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La Liga Week 35 Fixtures - 28th April - 1st May 2017

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Andrés Iniesta out of the Barcelona Derby...  That's what two games in a row does to him these days and probably why Luis Enrique has rotated him so much.  He even missed the home game against Osasuna in midweek.  Obviously this could be a case of misfortune but he has a groin problem and will sit out a very very important game away to Espanyol.

 

Andrés Iniesta, descartado para el derbi

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I think this will be the toughest of the remaining games for Barcelona and if they can get all 3 points then they will have a chance for the league, lose or draw this and the league is for sure gone to Madrid. malaga vs sevilla is also going to be a good game, I will be watching that for sure

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Real Sociedad 2-1 Granada CF (FT)

So that's Tony Adams' Granada down confirmed.  Will he stay on at Granada in Spain's extremely difficult second division (La Liga 1|2|3)? That's an adventure and a half and not many survive as it's long and gritty.

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Valencia should be 0-2 up right now. Fluffing their chances 

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Free kick of sheer quality. All level at the bernabeu. Incoming Ramos

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Didn't watch it but amazed how difficult Real Madrid seemed to found it to beat this Valencia side.  But from their (Real) perspective, they won't give a damn.

It forces Barça to win the Barcelona Derby and puts them under a lot of pressure.  Not an easy game by any means.

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Very alert there from Luis Suárez.  0-1 up...  This game is so important.

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Closeup of the referee's knees there...  They're proper rubbish!  WOW! xD

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1 minute ago, Cannabis said:

Despite playing well Barca need a second, Espanyol are so dangerous on the counter.

Have to say that so far Barcelona have played a brilliant game, one of their best away games of the season for me.  But as you say, this ain't over at 0-1 and for all the football you can play well, it takes a sucker punch to undo everything.  Need a second!

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Barcelona never looked the second best today, they didnt let Espanyol to have a sniff at the goal.

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Very good performance from Barcelona and as Cannabis said, it was professional.  Three goals is still a handsome score in this particular clash where these two meet because for Barça this game is always difficult historically (I will never forget the "Tamudazo").

Two massive defensive errors from the Espanyol backline which handed two goals on a platter for Luis Suárez, but under normal circumstances those errors probably wouldn't have ended up as anything because for something like that to be punished you need a wolflike predator like the Uruguayan.  His movement predicting the errors for both goals was marvellous to see from a Barcelona perspective but definitely terrible for the Espanyol fans because in a game like this you want your team to at least give 110% concentration and if you lose, let it be due to something magic.

My favourite moment was Messi bursting through the midfield like Maradona used to do and setting up Rakitić to wrong-foot Diego López and roll it into the net.

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6 minutes ago, Cannabis said:

People are criticising Lopez for the goal but I think it's unjustified. Rakitic opens up his body as if he's going to shoot into the near hand post and totally throws him off guard.  

Definitely didn't criticise Diego López on the Spanish commentary I was watching.  There was no way he could predict where it was going and his first instinct was to head toward guarding his near post.  If there is something to question him on was that he may have moved before Rakitić struck it which in normal circumstances would make the goalscorer's situation easier.  But if you look closely at the reverse angle of the goal (that's the one facing Rakitić behind the goal) the Barcelona player never looks up and has made his mind up what he's going to do due to how he receives the ball from Messi.  So he doesn't spot the Espanyol keeper's slight movement toward his near post.  It was all too quick and a fine goal in my view.

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10 hours ago, SirBalon said:

Very good performance from Barcelona and as Cannabis said, it was professional.  Three goals is still a handsome score in this particular clash where these two meet because for Barça this game is always difficult historically (I will never forget the "Tamudazo").

Two massive defensive errors from the Espanyol backline which handed two goals on a platter for Luis Suárez, but under normal circumstances those errors probably wouldn't have ended up as anything because for something like that to be punished you need a wolflike predator like the Uruguayan.  His movement predicting the errors for both goals was marvellous to see from a Barcelona perspective but definitely terrible for the Espanyol fans because in a game like this you want your team to at least give 110% concentration and if you lose, let it be due to something magic.

My favourite moment was Messi bursting through the midfield like Maradona used to do and setting up Rakitić to wrong-foot Diego López and roll it into the net.

He made a few nice runs in that game. All that was lacking was a goal to be honest, but another good performance by him.

