Cartoon of the day: Sport

Cartoon of the day: Sport

IN MINUTE 55, PIQUE TOLD THE LINESMAN:

“I S**T ON YOUR WH*RE MOTHER”**

VELASCO: “IN MINUTE 55, I TOLD HIM IT’S CLEAR THAT THAT HELPED… BUT WE’VE HAD THE DESIRE TO SEND YOU OFF SINCE MINUTE ONE”

**A common pejorative phrase in Spain

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The Front: Sport (19.8.2015)

The Front: Sport (19.8.2015)

THE COMMITTEE WILL SANCTION PIQUÉ TODAY

THE HAMMER WILL COME DOWN

FROM 4 TO 12 MATCHES

“I ask forgiveness for the act of protest, but in no way did I insult the linesman”

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (19.8.2015)

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (19.8.2015)

“I DIDN’T INSULT HIM”

Piqué denies insulting the linesman and asks Twitter for forgiveness, while Barça appeals

A single judge may sanction Gerard with 4 matches if he considers Valasco’s action

Rakitić: “If Piqué was sent off, there should be 7 or 8 in each match”

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Café con leche: Not worth the hassle

JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

Luis Enrique sees opportunity in defeat

Luis Enrique spoke to the press after the Spanish Super Cup loss to Athletic Club and stated, “You have to know how to win and how to lose,” before adding, “Sometimes it can be good to lose, that way you realise how hard it is to win… and how nice.” Lucho then praised the Basque club saying, “Athletic deserved the trophy — congratulations to them. My team did well [on Monday night], but the game was over after the red card [for Gerard Piqué in the second half].”

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Tactical Review: Barcelona 1-1 Athletic Club

QUIQUE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Well, so much for the remuntada. Following an action-packed 93 minutes, replete with errant finishing, poor officiating, and a brilliant Athletic backline in both name and nature, culé cries for a sextuple have turned into whispers. Even when you beat Pep Guardiola at the Camp Nou outright, you can’t fully shake his spectre.

Nevertheless, one shouldn’t be too disconsolate: in an encouraging, and vastly improved, display, Luis Enrique’s strongest available XI put on a courageous, battling display. After the first leg that’s all one could have asked for, realistically.

Tactically, large swathes of the match were identical to the previous one and for good reason: despite the scoreline, Barça’s personnel – not their system, as such – let them down, whereas Ernesto Valverde would have had to have been a madman, or Claudio Ranieri, to heavily tinker with his set-up.

Therefore, kindly refer to the first leg’s review, if it’s shape and positional structure you’re after. Today, we cover the salient differences and celebrate the return of football’s most-loved octopus, Sergio Busquets (sorry, Paul!)

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Review: Shrugging off the Super Copa

Athletic Bilbao's players hold the Supercup . Image: QUIQUE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Not much to say. Run that game again and a remuntada isn’t farfetched. FC Barcelona played a very satisfactory first half, taking the game to Athletic Club from the onset and rarely taking their foot off the gas. There was plenty of visible hunger and desire, that at times turned into impatience, and a good serving of slick football courtesy of Andrés Iniesta and Luis Súarez. Gerard Piqué hit the bar early on, which just may have been the impetus to inspire Barça and unnerve Bilbao. But as Barça pushed and pushed, Bilbao found gaps opening up to them and only a poor finish from Jaiver Eraso 37 minutes in kept the tie alive. Not long after, Barcelona finally scored following some delicious football and an exquisite chested assist from Suárez to Messi.

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Cartoon of the day: Sport

Cartoon of the day: Sport

THE SEXTUPLE PIQUÉ THREW AWAY 1 – 1 LIONS AND ‘CARBALLOS’

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The Front: Sport (18.8.2015)

The Front: Sport (18.8.2015)

GOODBYE SEXTUPLE (Barcelona 1 Athletic 1)

Barcelona paid for the errors at San Mamés and let the Supercup escape from their grasp

Velasco Carballo ruined the comeback with the expulsion of Piqué

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The Front: Mundo Deportivo (18.8.2015)

The Front: Mundo Deportivo (18.8.2015)

THEY FALL WITH CONTROVERSY

Velasco Carballo complicated the comeback with Piqué’s expulsion, which decided the match

Messi returned to score but it was not sufficient against the 4-0 that Aduriz added to with his goal

Athletic won the Spanish Supercopa justifiably and collected their first title after 31 years of waiting

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Café con leche: Day of Reckoning

Eurosport

It’s not just a Supercopa

For culés, this is just another trophy to add to a cabinet full of major honors, both domestic and European. For Los Leones, this is a reward for all the hard work and suffering. “It’s not like winning the Champions League or the league – but it means everything to us because it has been such a long time since we won a trophy,” said Ernesto Valverde.

“For Barça, it’s one more, of a possible sextuple.”

The wise thing for Athletic to do would probably be to park the bus and defend for their lives for a long 90 minutes against a motivated but tired Barcelona. There’s also another tactic, a more risky one, that Valverde seems keen on implementing. “We should have their goal in our sights during the whole game.”

“We won’t be going into the game looking at the clock and counting the seconds because that would be a big mistake.” An Athletic goal would mean that Barcelona would have to score six to win, and an away goal would probably end the remuntada dream. But is Valverde ready to take a calculated risk against the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez?

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