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La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 38

May 19th, 2014

The final match of the season saw Atletico Madrid take the title after drawing with FC Barcelona. The top of the table ended with Atletico on 90 points followed by FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on 87, while Athletic Bilbao took the fourth spot with 70 points.

Gerardo Martino confirmed he was leaving FC Barcelona in the press conference after the match following a season in which the club has not taken any of the major trophies. Next season will see a very different looking Barça, with a new manager on board and after having said farewell to both Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes, longtime stalwarts of the club. They will be missed.

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Atletico takes la liga title with draw at Nou Camp

May 19th, 2014

It all came down to the last match of the season. Few titles are decided in such a dramatic fashion, with the only two teams to remain in contention for the league title squaring up for the last match of the season and while a win for Barça would earn them the title, any other result was failure.

Atletico Madrid has been Barcelona’s main competition throughout the season and while Real Madrid showed some ambition for the title late on, their chances were dashed with a number of poor results. In fact both Barça and Atletico too suffered from the same thing and after a start to the season that was exceptional, both suffered points drops in the second half that really should not have occurred.

The visitors were unlucky to lose to men to injury early on, when first Diego Costa and then Arda Turan limped off the pitch within a few minutes of each other but despite high possession for the Catalans, the visitors held their nerve and made sure Barça had few options.

The opener was scored by Alexis 32 minutes in, with a goal set up by Cesc and Messi to be volleyed by Alexis into the Atletico net. The goal hardly seemed like it had happened and it took a moment for many Barça fans to believe their eyes.

Back on after the break with Barcelona ahead Atletico still looking sharp and quick to counter-attack. The equaliser came five minutes into the second half from a corner, when Godin headed the ball beyond the reach of Pinto, who looked to react a fraction too late. It looked like Barcelona had taken the lead again when Messi put the goal into the back of the net and for a moment the hopes of the crowd soared before it was clear that the goal had been ruled offside.

The final minutes saw both teams looking tense and as the minutes ticked down in extra time it could only take a miracle for Barcelona to win the match. When the final whistle blew it was over for another year for FC Barcelona as Atletico Madrid took the title.

1-0 Alexis (min 32)
1-1 Godín (min 50)


End of an era: Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes bid farewell to Barça

May 15th, 2014

Both goalkeeper Victor Valdes and captain Carles Puyol are saying their goodbyes to FC Barcelona at the end of this season, Valdes to move on and enjoy his matches more at a club with less pressure and Puyol due to injuries taking their toll.

Victor Valdes, currently recuperating following the operation to repair a knee injury, has published an open letter to fans, which you can read on the FCB website here. And next Thursday there will be an institutional event for Carles Puyol, to honour his contributions to the club.

It is a little surprising that more isn’t being done to honour Valdes, who was a superb goalkeeper during his time in the first team and showed leadership and determination from the goal mouth.

We wish both players the best of luck wherever and whatever they find themselves doing next.


Barcelona beats Girona to face Espanyol in Copa de Catalunya final

May 14th, 2014

A Barcelona side comprised mainly of B and youth squad players beat Girona last night in the semi-final of the Copa de Catalunya.

The match saw Barcelona, playing away at Montilivi stadium, open the scoring thanks to Babunski , with Girona equalising to end the first half 1-1.

Cuenca put Barça ahead again 20 minutes into the second half, with Chando again equalising just two minutes later. But Ilie scored the winning goal for FC Barcelona to put them through to the final, to be played on 21st May against Espanyol.

0-1 Babunski (min 18)
1-1 Chando (min 34)
1-2 Cuenca (p) (min 65)
2-2 Chando (min 67)
2-3 Ilie (min 77)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 37

May 12th, 2014

Three clubs were fighting for the league title going into the weekend, but with Real Madrid badly slipping up against Celta Vigo that race is now down to just Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Barcelona must win at the Nou Camp next Saturday to take the title, a result that would see them level on points with Atletico, but taking the title due to the results between the two teams; when Barça played at Vicente Calderon stadium they drew against Atletico, giving them the advantage, while a draw or loss means Atletico is ahead on points.

