Tag Archives: Barcelona

Barca’s Title hope down as Griezmann is off injured

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Antoine Griezmann looks set to miss the rest of the season afer Barcelona said on Sunday the France attacker had a thigh injury.

The World Cup winner went off at halftime of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Valladolid after apparently asking to be subbed.

“He came off because he had a problem,” Barcelona coach Quique Setien said on Saturday. “It was him who asked for the change.”

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“Tests this morning have shown that first-team player Antoine Griezmann has a muscle injury in the quadriceps of his right leg,” Barca said on their website.

“He is therefore not available for selection at the present time,” a statement said of the 29-year-old who has scored 15 goals in 46 games this season.

It would appear Griezmann will miss Barcelona’s final LaLiga matches with Real Madrid needing five points from their final three games to win the title.

Barca also face a Champions League last-16 second leg on August 8 after drawing 1-1 at Napoli before the lockdown.

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‘Barca’s problem isn’t VAR but Poor playing quality’ – Rivaldo

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Barcelona legend Rivaldo has criticised his former club for complaints about VAR and accusations of referee bias favouring rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga.

After last Sunday’s 4-1 win at Villarreal, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu gave a television interview in which he claimed that VAR ‘always favours one team’, following a series of calls he believes went Los Blancos’ way.

But Rivaldo believes the Catalan giants should be looking closer to home at their own problems before concentrating on their title rivals.

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“Sometimes you have the right to feel upset about refereeing or VAR decisions, but I do not agree with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s claims that there is a bias towards Madrid,” Rivaldo told Betfair.

“Bartomeu is simply trying to distract the media from his club’s problems. Barcelona are still fighting for the LaLiga title, and they’re still in the Champions League, but this is not a good moment for the club.”


Bartomeu suggested Real Madrid receive bias from VAR after suggesting it favours ‘one team’


“Bartomeu is trying to use stuff like VAR to justify himself to the fans and pretend that his club’s difficulties aren’t the fault of himself, the players or the manager.”

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The former Brazil attacker went on to explain where the Catalans’ real issues lie.


“In my opinion, Barca’s problem isn’t VAR or any refereeing decisions,” he said.

“Their main problem is the quality of their football that needs to improve and become again that style of play that everybody loves to see around the world.


“The team was leading LaLiga before the lockdown and now is four points behind Madrid, so you can’t say VAR is the main reason for that, especially when the team is not playing well.”

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Final score: Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona


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Final score: Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona

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Game is over and the final score is Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona. Here is the match report.

2019/2020 La Liga
0-1
Vidal (15′)


Match Events


0′ The match is about to start!

1′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?

6′ Puig’s shot too straight

15′ GOAL! Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona (Vidal)

19′ Unbelievable! What a miss from Griezmann

24′ Semedo’s shot stopped

37′ Ter Stegen makes decent save

42′ CHANCE! Messi’s shot wide out

49′ Puig’s shot too straight

60′ Ter Stegen makes brilliant save

63′ CLOSE! Messi’s free kick stopped

91′ Ter Stegen makes decent save

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Line-ups


Valladolid XI: Javi Moyano, Kiko Olivas, Óscar Plano, Jordi Masip, Sergi Guardiola, Rubén Alcaraz, R.García, Joaquín Fernández, Fede, Javier Sánchez, Kike Pérez

Subs: Antoñito, Nacho Martínez, Pablo Hervías, S.Ramírez, E.Ünal, Toni Suárez, Caro, Diego Alende, Waldo Rubio, Matheus Fernandes, Miguel de la Fuente, Víctor García

Barcelona XI: Messi, Pique, Vidal, Alba, Busquets, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo, Riqui Puig

Subs: Suarez, Rakitic, Neto, Braithwaite, Firpo, R. Araújo, Arnau Comas.

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Two obstacles in Barca-Lautaro transfer

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Barcelona are close to completing the signing of Lautaro Martinez from Inter, but the deal isn’t over the line just yet.

