Hold on – this isn’t over yet

Image: Alejandro García EFE

If any of you have ever seen The Departed (no spoilers here), do you remember that part in the elevator where you thought it was about to end well and then it suddenly didn’t end well at all? With this win over Atlético Madrid on Sunday, La Liga has become that elevator scene. And yes, Real Madrid also won against Villareal, but they were anything but convincing – and once again, dubious referee decisions (yes, again) allowed Real back into the match. FC Barcelona are closing up the gap, and Sevilla don’t appear to be going anywhere. While this ain’t Boston, that elevator scene might be playing out over the next few weeks.

The Liga table currently stands at 1. Real Madrid, 55 points 2. Barcelona, 54 points 3. Sevilla, 52 points. Rounding out the top 5 are Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad. Atleti played a great match, especially in the first 30 minutes. Their defense was as tough as Barça fans as we’re accustomed to. However, Barcelona still won 2-1 (which seems to be a theme, according to Diego Simeone). In the second half, Barcelona turned it up, got on the counterattack, and was able to solidify the defense a bit. Playing with three at the back helped tremendously. Barcelona made a statement with a drastically different second half.

Meanwhile, Madrid went down 2-0 to Villareal and were gifted two goals by the refereeing. While they did fight back admirably to make it 2-1, the fact is Real Madrid won a game they had no business winning. Sevilla won 2-1 against Real Betis, a result that isn’t entirely surprising given their form this season under Jorge Sampaoli. Rounding out the top 5 are Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad, with Athletic Bilbao, Celta, and Villareal also having good seasons. Valencia’s form of late has been getting better, but they continue to be slightly dysfunctional. Eibar, the little guys that don’t give up, are having another impressive season as well.

But don’t be fooled: This is a three-horse race right now, and it’s still February. Anything can still happen.

Over the upcoming months, Madrid’s schedule isn’t easy, but it isn’t particularly hard. They play Las Palmas, Napoli, Bilbao, and Atleti before the Clasico on April 23rd. Sevilla play Bilbao, Leicester City, Atleti, Barcelona and Valencia. Barcelona’s only league competition before el Clásico is the aforementioned match against Sevilla. In terms of Liga schedules, Barça has the easiest route.

Let’s not mince words here. Barcelona haven’t been their usual selves so far this season, and Luis Enrique’s been under a lot of criticism- with good reason. But despite Barcelona’s poor play, they’re just one point back from Madrid and one ahead of Sevilla. On top of this, Madrid have struggled so far too. They’ve already lost more games in 2017 than all of 2016 and it’s only February. Sevilla are a good team but not without their flaws, as they can sometimes struggle to score (like Atleti). None of the teams so far this season have been particularly good. The only reason Sevilla has had such praise heaped upon them because of the improvement from seasons past.

As an aside here, Gerard Piqué’s posting about lucky breaks for Madrid is totally justified. Against Villareal, a penalty that wasn’t a penalty was given them, as well as a foul that wasn’t called that led directly to a third goal. By my count, Madrid have won four games they shouldn’t have. Barcelona were robbed of a goal that was clearly past the line against Betis, and Luis Suárez’s “foul” against Jan Oblak last match took that goal away. Piqué’s statement that Madrid have had help in winning as much as they have is, in my opinion, correct.

Barcelona showed something against Atleti we hadn’t seen, either. With Piqué, Samuel Umtiti and Jérémy Mathieu playing three at the back, Sergi Roberto was added to the midfield in the second half. Because of this, there was another option in the midfield and all of a sudden Barcelona were able to break the pressure of Atleti and control more of the game. When Roberto went out for André Gomes, the scheme didn’t change. The midfield that had been the problem all year under Luis Enrique suddenly didn’t look so bad anymore. Hopefully he will learn from this experience and change tactics accordingly as the year goes on.

