Messi steals the show

Summary of the weekend in LaLiga

Plenty of narratives could have become the centre of this article in an eventful weekend of Spanish football, but I wisely chose to start writing after the end of the last match. Barcelona were due at Betis in the Sunday evening Partidazo, and after Setien’s team win in the Camp Nou a few months ago, it was easy to expect a serious, determined perhaps vengeful performance by Messi & co. If Barcelona needed some extra motivation, on Saturday Atletico had lost in Bilbao, which meant that a victory of the Azulgrana in Sevilla could also give them a 10-point advantage with 10 matches left. Continue reading “Messi steals the show”

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Job (in)security

Preview of LaLiga’s 27th week

Up to four coaches could be packing their bags after this LaLiga weekend is over. The poor performances of Valladolid, Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano and… oh well, Real Madrid, could easily result in four dismissals, as club management will feel they’d be more than justified after their respective sequences of results, and all four squads look as though they could do with an injection of morale from a new manager. Continue reading “Job (in)security”

Conclusions from two clásico defeats

With yet another defeat to Barcelona in the Santiago Bernabeu – the fifth in six matches –, it’s the first time that Real Madrid have lost three consecutive home matches since 2004. Let’s finish the brutal statistics intro with the most hurting one for Real Madrid fans: after 87 years, Barcelona lead the head-to-head stats with 96 wins vs 95 for Real Madrid.

That said, let’s draw conclusions from these two clásicos and ponder what awaits Solari and his players for the rest of the season: Continue reading “Conclusions from two clásico defeats”

Late to the party

(Late) Preview of LaLiga’s 26th Week

With embarrassing delay due to reasons beyond this scribe’s control, this Quiniela is published when the first match of the weekend has already been played and the second is about to start. In any case, I was taught that when one is late, explanations rarely help, so let’s just get to it.

Shall we? Let’s start. Remember, it’s ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw and ‘2’ for an away win. Continue reading “Late to the party”

To be or not to be… a derbi

“derbi”:

From the English word Derby, name of a famous horse race, created by the Count of Derby.

  1. m. Horse race, especially the famed one celebrated annually in which three-year-old specimens participate.
  2. m. Sporting confrontation, usually playing the sport of football, between two sides followed by fans who maintain a rivalry, often due to regional reasons.

Continue reading “To be or not to be… a derbi”

Place your bets

If you’re somewhat familiar with betting on Spanish football, you probably know that if you want to make some cash on a top LaLiga team not winning its weekend match, you must wait until the do or die part of the Champions League starts. Key players are rested, the general mindset of the team is not quite focused on what the weekend match means, even the fans are not totally considering the importance of the three points at stake… until it’s too late. Continue reading “Place your bets”

Peaking at the right time

Just over a month ago, I thought this season was pretty much over, at least in terms of title race and Champions League spots. But a few things have changed: Real Madrid have regrouped, Atletico are still consistent and Valencia finally look like they did last season, while Barcelona and Sevilla somehow play less convincingly and could drop points when least expected. Does that mean that we have a title race? No, not yet. But if, like many of us, you thought this season would end with Barcelona, Atletico, Real and Sevilla in that order, it’s now becoming quite possible that it won’t. Continue reading “Peaking at the right time”