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La Liga - Week 8 Fixtures - 13-16th October 2017

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Friday 13th October, 2017
Espanyol vs Levante, 20.00

Saturday 14th October, 2017
Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla, 12.00
Getafe vs Real Madrid, 15.00
Alaves vs Real Sociedad, 17.30
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona, 19.45

Sunday 15th October, 2017
Eibar vs Deportivo La Coruna, 11.00
Girona vs Villarreal, 15.15
Malaga vs Leganes, 17.30
Real Betis vs Valencia, 19.45

Monday 16th October, 2017
Las Palmas vs Celta Vigo, 20.00

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Lots of interesting games this coming weekend with the Atlético Madrid v FC Barcelona being the main event.  Just to note that in the case of the Atleti v Barça game, Ernesto Valverde hasn't beaten Diego Simeone once since the Argentine came to La Liga as a coach.  That's an interesting statistic because there are many cases where this sort of thing has stuck like Unai Emery against Barcelona with three different sides in La Liga.  Infact the first time any of his teams beat Barcelona was last season while at PSG in the 1st leg of that now famous turn-around.  I don't know about the Atleti fans, but I'm sure the Barça fans would be very happy with a draw.

For me one of the most interesting games is the Real Betis v Valencia...  Both teams have started the season extremely well and both have also managed to stunt Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu.  I can't wait for that one and it will be one that I'll be watching.

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atletico-madrid-barcelona-horario-canal-

The pre-match press conference

Today we had the pre-match press conferences from both respective head coaches, Diego Simeone and Ernesto Valverde.  A lot was obviously said in the analysis of tomorrow's game but the two best quotes of the 1 hour press conference were these two that were said in humour but also with the added ingredient of heating up the game even more.

These were the two quotes:

20170929-636422864713106862_201709291257

Diego Simeone: "The grass? I'm not a gardener, but if I invite you to my house you eat with my plates on my table cloth and on my table.  You don't tell me how to eat in my house"

 

20170930-636423908623038579_201709301757

Ernesto Valverde:  "That's not a problem, I enjoy being invited to eat out.  We'll adapt ourselves to their menu and their crockery"

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Another unconvincing performance from Real Madrid. The first half was decent considering how defensive Getafe played, but they never should've allowed Getafe come back into the match. Even after the late 1-2, Getafe got a few good chances at goal. Even if Barcelona loses points tonight (and I doubt they will), they really have to up their game to have any hope of winning the competition this season.

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1 minute ago, Panflute said:

Another unconvincing performance from Real Madrid. The first half was decent considering how defensive Getafe played, but they never should've allowed Getafe come back into the match. Even after the late 1-2, Getafe got a few good chances at goal. Even if Barcelona loses points tonight (and I doubt they will), they really have to up their game to have any hope of winning the competition this season.

It's the story not only of this season but last season too...  Last season in the first half of the campaign 7 matches were resolved between the 85th minute and injury time.  The important thing was the three points to be honest because on most days that could've easily been a draw.

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Just now, Cannabis said:

Messi comes within an inch of scoring inside 30 seconds :o - unlucky from Leo.

This is proper open! :o

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Ter Stegen with two great saves there. Griezmann looks so sharp 

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2 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

I can't pick who will win, but one things is  for sure and that's that there will be goals. 

Looks that way and to be honest, this particular game is famous for goals. 

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Brilliant goal. Well worked and extremely high quality. 

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2 minutes ago, 11Neymar Ousmane Dembélé11 said:

Barca is losing cos Andre Gomes is playing. Simple as that.

You are losing because Atletico are walking through your defence. The fuck does Gomes have to do with that. 

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2 minutes ago, 11Neymar Ousmane Dembélé11 said:

Barca is losing cos Andre Gomes is playing. Simple as that.

To be fair to André Gomes, it's not his fault his coach decided to play him out of position. This is on Valverde. What was he thinking? It's a big match, why is he inventing stuff? Start Delofeu.

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There was actually nothing wrong defensively with the way Atleti scored. The game is very even right now and has been from the start.

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30 minutes ago, Storts said:

Ter Stegen with two great saves there. Griezmann looks so sharp 

Definitely, Griezmann is looking dangerous. He was heavily criticized in France this week for his performances with the national team. Perhaps he's playing with a chip on his shoulder to shut his critics up.

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A display of resiliency of Atlético unlikely to be repeated in the 2nd half if nothing changes, because Barça has played better football.

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Well it's been proven that Barca loses the majority if not all of the matches that Andre Gomes starts. Just a dumb decision on Valverde's part to start him against a team like Atletico away from home.

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“Resultadistas” aside, Barça have actually played very well considering it’s an away game against a very good side. The game has been very equal where football is concerned and I expect the second half to be more of the same unless something untoward happens with a red card or anything of that ilk.

Barcelona right now can only hope to draw which would be a very good result. 

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Busquets is just something special. What a player!

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55 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

What has he done wrong tonight though?

I admit I haven't been watching the match all the way through, mate. Am distracted by the missus :) 

Was venting my frustration at Valverde playing him. Took it out on him, I suppose.

I just know that whenever Gomes starts, it's never a good thing for us. Results do matter, and Gomes ain't good for results. 

Just goes to show how well Chelsea and Conte did versus Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Edited by 11Neymar Ousmane Dembélé11

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8 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

This game will have a winner, not a chance this will stay at 1-1.

Good call.

 

Fair result that.