 

Gomes has been a lot better lately. He did well when coming off the bench in El Clasico and has been a different player since. Even though he has had a dreadful debut season overall, he is now starting to show huge signs of improvement, and like everyone, should probably be given another season to see if he can develop further.

Rakitic's goal was a quality finish and he played well himself in general.

Suarez has needed 2 goals. Both were gifts and very sloppy mistakes from an Espanyol, who largely defended well over the course of the game, but after recent performances he's needed a confidence booster, so to get himself on the score sheet was important going into the final games of the season.

Neymar was poor, but maybe it's due to a bit of rust as he hasn't played a few games due to suspension.

 

I can't see Real dropping any points now and it all comes down to them losing once, but I just can't see it happening as they always find ways of winning due to late goals.

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10 hours ago, Cannabis said:

People are criticising Lopez for the goal but I think it's unjustified. Rakitic opens up his body as if he's going to shoot into the near hand post and totally throws him off guard.  

I don't think it's fair to criticise him either as that was the one goal Espanyol could do nothing about in my opinion. The other 2 were cheap to give away from their perspective after keeping the scoreline at 0-0 for so long and defending well, but nothing could have been done about the 2nd goal as far as I'm concerned.

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10 hours ago, Cannabis said:

Sky Sports (English Commentary) were ripping into Lopez which I thought was insane.

 

15 minutes ago, The Rebel CRS said:

I don't think it's fair to criticise him either as that was the one goal Espanyol could do nothing about in my opinion. The other 2 were cheap to give away from their perspective after keeping the scoreline at 0-0 for so long and defending well, but nothing could have been done about the 2nd goal as far as I'm concerned.

Sky's commentary and punditry on Spanish football was one of the main reasons I subscribed to Spanish pay tv some years back believe it or not.  People like (especially) Gerry Armstrong would really put me on edge for one particular reason and that is because obviously La Liga isn't the main league in the UK and I know  lots of people here take their views as knowledgeable.  As I mentioned...  Gerry Armstrong being the biggest culprit because apart from coming out with outlandish statements, he is very self opinionated and depending on who he wants to win, he'll be as biassed as you can be.  I don't know who was co-commentator on last night's game between Espanyol and Barcelona, but that detail on Diego López being severely criticised is an example of what I'm talking about.

What is Diego López meant to have done exactly?  The move happened at 100mph and was caught in an instant with Rakitić being able to choose his angle at his own mercy with one touch.  The Espanyol keeper instinctively made half a step to cover his near post which is the first rule for a keeper, but at the same time Diego López did that, the passing shot by Ivan Rakitić had already left his foot which takes any blame from the goalkeeper.

I understand when erroneous comments are made by co-commentators (they're the ones that leave their opinion live) or pundits on a live action, but to maintain a ridiculous remark when you're seeing replays is absolutely verging on the stupidity realms.  I've listened to Gerry Armstrong say something was or wasn't a foul when you can blatantly see it's the opposite to what he's stating and the same on off-sides and the like.  So many years in that job and he seems to become more retarded as time goes by.

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Sevilla scored the first goal and Kameni really unlucky with the deflection. Correa with an awful miss and the next minute Malaga equalise. 1-1 at half time. Nice match with end to end football so far.

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8 minutes ago, Asura said:

Sevilla scored the first goal and Kameni really unlucky with the deflection. Correa with an awful miss and the next minute Malaga equalise. 1-1 at half time. Nice match with end to end football so far.

It is an entertaining game...  Sevilla have found winning way recently but they don't look anywhere near the confident side they were in the first half of the season.  All the rumours surrounding Sampaoli looking to take charge of Argentina from the summer and Monchi leaving to go to AS Roma have a lot to play in this in my opinion.  I think this could be the first signs of the cracks appearing and having the Sevilla we used to have about 15 years ago which was a very inconsistent side and would get relegated every now and then.

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46 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

It is an entertaining game...  Sevilla have found winning way recently but they don't look anywhere near the confident side they were in the first half of the season.  All the rumours surrounding Sampaoli looking to take charge of Argentina from the summer and Monchi leaving to go to AS Roma have a lot to play in this in my opinion.  I think this could be the first signs of the cracks appearing and having the Sevilla we used to have about 15 years ago which was a very inconsistent side and would get relegated every now and then.

yeah sad that had to happen mid season. 

 

Sandro, what a dive son, that barca DNA has kicked in 

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