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La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 20

January 20th, 2014

With Real Madrid soundly beating Betis on Saturday and equaling the point tallies of both FC barcelona and Atletico Madrid  prior to their own matches, the competition at the top of the table is really heating up.

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Levante v FC Barcelona: disappointing draw as Madrid closes in behind

January 20th, 2014

With Real Madrid closing in on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on Saturday to put all three clubs on 50 points however briefly, it was essential to do as much as possible on Sunday. Barcelona played the earlier match against Levante, with the home side going ahead after 9 minutes and the equaliser scored by Pique at 18. Barcelona dominated possession in their normal inimitable style, but with Levante throwing as much as they could into defence the Catalans found it difficult to create any real opportunities. With only one other real chance other than Pique’s goal the first half ended disappointingly 1-1.

Back on after the break most of the play was concentrated in the Levante end. However, that didn’t mean that things went entirely Barça’s way as a) they still couln’t create any good opportunities, and b) Llevante came on strong when they had the chance and put Victor Valdes to the test on two occasions. As the minutes counted down it seemed like Barcelona would pull one of thos last minute goals out of the bag, but it just didn’t come, leaving a worryinging couple of hours before the Atletico result was known.

With Atletico Madrid drawing too, Barcelona is still at the top of the table. However, with Barça and Atletico on 51 and Real Madrid on 50 the second half of the season leaves the three clubs everything to play for.

1-0 Vyntra (min 9)
1-1 Piqué (min 18)


Getafe v FC Barcelona: Barça easily qualifies for Copa del Rey quarter-final

January 17th, 2014

Barcelona made it through to the Copa del Rey quarter finals last night in Madrid after a 2-0 win against Getafe on top of their 4-0 victory in the first leg last week, a match that marked the 700th appearance for Barça by Xavi.

Both goals were scored by Messi, showing he is fully recovered from his injury and back on form, the first just before the break, with the second goal coming quarter of an hour into the second half.

With the Catalans through to the next round the only down side was Neymar hobbling off the pitch about 20 minutes into the match. While it was feared he hard torn a tendon in his knee, the good news is that he is suffering a sprained ankle and so should be playing again shortly.

0-1 Messi (min 43)
0-2 Messi (min 62)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 19

January 13th, 2014

Saturday night’s goalless draw between Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona means the top of the table is essentially unchanged, with both teams now on 50 points and the Catalans marginally ahead of goals for. The result means Barcelona ends the half way point of the season leading the table, but the remainder of the season could easily go either way.

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Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona: goalless draw at the top of the table

January 13th, 2014

Saturday night saw the two top teams in the Spanish league battling it out with the potential for a points gap at the end of 90 minutes. Barcelona travelled to Madrid to play Atletico, who they are just ahead of in the table thanks to their goal tally, making the halfway point of the season.

Both teams were clearly going out of their way to win the match but despite numerous chances neither team scored. Barcelona, with both Neymar and Messi sitting the first half out, were unable to control the pace of the match as they are so often able to do and Atletico were quick to counterattack when the occasion arose. 

After the break Messi came on in place of Iniesta, but the hosts seemed more in control of the match than before, and with Neymar brought on 20 minutes into the second half the dynamic of the match changed, with chances for both teams. However, nothing came off, despite the players’ best efforts and the teams ended the weekend much the same as they started.


Barcelona soundly defeats Getafe as Messi returns

January 9th, 2014

Two each from Cesc Fabregas and Leo Messi ensured that Barcelona look like a strong contender for the next Copa del Rey round in a 4-0 victory against Getafe last night.

Cesc opened the scoring just seven minutes in, but despite working hard at finding a way through the Getafe defence and increasing that lead, the visitors ensured the Catalans lead by a single goal going into the break. Quarter of an hour into the second half Cesc scored his second for the night following a penalty against Pedro.

When Messi started to warm up the crowd began to cheer him on, finally brought on for his first match since being laid off through injury in place of Iniesta. Right at the end of the match his moment came, when Busquets and Montoya set him up to score, while Alex Song set him up for a second goal in injury time.

1-0 Fábregas (min 7)
2-0 Fábregas (min 61)
3-0 Messi (min 87)
4-0 Messi (min 91)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 18

January 6th, 2014

Barcelona remain at the top of the table after both they and Atletico madrid won their respective matches, with Barcelona ahead on goals for. Next weekend they face each other and so the long standing points tie may well be broken to put one or the other ahead on points, but prior to that Barcelona faces Getafe in the King’s Cup on Wednesday.

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Barça celebrates with Three King’s win against Elche

January 6th, 2014

Barcelona celebrated the eve of Three King’s with a 4-0 win against Elche in their first match of the New Year. The evening is marked across Spain with processions with children showered in sweets before going home to receive toys and other presents brought by the kings and as a special treat many youngsters were taken by parents and grandparents to watch the match.

The match saw the return of Victor Valdes in goal after several weeks being laid low by an injury sustained in the national squad and saw Barça quickly show the visitors that they meant business as usual after the Christmas break. Goals from Alexis and Pedro saw the Catalans two goals ahead at the quarter hour mark, which remained until the break.

Back on in the second half Barça failed to extend their advantage when Xavi missed a penalty, but Alexis soon made up for that with his second of the night, set up by Iniesta and Pedro. Minutes later Alexis scored his first hat trick for FC Barcelona when he scored from a free kick just outside the area.

1-0 Alexis (min 6)
2-0 Pedro (min 15)
3-0 Alexis (min 61)
4-0 Alexis (min 67)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 17

December 23rd, 2013

Barcelona ends 2013 at the top of the table after they turned around a 2-0 advantage by Getafe to win 5-2. Atletico Madrid also won their match, leaving them in second place by a cat’s whisker. Barcelona are ahead having scored three more goals than Atletico, and both teams are five points ahead of Real Madrid.

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Spectacular turnaround against Getafe leaves Barça at top of table over Xmas break

December 23rd, 2013

Barcelona’s last match of 2013 took place yesterday afternoon in Madrid, where they had travelled to play Getafe. However, with the home team scoring twice within the first quarter hour it looked for a while as if they might drop points ahead of Atletico Madrid’s evening match against Levante.

However, as the Catalans carried on working away Pedro scored one for Barcelona, then equalised and finally put Barça a goal ahead in time for the break; that was all in nine minutes. Barcelona were still playing without Messi and Valdes through injury, and Neymar was absent through suspension, but with these key players missing the remaining squad were determined to go into the holiday break heading the table still.

After the break Barcelona were clearly in control and although Getafe had a good chance at equalising 15 minutes in, Cesc effectively sealed the result when he scored from a Pedro cross. And when Pedro was brought down inside the area Cesc scored his second of the night to end the match 5-2 and with the almost certain knowledge that they would remain at the top of the table over Christmas.

1-0 Sergio Escudero (min 9)
2-0 Lisandro López (min 14)
2-1 Pedro (min 33)
2-2 Pedro (min 40)
2-3 Pedro (min 42)
2-4 Fábregas (min 67)
2-5 Fábregas (min 71)


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