It’s only February. Anything can happen in La Liga. Before I close, let me leave you with a short story. On March 12, 2016, FC Barcelona beat Getafe 6-0 and opened up an 11-point lead over Real Madrid. They ended up winning La Liga that season by… 1 point. The moral of the story is that nothing’s over until it’s over. I don’t pretend to know what will happen, but Barcelona and Sevilla are right up there with Real Madrid. Real are the leaders, Barcelona found something last match that might just work, and Sevilla aren’t going to give up. In this elevator scene, it’s going to be an interesting ride down.

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  • Ibra

    There are a lot of grammatical errors in this. Please have someone read it before posting

  • David

    So news of Enrique departing has finally been announced, and the tributes didn’t take long to pour in it seems. Sometimes, I just downright hate this fickle fan-base. Don’t think I can say that I saw many people standing up for the man when the bashing, and moments of disrespect were rampant. Tbh ya’ll deserve David Moyes next as manager, leave alone someone like Sampaoli.

  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    You were almost spot on with the Prediction against gijon, and Madrid slipped, let’s hope the prophesy comes true

  • Hec

    Great article!!

  • Peter Tinkler

    I think it was without doubt the right decision on LE part, the timing is appropriate. Its been a largely successful tenure. Thank you LE for the hard work and trophies- 5 major trophies in the bag, plus perhaps another this season (the CL is over, don’t fancy Barca for the league, but hopefully the Copa).
    Not a bad haul eh. I don’t know who the next manager will be, but he’ll be doing well to match that success. I’m hearing talk of Wenger, which is a dreadful prospect in my eyes, but hey, what the hell do I know!

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      and oh, the league is very much ours to lose as it stands, so maybe a couple of trophies

  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    I can’t wait to hear stuff like “news of lucho leaving made the boys give him the middle finger and started playing well”. Wait for it

  • kaso

    Messi at it again.

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      as always

      • kaso

        Do you know Sergi Roberto was becoming a beast in the middle of the park until.. ? Guess who destroyed the great midfielder in him to turn him a useless right back.

        • Kneowell Anyanwu

          Sergio roberto is a beast anywhere he plays, he has shown that, he’s too reliable, and you’ll be utterly mistaking if you think his midfield play is being destroyed cos everytime we go playing 3-4-3, he turns up very huge in midfield and deputizes decently enough at RB. No one can destroy what is inside of you, it can’t be taken away. Sergio roberto will be eternally grateful to Luis Enrique cos lucho made him. He’s a player in the mold of lucho himself who’s known to be my versatile when he was a player and that’s why the coach holds him dearly. Lucho gave roberto the chance no other manager gave him since we debuted for the first team even when many of you curled screamed “sell him he isn’t good enough for barca”. Lucho has marketed Sergio Roberto’s abilities to the next barca coach as a trusted and reliable team player no matter where he plays, yes he may have flaws playing in some areas, as do all players, but in a net effect? We have never seen the beast in roberto until lucho came along. you are wrong on that count buddy, sorry

  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    The caption of this article is suddenly the best ever n this history of this site. Hold on, this isn’t over yet, with the most despised manager on it standing there on the sideline. Haters will as usual give the credit to Messi or MSN alone, but I’ll be here waiting for you guys. Just show up and say the first rubbish here.

    • David

      Tell them bro. I’m sure they feel not an ounce of GENUINE pride and excitement after all the bashing and critiquing of Enrique and the version of his team. All their wasted energy went to that, and now are probably feeling abit guilty. They know themselves!