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ATLÉTICO MADRID 1-1 FC BARCELONA (FT)

 

Wonderful game of tactical football and one I thoroughly enjoyed.  For the knowledgeable ones on all of this, this isn't points dropped, this is a very important result not only for Barça but also for Atlético Madrid.  It's always hard to play there and there has been added tension because of what's been going on in Spain recently which involves what was going on here today and has been spoken about for over a week in Spain.  Barcelona managed to overcome this and play a very serious game in Madrid against a side that was prepared for what was arriving.

Eye on the facts!  This game is over and done with a point after straight victories from the start.  It's one of the prime games in Spain and one that you can lose in which hasn't occurred here today from Barcelona's perspective.  The next game is a home event and Real still have to play at the Metropolitano which with the way they're playing at the moment I would say anything other than a home victory would be disappointing from Simeone's perspective.

I was expecting a defeat and even though the game could've been won by Barcelona, I am very very happy with the result.  There's a resilience and a belief from this Barça side this season that wasn't there the last campaign.

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By the way...  For me BUSQUETS man of the match all the way!  Pure unadulterated magic.  It's been a long time since I was awed by a defensive midfielder like this guy has done for me throughout his career.

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1508014182594.jpg

Insubstantial game from André Gomes

 

Comments were made in this thread about the possible pros and cons of what André Gomes' selection for last night's game at the Wanda Metropolitano were.  I was watching the game on Canal+ (Spanish TV) and there were various punditry comments being made by those that are paid to do such stuff while the game was going on, at half time and subsequently at the end of the game...  Slowly slowly his name became more of a protagonist in the analysis, especially when he didn't end up being one of the substituted players during the 90 minutes.

For the pundits and in this morning's sports pages André Gomes and what he offered has been given quite a number of mentions and the final conclusion is that he didn't have a bad game but he also didn't have a good game...  Infact he was "insubstantial" according to almost everyone and curiously (unless they all called each other) they've all used the same adjective to describe what André Gomes gave to the team last night in the 1-1 draw away to Atlético Madrid.

He was originally put on Nélson Semedo's wing to help out in the tactical work of stopping Filipe Luis and what ended up occurring was that both André Gomes and Nélson Semedo got in each other's way, and stunting both of their games.  It was one of Semedo's worst games since the season started and many are attributing this to André Gomes being selected to play there.

I didn't want to go into answering those posts made about André Gomes at the time because there was no point as he had been selected and the most important thing while the game was 1-0 was to score that one goal which would end up being a great result...  Infact the game could've been won had it not been for some inaccurate football in front of Oblak (that keeper is brilliant)...  Actually both Oblak and Ter Stegen saved their respective teams various times with miraculous saves last night.

It was only when all the substitutions were made and André Gomes took Iniesta's position that he looked more comfortable, but we must also remember that the game was broken at that moment towards the end and that there was more space and time to think, decide and execute...  It seems that for André to provide what he's good at, he needs that space and time...  If this is the case, he really does become a player only to be contemplated as a substitute when the game is broken and stretched.  Put it this way...  Ernesto Valverde must've seen something there because he wasn't one of the substituted and that's the important factor as he's the one paid to make those specific decisions.

What's for sure though, is that you don't get a place in FC Barcelona's midfield to be inconspicuous!  Great midfielders have come and gone from Barça over the decades without making a mark because playing in that area of the field for this club is one of the most difficult things you have in football. It's the focus of what the club is all about where football is concerned and André HAS to offer more!

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Technically André Gomes has everything to be a class footballer but he has no balls. He's rarely proactive during a game. He can go a game without missing a pass or messing up in general because he always chooses the safest option. It's like he's afraid of making the highlight reel, so he ends up being too passive and unproductive.

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Gomes has a tremendous amount of technical ability but he's very slow, needs time and space on the ball and you get the impression that he doesn't always have full confidence in his abilities. He played well in the second half to be honest and had Suarez not been just an inch away from latching on to it, he(Gomes) could have assisted the winner.

I thought it was a good performance in the second half from the team yesterday and showed great spirit to come back into a game which could quite easily have been lost. It wasn't far off being a win either had Messi not hit the post with a free-kick and Oblak wasn't such a ridiculously brilliant keeper.

Then again, Ter Stegen himself made yet more important saves. Last season he was one of the most important players and he has continued that this season. I liked Bravo, but getting rid of him to keep this lad happy was the correct decision and the club have one of the best keepers in the world there for years.

Suarez needed that. So far this season, he hasn't done enough for me, but slowly he is starting to regain his importance in the side again and scoring 2 for Uruguay mid-week will also be a big confidence booster. I do think that someone down the other flank is seriously lacking though and the sooner Dembele gets back the better. The attack will improve greatly with him in the team once he settles in my opinion. The delivery from Sergi Roberto was also top notch and so far this season he has yet again been an unsung hero and has shown his versatility.

Busquets was an absolute beast, there has never been any question on whether he would regain his form or not, it was just a matter of time given that he's in his prime age for a man of his role.

Deulofeu is quite monotonous and pretty much does the same thing all the time, although he was dangerous when he came on last night for me and made an impact with his speed and desire to run at players. This is where I find Deulofeu at his most useful. When everyone is fit, I doubt he'd ever be a starter over Dembele(I'd prefer to see Denis play more as well), but he's a very handy impact type player coming off the bench when the opposition are tiring.

As for Atletico, Godin was immense, Saul yet again scored a goal when it mattered the most and Oblak is arguably the world's best keeper, along with de Gea, although as I have said, Ter Stegen is starting to having a say in all this now as far as I'm concerned.

 

 

 

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Gomes demonstrates some of my pet hates in football, for me he's also more of a box to box player and doesn't really suit Barcelona's style in that sense.

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