11 Updates

Business as usual for Barca, work to be done for Madrid

Aug 19 2013, 7:10am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 19 (IANS) Two days into the new Primera Liga season and the most obvious is that rumours of Barca's demise have been overstated.

Madrid, Aug 19 — Two days into the new Primera Liga season and the most obvious is that rumours of Barca's demise have been overstated. That was made clear by a blistering first half display against...

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1 year ago

Business as usual for Barca, work to be done for Madrid

Aug 19 2013, 7:10am CDT | by IANS

Madrid, Aug 19 (IANS) Two days into the new Primera Liga season and the most obvious is that rumours of Barca's demise have been overstated.

Madrid, Aug 19 — Two days into the new Primera Liga season and the most obvious is that rumours of Barca's demise have been overstated.

That was made clear by a blistering first half display against Levante which saw the reigning champions go in 6-0 up at half time and eventually secure a record opening day win 7-0 Sunday, reports Xinhua.

The fact this was done on the back of a chaotic pre-season and with Neymar and Andres Iniesta on the subs' bench should worry everyone in La Liga, although the failure to sign a central defender will be a problem as the season progresses.

For the moment however, Barca fans will be delighted at the way the side have adapted to the high-pressing game demanded by Tata Martino and the new hunger they showed on the pitch after a downbeat end to last season.

In the Santiago Bernabeu, Carlo Ancelotti made it clear that he is very much his own man with the decision to leave Iker Casillas on the bench and play Diego Lopez in goal.

Following Casillas' much publicized spat with Jose Mourinho last season most would have expected Casillas to have started in the 2-1 win against Betis, but it was Lopez who got the nod.

Quite where this leaves Casillas at the start of a World Cup season remains to be seen and with Casillas' influence in the press and dressing room, Ancelotti has shown himself to be a brave man.

As for Madrid's performance, it was a letdown after a promising pre-season, but with the new coach trying to introduce a more passing style of football, he may need more time that Martino, who has given a few 'tweaks' to the Barca mechanism rather than attempt a full scale overhaul. Meanwhile Isco looks as if he could be the signing of the summer.

As for Barca and Madrid's respective rivals: Levante look as if they are in for a long season after a difficult summer with internal issues, while Betis showed the same courage and flair as last year despite a revolving door transfer policy.

Radamel Falcao has left Atletico Madrid but they still have Diego Costa and their 3-1 win in Sevilla was a win to quieten the doubters that the loss of their star striker would be a handicap.

The arrival of David Villa and Leo Baptistao has actually given Diego Simeone more options and Costa looks to be revelling in his new found responsibility.

Sevilla looked good in patches as well, but may also need time to integrate their new signings.

IANS

Source: IANS

 
Update
11

7 hours ago

Sergio Busquets Injury: Updates on Barcelona Star's Hip and Return

Oct 21 2014 6:12am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Sergio Busquets will miss Barcelona's Champions League tie with Ajax after picking up a hip injury. The Spanish midfielder is due to sit out of Tuesday's clash as a "precautionary measure," as reported by the club's official website. Blaugrana boss Luis Enrique is also without defensive reinforcements Adriano and Douglas during the Camp Nou tie. Plenty of options can be utilised to cover Busquets' absence. Javier Mascherano, Andre ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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10

7 hours ago

Barcelona Ace Gerard Pique Claims Ex-Liverpool Star Luis Suarez Is ‘Really Different’, And ‘The Opposite Of Sweet’

Oct 21 2014 5:51am CDT | Source: CaughtOffside

Pique has been talking up Suarez before El Clasico this weekend...  Gerard Pique reckons superstar striker Luis Suarez is ready for El Clasico following his lengthy ban, reports Sky Sports. Luis Suarez is eligible to make his Barcelona debut in El Clasico on Saturday evening, after serving his ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup, and the Barcelona defender is looking forward to the impact he can make on the te ...
Source: CaughtOffside   Full article at: CaughtOffside
 