    • serko10

      if you;re talking about me as well, my critique is legit, it does not mean i am not excited as a madman about the win. but i am not an opportunist, it doesn’t mean everything i think about lucho is gone. This win was not because we play great football, this win was a team that fought for their last chance like lions, had some luck here and there, and as a collective won it, not by good football, but by spirit and fight and struggling for every single ball. This is not something to expect to happen every time, we don’t want to get into the situation every round, now where we need a miracle like this. The only way not to is by improving our football. So that we don’t have to go to war on guts and fight every game. That’s more something chelsea or leicester do, Barca is better than that. It does not mean it’s not extremely commendable and praiseworthy how the team fought.But it does not take away anything from my criticism. but nice try though. I’m not only in it for the win over you on the interwebz, i actually have my own ideas about something not based on winning against kneowell on the internet and adapting my views every month or changing my team because i don’t agree with the choice of manager. I criticize fairly, if you don’t agree, fair enough, but you’re not going to push me into the corner with “hater” rethoric. it’s just dismissive. I don’t have personal gripes againt Lucho, i just think he’s not nearly the best manager for this club. Winning alone doesn’t take away from that with the players we have winning isn’t out of the question even with a mediocre manager.

      • Peter Tinkler

        “Not something to expect to happen every time”… It has never happened before in the history of the CL in this format. Ever. It may never happen again in our life times. Unprecedented. Let’s bask in the glory of it 🙂

        • serko10

          dude, i am supposed to get up in 4 hours but i can’t sleep from the adrenalin. this was pure madness.

      • kaso

        Spot on!!! All we want is the best for our beloved club.

      • futbolistaviv

        Here are some facts that you need to comprehend to get a better education of how the game is played.
        Barca played a great match today and Lucho managed a brilliant match from a tactical and substitution perspective.
        Here is another fact,
        Lucho has forgotten more about futbol than you will ever know.
        Tonight was the greatest comeback in Champion’s League history.

      • Kneowell Anyanwu

        I didn’t know you’ll categorize yourself under haters, I won’t respond to nothing you said until the review for this game is out and I’ll pour my thoughts there about the game, and maybe some long standing and harsh criticism of the manager. But I won’t forgive your last line, maybe winning is out of question with the quality we have (according to you because you think all clubs should just roll their ass over and get violated by barca) but not even the best coach in the world can manage such a win even with this set of players, none at all. This performance has eclipsed that of pep as a barca manger in comebacks where we had arguably the best team in the world but could not come back against inter milan with just a two goals deficit. We played the best football with 100% aesthetic value but had no bite. No way on earth will u undermine this victory with such narrative when we’ve seen even the best coaches fail at the task. Vamos barca

        • serko10

          I’ll lose alot of sleep over your not forgiving me lol . i’m literally laughing now
          You’re a simpleton ruled by emotion i feel. Though Sergi Roberto seems like a great lad, works superhard, and he gave us the win. The moment you called him an absolute beast of a player you lost so much credibility it really doesn’t matter anymore. You sound so much like thos partisan politics extremists, it’s more important that you support, than that you critically look at things. It’s more important that win the argument, than that you learn and grow. Your loss, mate. Please save your noble mercy for someone who needs it! lol The team won cause they fought like lions, they played all-or-nothing, and it was all but could’ve been nothing. And as a supporter i am glad for that. But realistically if you remove your bias it could’ve been nothing very easily. Against inter the bus parking was way more severe, as well as in those games the referees in both legs minus the red card situation very much went against us. Circumstances in a knock-out tie matter. But i am arguing against someone with a fixed partisan bias. Borderline or far across the fanboy line. I love this club, enough to yell it out literally like a maniac sometimes. But that fanboyistic attitude is not for me. I look critically at things because i want the best for the club, the people, and the things i care about. Not to be a douche on the internet that needs to be narrow-minded as a mofo. I love your pretentiousness though lol, i am not even trolling, it’s some of the funniest stuff i’ve seen in a while. Forgive me! lol