In order to for the move to be officially sealed, two things need to happen.

The first is for Barcelona to sell another player to balance their books, having already let go of Arthur Melo.

The second is for the Catalans to agree on a transfer fee with Inter, with the value of the move set to be around 120 million euros.

Some 70 million euros of that total valuation will be made up by two players that Barcelona will offer, with the rest coming in the form of cash.

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It’s not yet known who the two players exchanged from the Camp Nou to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza will be.

Recent reports have suggested that the deal is almost done, but the truth is that those two details still need to be ironed out first.

On Tuesday, the 111 million euro release clause in Lautaro’s Inter contract expired, but Barcelona never had plans to pay that.

Once the Argentine’s move to the Blaugrana is completed, he could end up tripling the 2.5 million euro per year contract he has at Inter.

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Barcelona looses hope on Signing Neymar

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Barcelona have made no secret of their desire to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou over the course of the last year but, in recent weeks, the club’s executives have urged the team and the press to stop feeding rumours as it will not be possible.

Last summer’s stories served to fuel a transfer that was never really likely to materialise due to the economic situation of the club yet the Blaugrana were outward in their interest in order to try to force it through.

Now, however, the board want to cut off any speculation that will give fans false hope.

Even Neymar seems resigned to continue at Paris Saint-Germain.

This summer will certainly not be like last when he made calls to his Brazilian colleagues at Real Madrid, while also talking up a move to the Catalans.

Barcelona have no change of signing him for financial reasons and Real Madrid are not contemplating the possibility either.

PSG may also go through a tough time economically, like all the big clubs, but their owners remain firm on Neymar.

Any sale of their star is not considered as they are concerned about the future of Kylian Mbappe and his continued refusals to renew.

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Barcelona Vs Valladolid Starting Xi’s confirmed

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The line-ups of Valladolid vs Barcelona have been announced.

Valladolid XI: Javi Moyano, Kiko Olivas, Óscar Plano, Jordi Masip, Sergi Guardiola, Rubén Alcaraz, R.García, Joaquín Fernández, Fede, Javier Sánchez, Kike Pérez

Subs: Antoñito, Nacho Martínez, Pablo Hervías, S.Ramírez, E.Ünal, Toni Suárez, Caro, Diego Alende, Waldo Rubio, Matheus Fernandes, Miguel de la Fuente, Víctor García

Barcelona XI: Messi, Pique, Vidal, Alba, Busquets, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo, Riqui Puig

Subs: Suarez, Rakitic, Neto, Braithwaite, Firpo, R. Araújo, Arnau Comas.

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Barcelona starting Xi against Valladolid confirmed


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Barcelona starting Xi against Valladolid confirmed

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Barcelona will be without Ansu Fati, Arthur and Frenkie de Jong for their trip to Real Valladolid in LaLiga tonight.

Fati was sent off for a dangerous challenge just minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute in the 1-0 win over Espanyol on Wednesday and the 17-year-old attacker is suspended.

Meanwhile, Arthur missed training on Friday with tonsillitis and the Brazilian – who will move to Juventus in the summer – is not in the squad for the game at the Jose Zorrilla.

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De Jong is still sidelined with a calf problem which has seen him miss the last six matches and coach Quique Setien said on Friday that the Dutch midfielder is not quite ready to return.

Winger Ousmane Dembele is still recovering from a long-term injury and is ineligible for LaLiga anyway after he was deregistered for the competition in February to allow Martin Braithwaite to arrive in an emergency transfer from Leganes.

Youngster Riqui Puig could start for Barca in midfield after Setien’s side struggled to break down Espanyol in a disappointing display earlier in the week.


Real Valladolid predicted XI: Masip; Moyano, Fernandez, Sanchez, Garcia; Alcaraz, Emeterio; Hervias, Plano, Villa; Guardiola

Barcelona predicted XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Riqui Puig; Messi; Suarez, Griezmann.