 
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9

1 day ago

Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair: Manchester United's Defensive Hopes

Oct 20 2014 6:35am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Louis van Gaal's record of promoting youth-team players was one of the reasons Manchester United fans were so excited when he took over at Old Trafford in the summer. It's hard not to be when the Dutchman has been responsible for kick-starting the careers of Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Thomas Muller. But in his first press conference, Van Gaal made it clear his focus was the first team. Given the situation he inherited from D ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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8

1 week ago

Vicente Del Bosque Has to Make Tough Choices If Spain Are to Rise Again

Oct 14 2014 8:41am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Spain has at its disposal, not just some of the world’s best players, but arguably some of the best of all time, to pick from. Unfortunately what it no longer has is the best team. Or a definite style. More than anything else in the country, La Roja restored pride to an economically battered nation and put the smile back onto the face of Spanish football. And now it’s over, and like it or not, this is now a side that need to find their style, any style. What is in place ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
Update
7

1 week ago

The most pointless football awards ever

Oct 14 2014 7:16am CDT | Source: Mirror Football

Andres Iniesta won the 'Golden Foot Award' last night for being old and good at football. Er, OK. Here are some of the other ...
Source: Mirror Football   Full article at: Mirror Football
 

 
Update
5

1 week ago

Cristiano Ronaldo Beaten by Andres Iniesta to Golden Foot 2014 Award

Oct 14 2014 3:05am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Andres Iniesta has been selected as the 2014 Golden Foot award winner, beating the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer to the prize. As reported by Marca, this particular award "recognises the career achievements of a player aged 28 or over." While Iniesta hasn't posted the best calendar year by his standards—achieving no trophies with Barcelona or Spain—his career is crammed with accolades which set him apart from the majority. The Bla ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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4

1 week ago

It’s Official – Richie Hogan Is As Good A Passer As Andres Iniesta

Oct 13 2014 1:12pm CDT | Source: balls

Balls.ie Now before we start, let’s just say that we’re well aware that comparing stats from completely different sports is, for the most part, a completely pointless exercise. Having said that, we still think Ray Boyne, performance analyst with Dublin GAA, has done a bloody good job of showing just how consistent Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan is when it comes to passing a sliotar. Barcelona’s midfield duo of ...
Source: balls   Full article at: balls
 

 
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3

1 week ago

Luxembourg vs. Spain: Score, Grades and Reaction from Euro 2016 Qualifier

Oct 12 2014 3:40pm CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Diego Costa scored his first goal for Spain as La Roja defeated overmatched Luxembourg 4-0 on Sunday evening in a Euro 2016 Group C qualifier. Costa, who has scored eight Premier League goals already this season for Chelsea, had struggled for his adopted national side, failing to score in any of his first six appearances. His seventh started in much the same fashion, with Costa wasting multiple chances in the first half, including a glaring miss ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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2

1 week ago

Luxembourg vs. Spain: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Oct 12 2014 1:00am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Spain will be looking to rebound from their shock 2-1 loss to Slovakia against Luxembourg on Sunday, their third match as part of the qualification round for Euro 2016 in France. Luxembourg are one of the football minnows of Europe, having never qualified for a major international tournament. After a tough loss in Slovakia, this is exactly the kind of opponent La Roja need. A win won't do, however. Several players need to step up and deliver the k ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 
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1

1 week ago

Real Madrid's Isco Can Help to Fix Spain's Stale Midfield

Oct 11 2014 4:40am CDT | Source: Bleacher Report

Between the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup, it became clear that Spain's midfield under Vicente del Bosque was quickly approaching a point of transition.  Though still led by the glittering triumvirate of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso, La Roja were gradually slowing down, exhibiting small vulnerabilities after a reign of supreme dominance.  Interestingly, Del Bosque appeared to acknowledge the impending evolution of his side in July last year—Spain had just ...
Source: Bleacher Report  Full article at: Bleacher Report
 

 

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