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Yeah see who talks about credibility and see how it scratches of a strand of hair on my skin? I make reference to Pep in your case because you already attested long before now that that team was everything football should be for you, invariably I’m calling out on your own obsession and not mine as obsession with pep and total support for lucho are eggs that are not often times found in the same basket. Now let me expose your own bias, it’s easy for you to defend that team that played against inter with such shit like them playing rugby and offside goals and what have you, but let me remind you the game against Chelsea where Iniesta was the hero, where pique should have been sent out and Chelsea given a penalty, these are decisions that went our way, “critical fans” like you will say we won from Iniesta heroics and peps beautiful football,but there is a reason why the term uefalona sprang and became popular. Atletico madrid played same rugby against this team in the league and we still won,dont be in too much of a hurry to refer to last year’s champions league loss, we had a clear penalty not called. Your definition of criticism is making excuses for one and throwing stones at the other, what a standard for an “unbiased critical non partisan fan”. Yes PSG missed chances but tell me about it, how many chances did they miss in the first leg? Didn’t we have chances we could have converted in the first leg? Didn’t we have chances in the second leg that could have seen is score up to 9 goals? Tell me about it unbiased one. The fanboy attitude is so deep in you that you are too blind to even see it, only you didn’t catch the train you should have been on so you find yourself stuck here. Sorry serkan, I’m always gonna drag you right into this, your usual tactics of deflecting the subject matter to me never did help you, it won’t now cos I’ve never been bothered bout your opinion of view. Hail lord serkan, the most objective and critical fan there is and will ever be on culerverse. Hahahaha

          • serko10

            u mad, brah? chill lol okay, fine, i’ll indulge you a tiny bit
            To get into your bs arguments. Balack should’ve been sent off multiple times in chelsea first leg. Abidal got sent off completely unjustly the second leg. Do you even know what bias means? I am bringing up realistic arguments, you thoink Roberto is a beast. man, nobody on planet earth in all the pundists from many countries thinks he’s worth much, you’re putting him on a pedestal. Same for Lucho, soooo many pundits and ex players think he is not producing nearly as much as he should. Bias? How many times under lucho did we eat 3 or more goals? You bring up Martino but you fail to bring up the circumstances under which martino had to operate. You’re riding lucho’s d.ck but you’re trying to switch it on me that i’m riding Pep’s. Sad! lol You say Pep had a better squad but fail to compare that Pep made due with players like that argentinian guy who’s brother played for Inter, with maxwell who’s inferior to Alba, with Puyol at the end of his carreer, with Pedro instead of Neymar. Balance yourself, bro, admit some wrong in your constant false equivelances, deceptive arguments, and obsessive Lucho d.ck riding. It’s impossible for us to ever really agree, because your philosophy is all that counts is winning, and you are attached to Lucho so hard it’s like an obsession. like you’re a paid cheerleader. Like thos trolls paid by politicians to come online and defend them to death. Dude, it matters that PSG had 6 or 7 real chances to score on us in the first leg because it shows that we have serious issues. Since pep has to be brought up, when the hell was Pep ever outplayed so bad that if a game had ended 10-0 nobody could’ve complained? We created 1-2 chances in Paris, they created enough to score 8-10 times. These are legit worries to adress. But not for short-sighted only short-term result matters obsessive people like yourself Not small chances either, legit chances. Yesterday again, luck was a factor. We never had 9 legit chances. give me the time stamps. Why shouldn’t i be in a hurry to mention last years atletico loss? I can’t say these things without being labled biased but you can? Until we got the red card in the first leg, Atletico was by no means less than us in either leg, in the away game they outplayed us, and in the home game they were more dangerous until the red card situation. Why am i arguing you? I got so many pundits, ex players, and coaches on my side with the same opinion, countless ones from all walks of the sport and all kinds of philosophies, People who love Barca but are realistic, and know what they’re talking about. We have been on a downward spiral for a long time, and that’s not something people like me say because we enjoy being cynical or pessimistic. But that’s what you seem to think, implying ” bias” . you are obsessed, man, hate or argue me all you want, but you’re off, something isn’t healthy in your mindframe. I’m self-critical plenty, hence i refer to many many pundits, coaches, and players to hear them out and they confirm what my eyes see, and they make more sense than you. Especially because they have no stake in one or the other. Yesterday you yelled like a madmen here that we weren’t allowed to say that msn carries us anymore based on yesterday. Um, suarez 1 goal and 1 penalty drawn, neymar 1 penalty drawn, 1 penalty scored, 1 freekick scored, 1 assist given, messi 1 goal scored. are you serious? really? MSN didn’t carry us through? that was your argument? Sergi Roberto = beast? Again, no hate for Roberto, he’s the hero. Lucho is genius for 3 men defense? Are you new to football? Have you ever played it? Considering the circumstances what he did was the only logical options, there was nothing genius about it, the fact it took him this long is questionable to say the least. But that doesn’t suddenly make him the best ever. I wonder if you really even see these games or see recaps or summaries. And still, i don’t hate Lucho and i was very happy for him to see him like that yesterday, but i’m not about to d.ckride him like you. all the best to you. and i hope you get that issue checked out sometime.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            That you have a lot of pundits on your side doesn’t thrill me, I don’t go about looking for pundits to side me cos I know what I see, is it a coincidence that pep manages to stand up for lucho when these genuine criticisms are aired? Pep said no other club but barca can upturn that result because he knows the capacity of the team, he’s been there, he knows what they achieved in the past, llorent blanch on the other hand said it was impossible and barca was out cos like you he judged by the faults he saw on the pitch in the first leg and never saw a way around it, it all boils down to whose side you are on, I see more possibilities, you see more issues. yes we have genuine issues some of which you rightly raised, I have never claimed this team is without a fault, there will always be many of it if you make it your life mission to look out for them and they will be genuine and of course it’s the coach’s responsibility to address them. Are there clubs without issues? Show me the first one! But ate there clubs whose strengths outweigh their weaknesses? They are all over the place. I don’t know what the word beast means to you and your pundits, maybe the only pedestial you recognize beasts are the Neymar and Messis and Suarez and what have you, you won’t be wrong though, but I’ll add versility in my own Definition. Sergi roberto has been called up to play as a DM, AM, RWF, LMF, RMF, LB, RB and passed on all, damn the kid was even asked to go score a goal and he did! That’s a beast to me and I don’t care what you or your pundits say. I’ve always said it here that lucho is not the best tactician in the world, he isn’t huge in that department but whatever little thing he’s done right that kept us up there as the best club in the world? He deserves all the credit for that, if you and your pundits think he’s shit and isn’t responsible for any achievement and would rather give all the credit to MSN? Then turn your cane to the msn for all that goes south. It’s just that simple