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Inter hopes Lautaro snubs Barcelona and renew contract


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Final score: Barca 1-0 Valladolid

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Arturo Vidal scored the only goal of the game and Lionel Messi racked up his 20th assist in LaLiga this season to give tired Barcelona a 1-0 win away at Valladolid and keep the Catalans’ slim title hopes intact.

Coach Quique Setien surprisingly left Luis Suarez on the bench as Antoine Griezmann started in attack alongside Messi at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

Sergi Roberto was deployed as a third centre-back and helped Barca to bring the ball out from the back as Setien’s side dominated in the early stages.

And after Riqui Puig had seen a shot saved by Jordi Masip, Vidal gave Barca the lead after 15 minutes.

Messi won the ball back just outside the area and clipped a low pass through to the Chilean, who turned and hit a shot in off the post from just inside the right of the area.

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It was Messi’s 20th assist in LaLiga this term and Barca looked good for their lead at that stage. Setien’s side could have added to the goal as Puig looked to set up Griezmann, but Masip was quick to get down and make a vital intervention.

Griezmann also completely miskicked when all alone as a ball came through to him on his right foot at the back of the area.

But Valladolid improved after instructions from their coach Sergio Gonzalez in the drinks break and missed a wonderful chance to equalise when Kike Perez got between Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet, but lost his footing just as he was taking his shot, allowing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to collect the ball.

Setien sent on Suarez for Griezmann at the break, while Enes Unal came on for Valladolid and the home side caused problems for Barca in the early minutes of the second half.

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Ter Stegen got down well to save a header from the Turkish forward and also denied the same player in a similar action later on.

Messi came close with a free-kick, but Barcelona created little in the second half as Setien made several changes.

And the Catalans had Ter Stegen to thank as the German made a couple of important saves in added time, with Valladolid pushing for a late leveller.

Barcelona move back to within a point of Madrid, in action at Granada on Monday, and this win keeps them in the race until the last two rounds of the competition.

Valladolid’s loss means they are not safe just yet, but Sergio’s side are seven clear of the drop zone and should stay up.

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Inter hopes Lautaro snubs Barcelona and renew contract

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Inter Milan hope that Lautaro Martinez will shun Barcelona and agree to a new deal with the club when his release clause expires on Tuesday.

Martinez has a release clause in his contract of £97 million, but it can only be activated by July 7 by clubs outside of Italy.

Once Martinez’s contract expires on Tuesday, Inter will offer the forward a new and improved deal.

The improved terms will double his current salary, which currently sits at £2.5m per season plus performance-related bonuses.

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His contract will also be extended from 2023 to 2024 and it is likely that Inter will increase the release clause beyond £97m, according to NobleSports.

Inter hope the expiration of Martinez’s contract will prevent him from moving to Barcelona.

The Argentine forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp over the past few months.

The Spanish giants see Martinez as an ideal long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

However, it is believed that Barca are struggling financially after the coronavirus crisis and are unable to meet Inter’s asking price.

Inter have also made it clear that they have no plans to lower the price of their star player.

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Neymar unlikely to return to Barcelona

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A return to Camp Nou for Neymar was been mooted, but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu thinks such a transfer is “unlikely”.

A return for Brazilian superstar Neymar to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain is “unlikely”, according to the LaLiga club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

The Brazil forward left Camp Nou for the French capital in a world-record €222million deal back in 2017, but a return to Barcelona – where he won eight major trophies across four seasons – has long been mooted.

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Coronavirus changed everything
However, Bartomeu thinks such a move would be hard to pull off in the current climate as Europe’s elite clubs adjust their plans due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Such an operation is unlikely because the situation of all the clubs in Europe is very difficult,” Bartomeu told RAC 1.

Yet there was no such dismissal when Bartomeu was asked about another forward in Lautaro Martinez.

Lionel Messi’s Argentina team-mate is said to have a €111m release clause in his contract, but that is thought to expire on Tuesday, and it has been reported Barça will not try to activate it before the deadline passes.

