Barcelona were not beaten, but the latter are battered in San Sebastin, leaving Luis Enrique to admit it had been a miracle to escape with a point

At least he ate well. Luis Enrique turned over to San Sebastin, the most beautiful neighbourhood in Spain, ground of Patxarn, pil-pil and pintxos, tapas nailed to eat with lethal-looking cocktail remains, of T-bones the size of T-Rexes and more Michelin whizs than anywhere in Europe, and left the mode he did last duration and the time before that; the acces that FC Barcelona have left each time theyve been since 2007. For almost a decade now, theyve differed defeated. Emotionally, at least. Actually too, the majority of cases. Six months back Luis Enrique said that hed got to go to eat a chuletn, a great large-hearted steak, but not to watch football. After all, like Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino before, hed had a bowel full of that.

Six seasons Barcelona had been to face Real Sociedad in the conference( seven including a Copa del Rey draw) and they had lost five and not triumphed one. On Sunday night Barcelonas team included exactly one participate who was there when they last travelled and triumphed Leo Messi was 19 the working day and the scamper extended to eight. Messi, 29 now, tallied but six minutes before that so had Willian Jos and a 1-1 suck left his area six points behind Real Madrid six days before the clsico. Theres something about this neighbourhood, alright: Real Sociedad have been to the second division since but still it goes on. A miracle, Luis Enrique announced it.

In his first season, the team lost 1-0 here; Messi was on the bench and Luis Enrique looked like he was on his space. The boasting administrator, Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked, his assistant Carles Puyol strolled and referendums were announced; the manager are recognizing that his position had diminished and he seemed unlikely to last-place long long. It was the end, or so it seemed; it turned out to be the beginning. In his second season, Luis Enriques unit lost 1-0 again, the week after defeat in the clsico: abruptly the headlines claimed there is a conference! and there was too. In the end, it was Barcelonas but, as Gerard Piqu set it, they had to acquire it twice. And now in this, his third season, Barcelona drew.

That, at least, was an improvement, a straw to clutch at. It could have been worse, only afterwards the Barcelona coach insisted: Worse, hopeless. In the majority of members of those other recreations, there was some sort of condone, even if a weak one actors left out, bigger competitions up next or just gone , not all that much in play, a style of tough luck perhaps. Not this time; this time, Sunday mornings headlines had called it a final a game they had to acquire yes, or yes, merely for it to turn out to be a game they were lucky not to lose. Luis Enrique didnt call it a miracle because he was at a loss to explain how Barcelona hadnt won again; he announced it a miracle because, this time, he was at a loss to explain how they hadnt lost again.

To talking here a part gained is to talk about a miracle, he said. The difference between the teams was so large-scale that the gather is almost a miracle. We took a time from a game that was practically impossible to get a degree from. Change the shirts and you wouldnt think that the other squad was Barcelona. They were infinitely better than us. We have never been so inferior to an opponent as we were tonight. Stopped pitch-side, Piqu was asked if the result was about best available thought Barcelona could take from video games; if, eventually, they had to be satisfied with the glean. At Barcelona, it is very rare that you can say that, but yes, he replied.

Barcelona were not beaten, but the latter are battered. Everyone agreed that this was a bath, Eddie Murphy farting in the tub. Real Sociedads first opportunity came as 88 seconds; Barcelona didnt have a shot for 38 and a half more instants. By then, la Real had taken eight of them. The opportunities were racking up. It was 5-0 in recess after 23 times, 8-0 by half hour. Barcelona could not find a way out; blocked into the reces, unable to escape, barely able to breathe, it was all they could do to hang in. It didnt let up, either. Luis Surez, Messi and Neymar all finished the game with two shoots; Esteban Granero finished it with one more than that. And he had only come on in the 85 th minute.

Luis Luis Enrique during the game. Photograph: Vincent West/ Reuters

The ball was moving at Marc-Andr ter Stegen from all over the place; footballers in off-color and grey were flying too, closing Barcelona down, participate by actor, then racing beyond them. Taking the ball from them and the game to them. They prevailed wealth more hours in Barcelonas half than in their own. It was a stampede; fast, suffocating, precision to go with the speed. Eight different participates had opportunities and by the end of video games, la Real had prevailed every stat, except pedants the only stat that really weighs. Control 52 -4 8 %, kills 17 -1 0, hits on target 8-2. They attempted more guides and accomplished a greater proportion of them.