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            That you have a lot of pundits on your side doesn’t thrill me, I don’t go about looking for pundits to side me cos I know what I see, is it a coincidence that pep manages to stand up for lucho when these genuine criticisms are aired? Pep said no other club but barca can upturn that result because he knows the capacity of the team, he’s been there, he knows what they achieved in the past, llorent blanch on the other hand said it was impossible and barca was out cos like you he judged by the faults he saw on the pitch in the first leg and never saw a way around it, it all boils down to whose side you are on, I see more possibilities, you see more issues. yes we have genuine issues some of which you rightly raised, I have never claimed this team is without a fault, there will always be many of it if you make it your life mission to look out for them and they will be genuine and of course it’s the coach’s responsibility to address them. Are there clubs without issues? Show me the first one! But ate there clubs whose strengths outweigh their weaknesses? They are all over the place. I don’t know what the word beast means to you and your pundits, maybe the only pedestial you recognize beasts are the Neymar and Messis and Suarez and what have you, you won’t be wrong though, but I’ll add versility in my own Definition. Sergi roberto has been called up to play as a DM, AM, RWF, LMF, RMF, LB, RB and passed on all, damn the kid was even asked to go score a goal and he did! That’s a beast to me and I don’t care what you or your pundits say. I’ve always said it here that lucho is not the best tactician in the world, he isn’t huge in that department but whatever little thing he’s done right that kept us up there as the best club in the world? He deserves all the credit for that, if you and your pundits think he’s shit and isn’t responsible for any achievement and would rather give all the credit to MSN? Then turn your cane to the msn for all that goes south. It’s just that simple

