0. In short, the world seems to be conspiring against you.