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Martinez, 22, has scored 17 times in 37 appearances for Inter this term and is under contract at San Siro until 2023.

Bartomeu “not talking about transfers”
“I’m not talking about transfers,” Bartomeu added when asked about Martinez.

“We have not marked the signings in the calendar on when they should be.”

One man who will be joining Barcelona is midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who will move at the end of this season, with Arthur heading in the opposite direction to join Juventus.

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Though Pjanic is seven years older than Arthur and there are reports Barcelona looked to offload the Brazilian to balance the books, Bartomeu insists the new signing had been a long-term target.

“Pjanic is a player who has wanted to sign for a long time, he was highly sought after and there is a Barça player who wants Juve,” Bartomeu explained.

“But it is an exceptional situation. It is not to balance balances because we would have sold other players for whom we had offers. Arthur is a player who is highly valued.”

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Barcelona Vs Espanyol starting Xi’s revealed

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The line-ups of Barcelona vs Espanyol have been announced.

Barcelona XI: Messi, Suarez, Pique, Rakitic, Alba, Busquets, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo

Subs: Vidal, Neto, Braithwaite, Arthur, Pena, R. Araújo, Jorge Cuenca, Dani Morer, Monchu, Riqui Puig, Álex Collado, Fati

Espanyol XI: Diego Lopez, Espinosa, Dídac , Cabrera, D.López, Raúl de Tomás, Adri Embarba, Roca, Pol Lozano, Calero, Víctor Gomez

Subs: Victor Sanchez, Javi Lopez, Naldo, Wu Lei, Oier, Darder, Vargas, Campuzano, Pedrosa, Melendo, Melamed, Dani Villahermosa.

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Rating Barcelona 11 worse transfers of all time


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Rating Barcelona 11 worse transfers of all time

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As one of the biggest clubs in the world, Barcelona are used to being heavy hitters in the transfer market.

Over the years, the Catalan giants have completed some of the most impressive deals of the modern era.

Luis Suarez has delivered goals aplenty since his move from Liverpool in 2014, Ronaldinho became a legend after joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2003. And Gerard Pique has been a regular fixture in defence since returning from Manchester United in 2008.

However, Barca’s transfer policy does not always produce hits. Philippe Coutinho, for example, has failed to emulate Suarez in making a successful transition from Liverpool.

After signing for £142m in January 2018, the Brazilian struggled to meet expectations. Now, his future is far from certain after spending this season on loan at Bayern Munich.

But the 28-year-old is far from the only player to have struggled after making the switch to the Camp Nou.

Here are 10 of the worst transfers Barca have conducted since 2005.

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Alex Song


After an impressive 2011/12 season with Arsenal, Song joined Barca for £15m.

Despite his relatively modest fee, the Cameroon midfielder is still considered a flop, with only 29 La Liga starts in two seasons before returning to London with West Ham United in 2014.

Song earlier this year revealed in an Instagram Live chat that he did not ‘give a f**k’ about game-time at the Camp Nou given his handsome wages at the time.

He now plays for FC Sion in Switzerland.

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Andre Gomes


After starring at Valencia, Gomes had the unenviable task of trying to prove himself as a worthy successor to Andres Iniesta in the Barcelona midfield.

The Portugal international was unable to make the grade, however, spending two seasons in and out of the team before joining Everton on loan in 2018.

After a decent first season on Merseyside, Gomes signed a five-year contract with the Toffees in 2019.

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Dmytro Chygrynskiy


The long-haired Ukranian will forever be remembered by Barca fans as one of the worst signings in their club’s history.

After helping Shakhtar Donetsk to the UEFA Cup in 2009, Chygrynskiy moved to Barca that summer for £22m.

Despite an encouraging debut against Getafe, the centre-back failed to break into Pep Guardiola’s Champions League holders, making just 12 league appearances before returning to Shakhtar in 2010.