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            How many times did clubs score 3 past a pep in barca? I’ll count for you. Sevilla, osasuna, atletico twice (4 goals on one occasion) inter, shaktar, Bilbao, Villarreal. Count for lucho and see if you get as high that number

          • serko10

            okay, so fair enough. how often did we lose with that ammount of goals in difference? I’m still going to argue, the inter game was a farce the away game. we had to travel by bus to milan 2 days before the game for the flight ban with the iceland volcano bs. , and go and watch the game again and tell me with dry eyes that game wasn’t a huge refereeing farce. Wasn’t the shaktar game, a game where we were already qualified and played a second string team? Let me phrase it differently, how often, besides the first months under pep, or games with no signficance anymore, with the more than half the team regular starters, did we lose badly, and did we lose badly deservedly where we looked like the lesser team by far, not some unlucky day where the opponent has 3 chances and scores all 3 of them, but a game where the opponents actually dominated us? Will you legit argue me that under Lucho that didn’t happen significantly more often, significantly? And against lesser opponents too. i know arguing with you will never change my or your opinion because we are ideologically completely opposed. your vallues are completely opposite of mine.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Save me the excuses serkan, cos the term uefalona was coined with pep, for a good reason. Refs decision could go either way but that won’t be an excuse. For instance if we fail to win the league this season history won’t carry it that the refs gifted Madrid 12 points and robbed us 6points. You would term lucho a collosal failure without remembering how refs decisions influenced the season’s outcome.

          • serko10

            man you’re horrible. terrible. now i can see where your attitude stems from. you’re willing to sink as low as to ride the mourinho train of propaganda. that’s how low you will sink to win this argument. shame. maybe you need to look back at 2012 btw about how refs stole the league that time too. You’re disingenious, there’s no arguing with someone who for the sake of winning will sink this low. Speaking of forgiving, i don’t have the pretentiousness to assume you need mine, but damn you are a real traitor when you start using the Uefalona part as a stick to beat Pep with. If you see just how many bad calls were made against us in Pep’s reign as well, and you dare to come out here and play the same game mourinho does, in my eyes, you sound like the one who is the trecherous one. While your projecting that image upon others. I can’t believe you managed to sink even lower in my regard. You have managed a top performance today indeed.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Oh it never occurred to you Mr fantastic that I only rode on your line of thoughts

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            I just had to expose just how much of a lucho hater you are in so much that you would say anything or consult anyone to ascertain your claims, indeed you’ve also discovered yourself as the treacherous traitor, you just needed to see a reflection of yourself, glad to see how you freaking out when you are dealt the same cards you play always, LMAO. I’m not a pep hater, still y first love when it comes to managers, I fiercely support him like I do lucho, I will extend the same hands to any manger who takes the reins (even if he were handpicked by lord serkan himself) , perform and is able to win games and trophies in the face of all odds like pep and lucho.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Take away Roberto’s heroic goal, take away Iniesta’s determined follow through,take away stegen heroic saves, take away Umtiti’s, pique and mash omni presence, take away busquet and rakitic dirty jobs, take away rafinhas strong ball retention, tell us what’s left of the MSN, tell us their goals and assists will still mean shit, we waiting for it

          • serko10

            you’re disingenuous, mate. The type that intentionally miscontrue someone’s intentions from their words. like a politician and a demagogue. i have you figured out all correct it seems and you just keep confirming it.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Your usual strategy, flee from subject at hand and facts while deflecting attention to Kneowell, look who isn’t all figured out a long time ago, our dear serkan

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            It’s either you can’t tell the difference between a team and a squad or you just substituted the word I used (team) with squad so you could make sense to no one but yourself

