Barcelona

  • Girona 0 Barcelona 3: Centurion Suarez s...

    Luis Suarez scored on his 100th LaLiga appearance to help see off Girona 3-0 in the first top-flight derby between the two Catalan clubs. A pair of own goals either side of half-time put Ernesto Valverde's side comfortably ahead before Suarez marked his milestone by wrapping up ...

    Girona 0 Barcelona 3: Centurion Suarez seals Catalan derby triumph

    Luis Suarez scored on his 100th LaLiga appearance to help see off Girona 3-0 in the first top-flight derby between the two Catalan clubs. A pair of own goals either side of half-time put Ernesto Valverde's side comfortably ahead before Suarez marked his milestone by wrapping up the three points. Girona skipper Aday Benitez was the victim for the opener when he deflected Jordi Alba's strike into his own net to gift the league leaders an early advantage. And it was another own goal which doubled Barca's lead after the interval as Aleix Vidal's classy cut-back wriggled in off Girona goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz. Suarez added the gloss with 20 minutes remaining to seal a sixth consecutive league victory, an impressive start they last managed in 2013-14. While far from perfect at the back, Valverde's men now sit four points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid. The visitors had early joy down the right when Javier Mascherano found Vidal in behind, but the winger's attempted cross was crucially cut out by Iraizoz. Marc-Andre ter Stegen next produced a superb one-handed save low to his right to deny Douglas, while Suarez's inability to find a team-mate from a cut-back at the other end cost Barca a certain opener. Valverde's side did not have to wait long for the breakthrough, though, and it came courtesy of a huge slice of fortune. After Iraizoz kept out Messi's free-kick, the veteran keeper was left with no chance from the resultant corner as Alba's speculative volley took a heavy deflection off Benitez on its way into the bottom-left corner. Barca began to take control by the half-hour mark and only an in-form Iraizoz prevented them from doubling their advantage, the 36-year-old quick off his line to smother another chance for Alba. Paulinho and Michael Olunga still found time to exchange wayward headers as an entertaining first half ended with the away side ahead. The lead became 2-0 almost immediately after the resumption when Vidal reached the by-line and attempted to find Suarez, who hurdled the back-heel pass and saw it trickle in via Iraizoz's legs. - Gorka Iraizoz scored his first own goal in LaLiga.

  • 'Messi is the football Terminator' - Bar...

    Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is “the football Terminator” according to a man who knows all about such machines, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Argentine has been in dazzling form over recent weeks, with his latest outing seeing him net four times in a crushing 6-1 victory over Ei...

    'Messi is the football Terminator' - Barca icon earns ultimate praise from Schwarzenegger

    Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is “the football Terminator” according to a man who knows all about such machines, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Argentine has been in dazzling form over recent weeks, with his latest outing seeing him net four times in a crushing 6-1 victory over Eibar. Betis 7/1 to beat Levante 2-0 Records continue to tumble around the mercurial 30-year-old, with his battle against eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo seeing a new benchmark set in the art of goalscoring. So impressive has Messi been over the course of a remarkable career that he could be considered indestructible, with Schwarzenegger conceding that he is almost super human. “Yes, exactly. Messi is the football Terminator, we can say that,” the Hollywood actor told Mundo Deportivo while promoting his upcoming film, Terminator 6. Austrian by birth, a naturalised US citizen and former Governor of California, action movie icon Schwarzenegger grew up as a fan of football. He still follows the game from afar and admits to being an admirer of the leading lights in La Liga. Barcelona have welcomed him to Camp Nou as a guest of the club in the past, with the 70-year-old revelling in the opportunity to rub shoulders with Messi and Co. “Yes, last year I visited and watched them train. It was fantastic,” added Schwarzenegger. “When you grow up with football you always have it in mind.  “The European teams in general are very good and Barcelona is one of them obviously. The Madrid sides too.  “Many of these players are among the best athletes, with tremendous stamina and speed.” Barcelona are back in action on Saturday against Girona, when they will be looking to collect a sixth successive victory in La Liga and cement their standing at the top of the table. Messi will be hoping to star in that contest once again and justify his new billing as a T-800 model in Catalonia.

  • Messi rotation ruled out after four-goal...

    Barcelona have no intention of resting Lionel Messi, with the Argentine still basking in a four-goal salvo against Eibar. The 30-year-old has been in imperious form this season after scoring 12 times in just eight appearances and his efforts have helped Barca to make a faultless...