Footballing spreadsheet wizard Mr Chip noted that this was the first time that a crew had taken a extent from Barcelona and taken wealth from them very since, falling apart and having long given up, Madrid took the pasillo out of them back in May 2008. It should have been more than one. Before video games, we would have taken a spot, but right now it doesnt flavour like much, Carlos Vela said afterwards. His side had scored one, had another mistakenly ruled out for offside, and he had affected the bar and touched the upright. He was still grinning, though. So was David Zurutuza. That was a purpose and you know it, he tweeted.

Oh, they knew. It will be hard to prevail the league like this, Piqu said. He talked about a lack of posture something which didnt much please Luis Enrique, who suggested that during pitch-side interviews actors lack lucidity when perhaps what they really shortage is someone who has had the chance to tell them what to say, to ensure theyre on-message. Barcelona exactly werent out there in the first half, he said. Andrs Iniesta, irreplaceable, is still not fit, Aleix Vidal was on his honeymoon having got married on Friday yes, certainly and Vela are recognizing that la Real took advantage of the fact that three of their players run less.

But its not posture, at least not only; it is ideas too. Play. This was not a one-off; there were recurring themes here. Pres is starting to pay for adversaries. The squad so often defined by its midfield didnt have one for much of video games. Sergio Busquets, watching his go alternatives disappear into the distance, is controlling to look bad and the power is lead. Barcelona have put 12 parts this season, and they might have plummeted more. In Seville, in Valencia. Here, above all.

And thats the other thing, too often forgotten when it is necessary to analysing Madrid and Barcelona: their antagonists. La Real wouldnt gave us into the game, they pressed wonderfully well, developed numerical predominance on the wing and inside, and generated occasion after chance, Luis Enrique said. Their coach, Eusebio, was an indirect scapegoat of this fixture two seasons ago: at the time, “hes been” the Barcelona B crew director; Luis Enrique endured Zubizarretas departure but he, eventually, did not. Many were unimpressed with him, but he admitted that he could see no reason for they get rid of him. We played well; “weve tried to” pressure the opponents and take the pellet off them; perhaps we deserved a little more, he said.

They surely did, everyone agreed. Eusebios unit were superbs. Were? Are. If this was no one-off for Barcelona, it was no one-off for la Real either. This was different from those other meters one accord, a few moments, amidst relative mediocrity. Their league positions during that range speaks: 15 th, 12 th, fourth, seventh, 12 th, ninth. Merely in that exquisite 2012 -1 3 season when they claimed a Champions League lieu, were they consistently impressive musicians. Facing Barcelona was a chance to show what they could do. Could, but frequently didnt. Were aware of our potential, Willian Jos said. When David Moyes took over, the squad believed that they needed a tough manager to get something out of underperforming actors. It didnt work.

Lionel Lionel Messi fights to make inroads for Bara. Photo: Javier Etxezarreta/ EPA

It is working now. The squad will play the way that I find as a coach, the method that I seemed as a actor, Eusebio said when he took over. My meaning is a game based on command, good attack, defensive balance and strength. He played under Johan Cruyff and describes himself as Cruyffist and he has was linked to his force. Its exquisite for the players to enjoy it on the tar; that helps them to establish the most appropriate, he says. He wants his team to pressing high, to criticize, to have the dance. Last time they trounce Barcelona as well but it was too soon to repeat that often; this year, he declared, it is different. The sentiment is clearer, more assimilated; on Sunday night they did all those things he requires them to do. But it was not just this tournament. He believes in his path of playing and he has convinced us that this is the right way, Xabi Prieto says.

On the eve of this coincide, El Diario Vasco brought together Eusebio and John Toshack or a waxwork representation of John Toshack, anyway. Hes doing a great job, the Welshman said. Over in Barcelona, Luis Enrique was affected very, describing la Real as a side with a good arrangement, one that would distres 100%.