          • serko10

            that coming from fake news alt-facts “beast” your own definition is pretty rich

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Whatever

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            PSG created chances? Like is that supposed to be an argument? That the opponent isn’t supposed to create chances? Hahahahaha! Besides I won’t lose much of a sleep if a club like atletico outplays us, not even peps barca could best them as much as lucho’s barca has. Barca can outplay and beat anyclub in the world, that’s shouldn’t come as a surprise even to the victims, in the same way atletico outplaying barca has never been far fetched even though most times we end up winning

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            We never had 9legit chances? But we had 10 shots on target? I must have missed a basic arithmetic class in first grade.

          • serko10

            oh really, how many of those were 1 on 1’s and full on chances? in the away game in paris. please tell me more. maybe watch the video recap again?

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Oh so all chances in football should be one on one chances? OK I get, only one on one chances matter in football now? LMAO. Of the scores of goals we’ve scored this season how many are one on one? OK now it matters that they are not full on chances? Se kanayo pls go help yourself and your philosophy of football. Like PSG that initially set out to defend in camp not should allow the best trio in the best team in the world one on one chances when they are up by a 4 goal lead? If you are a realistic cule like you’ve heralded yourself to be you should have none that to progress from such a difficult time we would need to make good of half and quarter chances we get cos PSG was never gonna make it easy for us to advance. What? You think that match was a training or something? Hahahahaha, can’t stop laughing at this shot you just penned down serkan, pretty comical stuff. Write more pls. Lmfao

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            I also noticed how you switched it to the away game in Paris when you started off with the home game. Lol. You are even bad at arguing

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Let me give you something to argue with serkan, last 4 home champions league games. Barca celtic 7-0, barca mancity 4-0, barca monglabadash 4-0, barca PSG 6-1. Amidst the ton of chances the opponents created it isn’t just by mere luck that we qualified, and we didn’t score those many goals from one on one chances, a lot were half chances, that’s the stuff of champions.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            “You bring up Martino but you fail to bring up the circumstances under which martino had to operate” Hahahahaha serkan, dude lost the league on the last day of the season…. He gets to be excused too? Un-fucking-believeable

          • serko10

            i don’t have alot of time to aim at all your shit but you expose yourself for the full of crap guy you are. Martino had to deal with a freshly integrating, younger, less experienced neymar, no suarez. Xavi heavily on the decline, no Rakitic, defensively very thin squad, alot of injuries. Pinto at Goal, Bartra with no experience in the back in many games. this all just from the top of my head, and he was robbed because the legit winning goal that would’ve won us the league was robbed from us by the ref. Having Bravo and Ter Stege, and options as backups in defense and Rakitic, and Suarez and Neymar settled in made a huge difference. The team under martino had just come off a year where they had Abidal and Tito suffer cancer and Tito would even eventually die in the course of the season. Messi was suffering from injury upon injury and was never at his best due to that. You call it excuses, i call it reason and a circumstances. But i know you don’t like that shit, nuance. nuance bothers you. ugh, Martino bad, bad! Martino was one inch away in both cup and title from winning it all under very difficult circumstances with a very thin, aging, and injured squad. it was a miniscule difference and he would’ve had the double, and suddenly he would’ve been remembered differently. again, i ain’t no opportunist like yourself to only judge by result, so we’re never going to convince eachother, but you’re disingeneous as f. “hahahahahaha” to make it like you

