Neymar on the counter sees off Atlético

Atlético 2-3 Barça Neymar celebration 2015Barça reached the Copa del Rey semi-finals tonight with a splendid 2-3 victory over Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón stadium. All the goals came in a thrilling first half with Fernando Torres cancelling out Leo Messi’s first leg goal after just 39 seconds. Neymar equalised to put Barça 2-1 up on aggregate but a questionable penalty gave Raul Garcia the chance to put Atlético back in front on the night. A Miranda own goal and a second breakaway goal from Neymar gave Barça an aggregate 4-2 win overall. Continue reading

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Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg preview: Atlético Madrid vs Barça

Atlético 0-0 Barça defending free kick 2014Barça are looking in good shape for tomorrow’s first all-or-nothing match of the season in the Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg at Atlético Madrid. Since losing to Real Sociedad at the start of the month Luis Enrique’s men have totted up six straight victories, scoring twenty three goals in the process while only conceding one. Leo Messi scored a late penalty rebound to earn a narrow 1-0 advantage in the first leg, and with away goals counting double in the cup Barça will be hoping to score at least once at the Calderón which would leave Atlético needing three goals to go through.  Continue reading

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Barça knock Elche for six

Elche 0-6 Barça pique 2015Elche will be glad to see the back of Barça. Four games between the sides this season have ended with an 18-0 aggregate in favour of the Catalans after tonight’s 0-6 win at the Martinez Valero stadium. The home team will be wondering what hit them after the deadlock was only broken in a closely fought first-half by a 35th minute goal by Gerard Piqué. Leo Messi put Barça further ahead from the penalty spot ten minutes into the second half and all hope was lost for Elche when Faycal Fajr received a second yellow card soon after. In the last twenty-five minutes Neymar twice, Messi again and Pedro all scored to rub salt into Elche’s wound as Barça maintain the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid.  Continue reading

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Rotations expected at Elche

Elche 0-0 Barça Bartra 2014Barça begin the second half of La Liga 2014/15 with a return to Elche where just eight days ago a second string team won 0-4 in the Copa del Rey. Luis Enrique will put out a stronger eleven for tomorrow’s league clash but it seems likely he will rest some key men with an eye on Wednesday’s cup second leg at Atlético Madrid. Ivan Rakitic has been left out of the Barça coach’s 18-man list for the game along with Masip, Munir and the injured Mathieu, Douglas and Vermaelen. Continue reading

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Messi’s late penalty earns narrow advantage over Atlético

Barça 1-0 Atlético Messi goal 2015Barça earned a narrow 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid in tonight’s Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg at Camp Nou. The game was intense throughout but looked to be heading for a goalless draw until referee José Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez spotted Juanfran’s foul on Busquets and awarded a penalty with just over five minutes to go. Leo Messi saw his spot kick saved by Atlético keeper Jan Oblak but he followed up to score from the rebound to give Barça the advantage going into next Wednesday’s second leg at the Calderón. Continue reading

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Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg preview: Barça vs Atlético Madrid

Barça 3-1 Atletico Suarez 2015Things can change very quickly in football. Just two weeks ago Barça appeared to be in a critical situation following the defeat at Real Sociedad and the departure of Andoni Zubizaretta and Carlos Puyol. President Bartomeu brought forward elections to this summer and since then Barça have won four games on the trot with performances putting an end to rumours of Leo Messi calling for Luis Enrique´s head as quickly as they had been invented. Continue reading

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Messi hat-trick destroys Deportivo

Deportivo 0-4 Barça Messi hat trick 2015Leo Messi was denied a fifth Ballon d’Or at Monday’s FIFA Gala but tonight he responded brilliantly to add some points to his 2015 campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice earlier today as Madrid won 0-3 at Getafe but Messi went one better at Riazor with a splendid hat-trick in Barça’s 0-4 demolition of Deportivo de La Coruña. Continue reading

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Mathieu out and Xavi a doubt for Depor

deportivo 4-5 barça messi hat trick goalBarça travel to Galicia tomorrow to face Deportivo de La Coruña at Riazor in the final game of the first half of La Liga 2014/15 (Sunday 7 pm). Jeremy Mathieu with a sore achilles tendon will miss the trip as a precaution while Xavi is hoping for medical clearance after training normally with the group this morning. Munir El-Haddadi has returned to training with Barça B and he is expected to start for Eusebio’s team against Recreativo tomorrow. Continue reading

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Atlético next after Barça finish off Elche

Elche 0 Barça 4 Mathieu goal copa del rey 2015If you enjoyed last Sunday’s victory over Atlético Madrid, put next Wednesday in your diary as Simeone’s men are coming back to Camp Nou for the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Atlético drew 2-2 at the Bernabeú to send out Madrid 4-2 on aggregate then Barça completed a 9-0 aggregate win over Elche with a 0-4 victory at the Mañuel Martinez Valero stadium tonight. Continue reading

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Halilovic could get chance at Elche

Halilovic barça 2014Barça travel to Elche tomorrow for the second leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 (Thursday 10 pm). The tie is as good as over following the easy 5-0 victory in the first leg last week so Luis Enrique is expected to give an opportunity to the lesser-used first team players and to some Barça B youngsters. Munir El-Haddadi, Adama Traore, Sergi Samper, Edgar Ié, Gerard Gumbau and Alen Halilovic all trained with the first team today and they could all be included in the 16-man squad for the game which Luis Enrique will announce in the morning. Continue reading

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