On Sunday night, Cadena Ser radio station asked if la Real were playing the best football in Spain. The refute is likely to be yes. In AS on Monday morning, they were described as best available unit in the country, pound for pound. El Pas said that it was they , not the visitors, who were Barcelona on Sunday night. Theres something of that 2013 unit , not least with Prieto playing a role inside not outside. Antoine Griezmann has disappeared but Asier Illarramendi is back and conformable now, decided away from Madrid and Vela is smiling again; formerly on his way out of the association and out of the country too, he has been recovered for the generate. Yuri Berchiche is hovering. Alongside Illaramendi, David Zurutuza, who didnt get on with Moyes and who missed more than 40 recreations over the last two seasons through injury, is fit and in his best form. Up front, they have finally signed a striker who is replacing. William Jos got the goal on Sunday night.

In the end, all it deserved them was a move that ended a four-game victory move, and left them in fifth, a single item behind Atltico. Had they triumphed and they should have done they would have been one point behind Barcelona. They have obtained 16 of the last 21 places, having played Atltico and Barcelona in that span; this is no fluke. If we play like we did tonight, were going to win a lot more games, Vela said. Recently, “theyve been”: this was their best action, but not an quarantined one. A conduct that transmitted Barcelona home winless again. San Sebastin is not the various kinds of neighbourhood that Luis Enrique would go to watch video games, but pay him no heed. You should. The meat is good there. The football is too.

Talking points

We went to the Bernabu, a group of four copulates and we held up to them, Abelardo Fernndez said. Last week I was ashamed and responsible; this week I am going to shed the strange heyday at myself. Well, OK, then. He was right, after all. Sporting had sat up to them, even after extending two down inside 20 times, both scored by the conferences new top scorer, Ronaldo. Sporting got one back and is likely to be have got the moment but when the hazard came they didnt take it. Perhaps the pressure got too much. Duje Cop put in front of the penalty blot at the north end of the Santiago Bernabu, the downpour moving around him, just able to see the goals and targets 12 gardens away, and contacted for his cervix. There he was, checking his heartbeat. Yep, fast. Too fast. He stepped up and affected the shot over the bar. The possibility used to go for Sporting Gijn. Real Madrid didnt play well but they did win 2-1. Boasting are still in the relegation zone.

Real Real Madrids Cristiano Ronaldo rises for a header against Sporting. Photo: Javier Soriano/ AFP/ Getty Images

Iago Aspas. Yeah, yeah, that reces. Or the millennium development goals, this assist, this 40 -yard chip off the bar. This weekend, in short. This season, in fact. With his purpose at Wembley and his points in Spain a season in which exclusively Ronaldo, Messi, Surez and Willian Jos have scored more.

So, Atltico moved Atltico again. Weve been here before. Jan Oblak, who has saved 50% of the penalties he has faced( just not in shootouts ), saved another one in Pamplona, and Diego Godn, Kvin Gameiro and Yannick Carrasco scored to take a 3-0 prevail at El Sadar the stadium that the brand-new Osasuna manager Joaqun Caparrs said is the consecrated dough, the milk.

Javier Ontiveros is 19. And in the 92 nd hour he got the pellet, cut inside and region an utterly breathtaking aim from 25 grounds into the net to tally the goal of the weekend and terminated the game of the weekend too a 4-3 acquire for Mlaga that Juande Ramos said most like a Russian mountain. Which is Spanish for roller-coaster, in case youre pondering. Depor felt very hard done by: for the second half an hour they had been very impressive. Carlos Kameni Carlos Kamenid, by the way. Brilliant at the Camp Nou, he was to blame for two objectives at the Rosaleda the very next week.

Alavs did it again: unfortunate to lose 2-1 at Sevilla, a derive at the Caldern, a acquire at the Caldern and now a 2-0 succes at the Madrigal, where Villarreal had best available hadnt been overpowered and where they had best available home account in the league.

In the very last minute four messages that have been used a lot when talking about Sevilla this season. This time, in the very last minute Sergio Rico saved them against Valencia. The musicians acquired strength where there was none, Jorge Sampaoli said.

Results: Eibar 3-1 Betis, Mlaga 43 Deportivo, Real Madrid 21 Sporting, Espanyol 30 Legans, Sevilla 21 Valencia, Villarreal 02 Alavs, Osasuna 03 Atltico, Celta 31 Granada, Real Sociedad 11 Barcelona. Monday night: Las Palmas-Athletic

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