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one. Real Sociedad end Barca’s unbeaten season.
We should have seen it coming. Anoeta has hardly been the happiest of places for Barca to visit in recent years, and on Saturday night that again proved the case. Familiar circumstances dominated the early exchanges, first Messi and then Pedro putting La Blaugrana 2-0 up. Game over? No. Just before half time Chory Castro pulled one back, then in the second half Pique saw red for two (silly but deserved) yellow cards. Castro soon added his second and then in stoppage time Imanol Agirretxe nicked it for La Real - who were very good. It’s the first time Barca have surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose since they lost 4-3 to Atletico in March 2009.
OK, we admit it, we’ve been negligent. Week eighteen admittedly passed with us failing to register a look back on what had actually happened. To all eight of our readers, we are sorry.
BUT. We’re back with a round up from week nineteen - the half way mark in La Liga - and promise not to leave you hanging again. So here it is, the five main talking points from the weekend’s (Friday and Monday included) action…
Before anyone shouts at us, this list doesn’t necessarily feature each clubs’s statistically best player.
In some cases it may, but in other cases it may recognise an unexpected contribution of a player to their club, or a player exceeding all expectations.
So take your mind off the Christmas gap in La Liga by reminiscing on some of our top performers from the first half of the season…
With one final twist - if they were’t already damned as it was - the 2012 half of the La Liga season came to an end with another Real Madrid defear in Andulucia.
‘BUT WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?’ We hear you scream. Read on friends…
one. Beñat y brilliant Betis beat Los Blancos. Jose Mourinho is surely sick of the sight of Seville. Having already fallen to Sevilla earlier in the season it was Betis’ turn on Saturday tonight. Their main man Benat scored the only goal in the first half as they put last weekend’s derby defeat behind them. Most worryingly perhaps was how pedestrian Madrid were in chasing the game. That and also the fact Cristiano Ronaldo now has scored just one in six.
Week eleven is upon us. It kicked off with Granada registering a surprise win at Betis last night and continues with nine more fascinating fixtures this weekend. Barcelona and Real Madrid have testing trips to Mallorca and Levante respectively while Atletico will be keen to restore the winning feeling against city rivals Getafe. Here is our treble:
Since Saturday he has missed two penalties. One at 1-1 against Real Valladolid and one at 0-0 against AC Milan. In the same period he’s also scored two winners as Malaga racked up 2-1 and 1-0 wins respectively. That’s character.
one: As expected, Messi v Ronaldo. It was billed as the most political clàsico since 1975. It once again turned into a duel between the world’s two best players. First Ronaldo drew blood, then Messi levelled. Then Messi, exquisitely, curled home a free kick before Ronaldo took his turn to level the scores. Two all. It was also noted that for what we have come to expect from a clàsico- controversy- there was little of, and what we have come to have expect from Barca- high pressing- there was also less of. Eight points the gap.
Following a successful start to our futbolgrande flutter last week, we thought we’d give it another go. So here it is:
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