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Tell me about it, Martino had no balls to get off a fresh start. He could have signed his own midfielders or incorporated some from your “rich” la masia since you are convinced they are good enough to be first team starters like Pedro and busquet were. Xavi heavy decline? No way brother, xavi was never heavily declined, put back xavi on the pitch today and you won’t miss any of his on and off the ball flavors. Xavi is a player in the mold of Pirlo, they never decline, let alone decline as heavily as you suggest. Speed was never their greatest asset and they ain’t huge defensively and that is why lucho opted for rakitic. Xavi still played a huge part the following season after Martino and you really should go re-watch many of those games in Xavis final season. player integration Problems? The same thing you wont excuse lucho from? That must be a joke right? Defensively very thing? For two seasons Pep played with just 5 core defenders (guess who the fifth was in peps second season? Mascherano, a DM), it was so bad that busquet had to play center back when one was out injured. Should I also remind you that yaya toure played as a defender in peps first UCL final, that won’t be the case if he had abundance of defenders so pls that’s an excuse not a reason because pep achieved the unthinkable with same reason.
            He was robbed of a goal bathe ref?, ok I’ll take this as a legitimate reason, but wait for it. Barca so far this season has been robbed 6 points with a disallowed goal and a clear penalty in Villarreal not called. Madrid on the other hand has been gifted Atleast 9points (12 actually) 9+6=15. Barca should be Atleast 15points above second placed Madrid as we speak if this were the case the league would have been bagged (OK maybe with a Sevilla to contend with) if the trophy dries up under lucho as you always ask, would you defend the man the way you just defended Martino? No you won’t, you would attribute it to shitty play as you have all season and you term yourself as being self critical instead of the obvious bias you show toward lucho. Thank God you confessed having bravo, stegen, rakitic and Suarez made a huge difference but to the man who handpicked them for the team and made that difference happen you wont give any credit. You are just a sore Classless hypocrite

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Oh finally see who’s c*ck you ride, tata Martino eh?

          • Jack

            The Barcelona board made the best decision to let him go. You may as well go with him.

          • serko10

            preach, bro! and again, i don’t hate the man, lucho, i am happy for him. make no mistake, but even if he was my best friend i wouldn’t believe he was the best pick for our manager. Whatever results we get. With a team like ours you can always win and should be expected to play for the tropies every year. , but you can’t struggle so often to play a decent game as we have under Lucho, and make so many mistakes. The entire footballing world minus a few people here and there think we have gotten considerably worse every year since lucho has come in and rely too much on our front 3. But Kneowell thinks everybody is wrong but him because only winning matters. What he won’t acknowledge is winning with what we have is not rocketscience. We have players with a decade worth of experience on our squad in winning long before he came in. None of the new players who came in after lucho signed have improved dramatically, if at all. Plenty seem to have gotten worse considerably. Too many for it to be a coincidence.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Oh well it’s not rocket science that strikers win you matches it is? It’s not rocket science too that someone like you give only the strikers credit, it’s not rocket science too that these players with a decade long of experience always win and will do so even with a mediocre coach. but what’s rocket science to me is how you always immediately turn to the coach when the strikers don’t deliver, it is also rocket science to me that when your superstars don’t deliver you suddenly look for a world class coaches when you’ve claimed times and again that a mediocre coach can do the job with these guys, that’s always the point where you seem to lose me

      • Kneowell Anyanwu

        New recruits or not, MSN always does the job don’t they? Umtiti underperforms? Stegen? Cillesen? Rakitic? Suarez? Rafinha? Arda? Digne? Really? Wow! Gomes maybe… Vidal and Denis are even pulling through. Academy players dry up? Like Roberto, rafinha, Denis Suarez? Last 2 of whom were brought back by who? Is it also lucho’s fault that our youth players are not up to par for the first team? Can you compare bisquets influence on debut to that of a damper for instance? Wasn’t a munir and Sandro given ample time to prove themselves worthy?

  • Peter Tinkler

    Ahahaha! Come on dammit!! I’m in shock, stunned, incredulous, stupefied. It did happen didn’t it? This is reality? Holy sh*tballs. I didn’t believe it could happen before the match. That was phenomenal. We simply must enjoy this sublime (and quite insane) moment.
    PS. LE made an inspired substitution- Sergi Roberto for Iniesta 🙂