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Yerry Mina


Like Gomes, Mina is now playing his football at Everton after a disappointing spell with the La Liga giants.

However, the Colombian defender’s time in Catalonia was even shorter, lasting just six months before joining the Toffees in August 2018.

While Mina struggled to convince after arriving from Palmeiras, the club made a healthy profit by selling him to Everton for £27m having bought him for under £10m.

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Thomas Vermaelen


A surprising £15m capture from Arsenal in 2014, the Belgian was plagued by injuries during his five-year spell with the club.

In fact, Vermaelen made only 53 appearances in four years with an unsuccessful loan spell at Roma sandwiched in the middle of his spell on Barca’s books.

The Belgian called time on his Barca career in July 2019 when he joined former Blaugrana stars Iniesta and David Villa at Vissel Kobe in the J-League.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic


While the Swede scored 16 La Liga goals in just 29 appearances as Barca won the title in 2010, Ibrahimovic did not gel with Guardiola’s style of play.

After just one season at the Camp Nou, the striker returned to Italy to join AC Milan on loan before signing permanently a year later.

While his contributions were not as disappointing as some on this list, signing a target man forward for a coach like Guardiola was a dramatic misstep from Barcelona.

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Jeremy Mathieu


The Frenchman was Barca’s choice to succeed Carles Puyol after the legendary centre-back hung up his boots in 2014.

Unfortunately, Mathieu did not come close to emulating Puyol’s effective partnership with Pique.

The injury-prone former Valencia man, signed for £18m, struggled through three terms at Barca before joining Sporting Lisbon in 2017.

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Arda Turan


A star at Atletico Madrid during their title success in 2013/14, Turan joined Barcelona for around £30m in 2015.

However, after having to wait six months for his debut with the Catalans banned from registering new players due to irregularities in their recruitment of youth players, Turan’s Camp Nou career failed to achieve lift-off.

The Turkey international managed only 23 starts before joining Istanbul Basaksehir on loan, where he stayed for two years before returning in January.

Turan left Barcelona on July 1 after his contract expired with 55 appearances to his name in five years.

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Paco Alcacer


While Lionel Messi can score goals for fun, finding the back of the net consistently for Barca is a tough gig.

This is evident in the case of Alcacer, who failed to emulate his impressive goal-scoring exploits for Valencia with the Blaugrana.

The Spain international, who cost close to £30m, spent 18 months in and out of the team before reviving his career at Borussia Dortmund.

Alcacer returned to La Liga in January, joining Villarreal in a club-record deal.

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Malcom

In the summer of 2018, Barcelona pipped Roma to the signing of promising young Brazilian Malcom.

The striker had caught the eye during his final year with Bordeaux but was unable to produce on a consistent basis under Ernesto Valverde, managing four goals in 24 games before being sold to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Barcelona considered it a satisfying deal with the club receiving £36.5m for a player who failed to establish himself in La Liga.

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‘Messi will without doubt retire at Barcelona’ – Bartomeu

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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that captain Lionel Messi will end his career at the Catalan club, dismissing a report saying the Argentine no longer wishes to renew his current contract when it expires next year.

“Messi has said he will end his working and footballing life at Barca,” Bartomeu told Spanish network Movistar after his side beat Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday in LaLiga.

“I’m not going to explain the details because we are focused on the competition and we are negotiating with many players but Messi has explained to us that he wants to stay and so we’re going to enjoy him for much longer.”

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The 33-year-old Messi, who signed his last contract in 2017, has become more outspoken against the club’s hierarchy in the last year and radio station Cadena Ser said last Thursday he is unhappy with how Barca is being run and wants to leave in 2021.

The win against Villarreal kept Barca in the title hunt with LaLiga leaders Real Madrid, who hold a four-point advantage after beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Sunday thanks to a late penalty by Sergio Ramos.

The spot-kick was awarded following a VAR review while Athletic had their own penalty appeal turned down and Bartomeu said the technology was not being applied fairly since the season resumed following the novel coronavirus stoppage.