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Barcelona hang on to league hopes after draw against Elche

May 12th, 2014

Sunday evening saw FC Barcelona travel down to Valencia province to play Elche with kickoff coinciding with both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, timed so that none of the contenders for the league title would have an advantage in knowing how the others had done.

Barça maintained high possession throughout the match, but once again were looking lacklustre and without the spark that you expect from the Catalans. While there were a number of opportunities to score, the team was unable to come up with enough to put the ball home and while in some respects they were unlucky not to score, they also lacked the creativity to make it happen.

Elche also looked dangerous at times on the counterattack, something that Barça needed to avoid at all costs in order to remain in the race. In the end the match ended without a goal being scored, Elche happy with their single point that guarantees they will play in the top tier next season, while Barcelona hanging on to their hopes only because Atletico also drew.

The title this year comes down to the final match of the season, with Barcelona facing Atletico. Barça must win the match to take the title, but on yesterday’s performance they have a long way to go if they are to achieve that aim.


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 36 [UPDATE]

May 8th, 2014

Last night Real Madrid played Valladolid, which could have easily seen FC barcelona knocked into third place in the league. The match had been postponed from April to allow Madrid rest time because of the Copa del Rey final and Champions League semi-final.

The result, a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal from Valladolid, means Real Madrid took just one point, leaving them trailing the Catalans by a point. While not mathematically out of the running to take the league title, the chances slipped away last night.

At the weekend Barça plays Elche, while Atletico faces Malaga, while the last match of the season is against Atletico at the Nou Camp and may be the decider.

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La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 36

May 5th, 2014

While Barcelona’s Saturday afternoon clash was disappointing, Sunday evening also saw both the club’s rivals for the Spanish league title frustrated too. Levante beat Atletico 2-0, meaning Barça at least closed the gap by one point, which leaves them three points behind; and Valencia secured a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu leaving Real Madrid two points behind Barcelona with a game in hand.

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Late goal from Getafe frustrates Barça

May 5th, 2014

Saturday afternoon saw a disappointing result for FC Barcelona after when a match that looked like it was in the bag resulted in a draw due to a last minute goal from Getafe. The first home match since the death of Tito Vilanova last month started off slowly, while the Getafe defence prevented anything happening when the Catalans did get things together.

Although Barça was denied from playing their normal flowing style, finally Alves and Messi got together for a decisive move. Messi started to move, passing to Alves who powered up the right hand side of the pitch, crossed to Messi who put the ball in the net. After 22 minutes the deadlock was broken and Barcelona ahead!

Barça’s lead lasted 14 minutes, until a free kick awarded against them resulted in the visitors equalising. And despite a good move by Alexis towards the end of the first half the break came with the two teams level.

The second half started with Barcelona looking in much better form that before the break and started creating problems for Getafe. Bringing on Cesc Fabregas in place of Mascherano 20 minutes in quickly yielded results, with Cesc starting a move that saw Alexis score Barcelona’s second goal of the afternoon.

However, time and time again as the minutes counted down Barça was unable to score again, despite being given space to do so. And then, well into injury time, just before the final whistle blew the visitors scored again to level with Barcelona.

1-0 Messi (min 22)
1-1 Lafita (min 36)
2-1 Alexis (min 68)
2-2 Lafita (min 93)


Barça cleared of Neymar signing irregularities

April 30th, 2014

FC Barcelona has been cleared of any wrongdoing in signing Neymar last summer after the Spanish football association, the LFP, met last week to discuss the club’s appeal. The case initially came to light in January, when it was alleged that the club had committed tax fraud paid far in excess of the €53 million officially stated for the Brazilian player.

The club paid €13.5 million to the Spanish tax authorities after the matter came to light, with the LFP investigating the club over the incident.

Despite the club being cleared of any wrongdoing, the case brought about the resignation of club president Sandro Rosell and so was not without consequence; how much of that was politically motivated is open to speculation.

Source: Daily Mail

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