Just a few days after launching their incredible comeback against Paris Saint-Germain to book their place in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Barcelona lost to Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga.
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The 2-1 defeat leaves Luis Enrique’s men two points behind leaders Real Madrid (a late Sergio Ramos header saw Real fight back to beat Real Betis 2-1 on Sunday) and Zinedine Zidane’s side also have a game in hand.
Defender Gerard Pique has hit out at criticism coming Barca’s way.
“Everyone connected to Barcelona would have signed up to comeback against PSG and a defeat to Deportivo,” Pique told reporters.”That is sport. We’re not machines. After Wednesday’s effort it made it difficult to compete. We have to congratulate Deportivo, they’re deserved winners. They (Depor) also played in midweek so that is not an excuse. The fixture list is tough for everyone. Every game demands a huge effort.”
He has a point.
After the huge high of Wednesday’s win against PSG, the emotional toll that took on players and management must have been huge. Still, Pique’s comments following the incredible late drama at the Nou Camp may have come back to haunt him.
He said “tonight I am going to party even though I have training tomorrow…” and then the defeat to Depor happens.
Buzzkill alert: As memorable as that amazing comeback was, partying into the early hours of Thursday morning may have cost Barca the Spanish title.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.
A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.
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Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.
Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.
And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.
A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.
Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.
Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.
Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.
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Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.
Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.
It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.
Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.
Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.
Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.
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But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.
That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.
So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.
Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.
So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.
Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.
Everton could end up with one of the hottest prospects in world soccer.
Moise Kean may wind up leaving Juventus due to the club’s failure to offload fellow strikers Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain.
And Kean, 19, was poised for a breakthrough to the first team, to the extent that Juve reportedly turned down a $33 million bid from Everton.
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The Toffees, however, may have new life due to the Higuain/Mandzukic problem, and Sky Sports Italia reports that Kean may indeed be an option for Marco Silva‘s club. He could join Michael Keane, if he’s keen.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Kean elected to leave Italy given the racial abuse he’s suffered in Serie A (Though racism is everywhere, of course).
The same report says Kean turned down a Barcelona offer because he would’ve headed on loan, while Arsenal is also said to be in the mix.
Kean scored six Serie A goals with an assist in just 13 matches for Juventus last season after scoring four times for Hellas Verona on loan.