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“I saw the game in Bilbao and although I don’t like to say it, I’ll repeat that VAR is not being used as it should be,” added Bartomeu.

“Since the season returned after the Covid-19 crisis it has not been equal, that has been reflected in the results and it looks as if it always favours the same team.

“VAR should be there to help out the referee but in the last few weeks everyone has been able to see the instances in which it has not been used fairly.”

Real coach Zinedine Zidane said he was tired of his side’s winning run being put down to marginal decisions going their way.

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Defending Second, Barcelona defeats Villarreal 4-1

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Game is over and the final score is Villarreal 1-4 Barcelona. Here is the match report.

2019/2020 La Liga
1-4
G. Moreno (14′)
P. Torres (3′ OG)
Suarez (20′)
Griezmann (45′)
Fati (86′)


Match Events


0′ The match is about to start!

0′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?

3′ OWN GOAL! Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona (Pau Torres)

14′ GOAL! Villarreal 1-1 Barcelona (Gerard Moreno)

20′ GOAL! Villarreal 1-2 Barcelona (Suarez)

31′ CHANCE! Chukwueze’s shot wide out

37′ CLOSE! Bacca’s shot denied by Ter Stegen

45′ GOAL! Villarreal 1-3 Barcelona (Griezmann)

58′ CLOSE! Suarez hits the net

69′ OFFSIDE! Messi’s goal disallowed

81′ CLOSE! Braithwaite misses a good chance

86′ GOAL! Villarreal 1-4 Barcelona (Fati)

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Line-ups


Villarreal XI: Albiol, Asenjo, Cazorla, Iborra, Gaspar, Alcacer, G. Moreno, Moreno, Anguissa, P. Torres, S. Chukwueze

Subs: B.Soriano, Andrés Fernández, Bacca, Moi Gómez, Trigueros, Xavi Quintillà, R.Peña, S. Chakla, Manu Morlanes, Ontiveros, Sergio Lozano, Fer Niño

Barcelona XI: Messi, Suarez, Pique, Vidal, Alba, Busquets, Griezmann, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo

Subs: Rakitic, Neto, Braithwaite, Arthur, Pena, R. Araújo, Jorge Cuenca, Dani Morer, Monchu, Riqui Puig, Álex Collado, Fati.

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Injured Umtiti😕 Barcelona squad confirmed against Villarreal

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Barcelona have confirmed their 24-man squad to visit Villarreal as Arthur in, injured Umtiti out.

Full Squad


GK: Ter Stegen, Neto, Pena

DF: Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Araujo, Firpo, Alba, Morer, Roberto, Cuenca

MF: Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Vidal, Puig, Collado, Monchu

FW: Suarez, Messi, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Fati.

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Barca’s Umtiti down with ‘Knee Injury’

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Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti will miss Sunday’s game at Villarreal with a knee problem, the latest setback in another injury-plagued season for the France international.

Umtiti, 26, will undergo treatment on his left knee with no timeline given for his return, the club said on Friday.

The former Lyon defender has made 18 appearances for Barca this season but was sidelined for almost two months between September and November with foot and knee injuries.

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Umtiti, who has battled a series of injuries since helping France win the 2018 World Cup, also hurt his calf shortly after the team returned to training following the coronavirus lockdown in May.

He has featured in just two of Barca’s six games since the restart, starting last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.

Defending champions Barca trail leaders Real Madrid by four points in La Liga with five matches left to play.


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Messi pauses renewal and wants to leave Barcelona 😱😱😱

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Lionel Messi is ready to leave Barcelona when his contract ends next summer, according to reports from Spain SER.

Messi has called off negotiations over a new deal, with the Barcelona captain angry about leaked media reports that appeared to blame him for the sacking of coach Ernesto Valverde in January.

That’s according to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, who reported that the 33-year-old is also frustrated about the Barca squad’s lack of quality and wants to leave at the end of next season.