    Messi rotation ruled out after four-goal showing for Barcelona

    Barcelona have no intention of resting Lionel Messi, with the Argentine still basking in a four-goal salvo against Eibar. The 30-year-old has been in imperious form this season after scoring 12 times in just eight appearances and his efforts have helped Barca to make a faultless start in their bid to wrestle the La Liga crown back from arch-rivals Real Madrid. Levante and Betis 5/2 to draw When taking his fine form into account, Ernesto Valverde sees no reason why he would look to hand Messi a rest, despite the games coming think and fast. Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Girona, which will be followed by a midweek trip to Sporting in the Champions League, the Barca boss said: "I wouldn't usually change a player who's scored four goals! So I won't be. "We know it's a long road ahead and Leo's numbers show he's on track. We want to keep it going. "I think he's always been known as ambitious in front of goal and a great goalscorer, and that's what we want. He's decisive. "You saw what Messi did the other day. He's done things people think can't be done. We want to keep that going." Barca set the pace in the Spanish top-flight at present, with maximum points taken from five fixtures. While the Catalans have been soaring, Real have been wobbling to sit seventh and seven points adrift of their old adversaries. Crisis talk has been sparked at the Santiago Bernabeu, but Valverde says it is far too early to be writing off last season’s Liga and Champions League double winners. He added: "A month ago, we were in a disaster. “There are teams who have zero points. They will think they're in a crisis. I don't know what clubs consider to be a crisis. What matters to me is my team. "It's tough for me to respond to questions about Real Madrid, I have to say. I didn't expect it [their slump] and I didn't not expect it. I'm on the other side of the wall. "It's too early for me to get my head around it. I'm not used to these things, what do I know? "You worry about what the teams on your heels are doing, and that's it. I'm sure I'll soon get used to these questions and I'll have a better answer for you. "We're talking about now, about this week. What matters is what happens on Saturday and Sunday. Some teams will win and lose, some will enter a crisis and others will emerge from one. "Then you get to autumn, then winter, and before you know it, it's May."

  • Revealed: Coutinho offered €115 million ...

    Liverpool persistently rebuffed Barcelona’s summer approaches for Philippe Coutinho, telling the Catalan club that “no sum” could persuade them to sell the Brazil international, in Football Leaks documents made public by Spiegel. Barca were seeking a replacement for Neymar, who...

    Revealed: Coutinho offered €115 million contract by Barcelona in summer transfer bid

    Liverpool persistently rebuffed Barcelona’s summer approaches for Philippe Coutinho, telling the Catalan club that “no sum” could persuade them to sell the Brazil international, in Football Leaks documents made public by Spiegel. Barca were seeking a replacement for Neymar, who had been sold in a world-record deal to Paris Saint-Germain, and had turned their attention to the Anfield star. Barcelona 6/1 to beat Girona 2-0 So confident of securing the player’s signature, they had drafted a 20-page employment contract for the Brazilian and had even set the date for his arrival to be August 31. Coutinho would have received €115 million over five years, putting him between Luis Suarez and the likes of Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta in the club’s salary scale.  Meanwhile, his agent would have earned €10m had the transfer fee been less than €100m. A first offer was made by Barca on July 20, though it was rebuffed by the Premier League side. Michael Edwards, Liverpool's sporting director, wrote in an email to Oscar Grau, chairman of Barcelona’s management board: “Unfortunately, Philippe can not be sold at any price and, as you know, has recently extended his contract with us.” Several days later, Barca launched a second, “significantly improved” approach for Coutinho. The Camp Nou club came back with an offer of €90m plus bonus payments that could have totalled €40m. Edwards, however, would not be moved. “I would kindly ask you to refrain from showing interest in Philippe both privately and publicly. No sum will lead up to reverse our decision,” he told Grau. This was information confirmed by Goal at the time . Coutinho made his first Premier League start for the Reds following the summer's drama in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Burnley and was then involved in the midweek Carabao Cup exit to Leicester City.

  • Semedo, Deulofeu left out of Barcelona t...

    Nelson Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu will miss Saturday's La Liga derby match between Barcelona and Girona at Estadi Montilivi. The duo have surprisingly been left out of Ernesto Valverde's squad for the short trip across Catalonia. Barcelona 9/1 to beat Girona 1-0 Deulofeu in pa...

    Semedo, Deulofeu left out of Barcelona trip to Girona

    Nelson Semedo and Gerard Deulofeu will miss Saturday's La Liga derby match between Barcelona and Girona at Estadi Montilivi. The duo have surprisingly been left out of Ernesto Valverde's squad for the short trip across Catalonia. Barcelona 9/1 to beat Girona 1-0 Deulofeu in particular had been expected to play due to €105 million signing Ousmane Dembele being sidelined until the new year following hamstring surgery. There is no suggestion that either player is carrying an injury, meaning Valverde is likely eager to keep them fresh for next Wednesday's Champions League trip to Sporting CP. Arda Turan, who returned to training last weekend, and Thomas Vermaelen are also not in the squad. Paco Alcacer, Samuel Umtiti and Andre Gomes all return, though, having missed the 6-1 win over Eibar on Tuesday.

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