The report will fuel speculation about where Messi will play next – with the forward’s options potentially including a reunion with former Nou Camp boss Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola’s contract with Manchester City is also due to expire at the end of next season, although it remains to be seen whether he will sign a new deal at the Etihad Stadium.

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Messi thrived under Guardiola’s tutelage at Barca between 2008 and 2012, with the pair winning three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups together.

And while the Argentine star is heading towards the latter stages of his playing career, he is two years the junior of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still playing at the top level for Juventus.

The report from Cadena Ser said Messi and his father Jorge had begun discussing renewing his last deal with the club, which was signed in 2017, but that he no longer wishes to stay at the Camp Nou.

Messi, who turned 33 last month, scored his 700th career goal on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid, but the milestone strike ended in disappointment as Barca drew the game 2-2 in the latest blow to their bid to retain the Spanish title.

Barca trail Real Madrid by four points in the title race with five games remaining after Real beat Getafe 1-0 on Thursday.

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Previously known for his shy personality off the pitch, Messi has become more vocal in his criticism of the Catalan giants in the past year.

In January he hit out at Eric Abidal, accusing the sporting director of implying that players had led to Valverde being sacked.

In a February interview with newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Messi declared the team were not good enough to win this season’s Champions League.

Then in April he criticised the board for implying players were not willing to accept a pay-cut to help the team’s financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Officially : Juan Miranda returns to Barcelona

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Barcelona have announced that Juan Miranda will return to the Camp Nou, cutting short his loan spell at Schalke.

The Bundesliga side and the Catalans had agreed on loan deal in January that would see the left-back stay in Germany for another season.

However, all parties agreed to terminate the deal and Barcelona will decide what do with the 20-year-old in the next few days.

Miranda joined the Blaugrana from Real Betis in 2014 and he enjoyed some playing time under Ernesto Valverde in 2018/19.

That season, he played in two games against Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey and four LaLiga Santander matches, as well as the Champions League group-stage fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou.

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Happy New Month!!!

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“I don’t feel insecure’ Setien on his future at Barcelona

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Quique Setien was in no mood to speculate about his future after Barcelona’s latest slip up against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

The Catalans drew for the third time in four games, giving Real Madrid a huge advantage in the title race ahead of their game against Getafe.

“I don’t feel at all under threat,” Setien said afterwards when asked about his position.

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Looking at the result and game as a whole, Setien acknowledged that his side are struggling.

“It’s a shame,” he reflected, “we’re having more and more difficulties.

“Leaving these points behind means we’re moving further away from the title.

“But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team.”

Riqui Puig was given a start at the Camp Nou as Setien sought to surprise Diego Simeone.

“We tried to do some different things,’ he explained.

“We thought we would benefit.

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“Atletico defend very well, close the space and commit you.”

Even despite dropping points again, Setien wasn’t overly disappointed with his players’ performances.

“I’m quite happy with them,” he said.

“It’s true that we haven’t been able to win, but at times we controlled the game well.

“It’s not easy against this team. They’re disciplined.

“I’m quite happy with my players’ work.

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Barcelona Vs Atletico starting line-ups revealed

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The line-ups of Barcelona vs Atletico have been announced.

Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Riqui Puig, Vidal, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez.

Subs: Neto, Pena; Firpo, Roberto, Umtiti, Araujo; Arthur, Monchu, Collado; Braithwaite, Fati, Griezmann.

Atletico XI: Oblak; Arias, Giménez, Felipe, Renan Lodi; Marcos Llorente, Thomas, Saúl, Carrasco; Correa, Diego Costa

Subs: Adan; Hermoso, Trippier, Alvaro, Sanchez; Ricard; Lemar, Herrera, Vitolo; Felix, Morata, Saponjic.

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Barcelona players turns against Setien -Sources


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Barcelona players turns against Setien -Sources

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Barcelona manager Quique Setien’s relationship with his players is already showing signs of straining, with various sources having told NobleSports they didn’t click from day one.


Barca led La Liga in January when Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked after the Spanish Supercopa defeat to Atletico Madrid in Saudi Arabia. However, Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo, coupled with Real Madrid’s win at Espanyol on Sunday, saw them fall two points behind Zinedine Zidane’s side at the top of the table with just six games to be played.At Barca, it’s Messi, Pique who hold power


Setien signed a contract with Barca until 2022 — with a get-out clause in 2021 if the newly elected president does not want him to continue — but results and performances have quickly seen him lose credit with the players and the board of directors.

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Luis Suarez appeared to deflect the blame on to Setien in Vigo on Saturday. Asked to explain Barca’s poor away form, he told the reporter the players were giving everything on the pitch and that “managers are there for a reason.”
On Monday, Setien tried to play down Suarez’s comments in his news conference ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Atletico Madrid. He said: “These little controversies will always exist. Everyone has their own way of seeing things. It’s normal.


“I wasn’t an easy player, either. We have to convince the players that the common idea is what’s important. The communication between us is good and I don’t give it any importance.
“When you don’t win, because of an isolated play at a certain moment, like the foul for Celta’s equaliser, everyone sharpens the knives. This is the circus we’re involved in. But the relationship we have with the players is good. It’s true there are sometimes disagreements, but I don’t see any problems worthy of talking about.”


Meanwhile, images over the weekend emerged of Lionel Messi giving Setien’s assistant, Eder Sarabia, the cold shoulder in the second half at Balaidos. During the drinks break, Sarabia twice tried to relay information to Messi, but the Argentina captain walked away from him on both occasions.

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Sarabia previously made headlines in March, when he drew criticism for his language and touchline demeanour during the 2-0 loss to Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sources have told ESPN that despit

Setien’s best efforts, he and his coaching staff have struggled to win round the players, many of whom supported Valverde, since taking charge.
Sarabia often leads training sessions, where there has also been conflict. He demands intensity at all times, which has generated moments of tension, forcing Setien to become a firefighter.

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Elsewhere, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has preferred to work with Jose Ramon de la Fuente as his goalkeeper coach instead of Jon Pascua, who arrived with Setien in January. The Germany international has a great relationship with De La Fuente, which has raised questions about the need for two goalkeeping coaches.
More recently, the doubts the players maintain have extended to the board.


President Josep Maria Bartomeu replaced Valverde with the hope of triggering an attitude change among the squad.

But results and performances have left a lot to be desired.
Setien has overseen 17 games since taking charge, winning 11 of them, including all eight at Camp Nou, but results away from home and the level of performances have increased concerns in his ability to manage the club.
Of the 11 wins, seven have been by one goal, with Barca struggling to make the most of their possession. Meanwhile, they have won just three times on the road, failing to at Valencia, Athletic Bilbao, Napoli, Madrid, Sevilla and Celta.


A stoppage-time goal was needed to beat third-tier Ibiza in the Copa del Rey. That was followed by a 2-0 defeat to Valencia at Mestalla, when Setien played with three centre-backs. Those performances were put down to teething problems, but that didn’t prevent criticism. After losing to Valencia, Setien said it was just “one loss.”.

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The Copa del Rey elimination to Athletic, despite an encouraging performance, added to the worries and a source said the substitutions in March’s loss to Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu revealed Setien’s lack of understanding of his squad as Barca dropped off dramatically physically in the final third of the game.


Barca no longer analyse upcoming opponents live — restricting themselves to video analysis — and a source inside the dressing room told ESPN it feels as though they are creating their own problems by not working on positional play in training.

Barca are finding it difficult to create and score at times.Setien was not Barca’s first choice in January. He was appointed after sporting director Eric Abidal and CEO Oscar Grau failed to convince Xavi Hernandez to take the job during a trip to Qatar. Xavi rejected the job because the timing was not right.
Another coaching change has not been ruled out if Barca fail to deliver in La Liga or the Champions League this season.

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