Barcelona were not beaten, but they were 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 returned to San Sebastin, the most beautiful residence in Spain, tract of Patxarn, pil-pil and pintxos, tapas nailed to bread with lethal-looking concoction fastens, of T-bones the size of T-Rexes and more Michelin stellars than anywhere in Europe, and left the direction he did last-place meter and the time before that; the behavior that FC Barcelona have left every time theyve been since 2007. For almost a decade now, theyve differed demolished. Emotionally, at least. Actually very, the majority of members of the time. Six months away Luis Enrique said that hed go there to chew a chuletn, a great big steak, but not to watch football. After all, like Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Tata Martino before, hed had a intestine full of that.

Six eras Barcelona had been to face Real Sociedad in the tournament( seven including a Copa del Rey draw) and they had lost five and not acquired one. On Sunday night Barcelonas team included just one musician who was there when they last-place get and acquired Leo Messi was 19 that day and the passage extended to eight. Messi, 29 now, tallied but six minutes before that so had Willian Jos and a 1-1 attraction left his slope six points behind Real Madrid six daytimes before the clsico. Theres something about this residence, 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 route. The boasting head, Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked, his assistant Carles Puyol sauntered and elections were announced; the manager admitted that its own position had diluted and he seemed unlikely to last much more significant. 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: unexpectedly the headlines claimed there is a conference! and there was too. In the end, “its been” Barcelonas but, as Gerard Piqu placed 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 contended: Worse, hopeless. In the majority of members of those other tournaments, there was some sort of forgive, even if a strong one participates left open, big activities up next or just gone , not all that much in play, a suggestion of bad luck perhaps. Not this time; this time, Sunday mornings headlines had called it a final a game they had to acquire yes, or yes, exclusively 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 talk about a quality gained is to talk about a miracle, he answered. The discrepancies between the teams was so big that the describe is almost a miracle. We took a degree from video games that was practically impossible to get a detail from. Change the shirts and you wouldnt think that the other unit 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 research results was about the best thing Barcelona could take from video games; if, ultimately, they had to be satisfied with the attract. 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 shower, Eddie Murphy farting in the tub. Real Sociedads first possibility came after 88 seconds; Barcelona didnt have a shot for 38 and a half more instants. By then, la Real had taken eight of them. The openings were racking up. It was 5-0 in angles after 23 times, 8-0 by half era. Barcelona could not find a way out; blocked into the corner, unable to flee, scarcely 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 flying at Marc-Andr ter Stegen from all over the place; footballers in blue-blooded and white-hot were flying too, closing Barcelona down, participate by player, then hastening beyond them. Taking the projectile from them and the game to them. They won property more experiences in Barcelonas half than in their own. It was a stampede; rapidly, suffocating, precision to go with the speed. Eight different actors had opportunities and following the completion of the game, la Real had acquired every stat, except pedants the only stat that really countings. Wealth 52 -4 8 %, films 17 -1 0, kills on target 8-2. They attempted more passes and completed a higher ratio of them.

Footballing spreadsheet wizard Mr Chip noted that this was the first time that a unit had taken a degree from Barcelona and taken possession from them too 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 the game, we would have taken a level, but right now it doesnt savor like much, Carlos Vela suggested subsequentlies. His slope had tallied one, knew any other erroneously ruled out for offside, and he had touched the bar and hit the post. He was still grinning, though. So was David Zurutuza. That was a destination and you know it, he tweeted.

Oh, they knew. It will be hard to prevail the conference like this, Piqu responded. He talked about a lack of outlook something which didnt much delight Luis Enrique, who suggested that during pitch-side interviews actors absence sanity when perhaps what they certainly absence is someone who has had the chance to tell them what to say, to ensure theyre on-message. Barcelona simply werent out there in the first half, he responded. Andrs Iniesta, indispensable, is still not fit, Aleix Vidal was on his honeymoon having got married on Friday yes, certainly and Vela admitted that la Real took advantage of the fact that three of their players drive less.

But its not stance, at least is not simply; it is ideas too. Play. This was not a one-off; there were repetition themes here. Push is starting to pay for opponents. The unit so often defined by its midfield didnt have one for much of the game. Sergio Busquets, watching his run options disappear into the interval, is managing to look bad and the restrain is get-up-and-go. Barcelona have sagged 12 levels this season, and they might have lowered 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 rivals. La Real wouldnt gave us into the game, they pressed wonderfully well, formed numerical advantage on the wing and inside, and created luck after occasion, Luis Enrique told. Their coach, Eusebio, was an indirect casualty of this fixture two seasons ago: at the time, “hes been” the Barcelona B squad administrator; Luis Enrique existed Zubizarretas departure but he, eventually, did not. Numerous were unimpressed with him, but he admitted that he could see no reason why they went rid of him. We played well; “weve tried to” influence the opponents and take the projectile off them; perhaps we deserved a little more, he said.

They certainly did, everyone agreed. Eusebios team were superb. 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 durations one parallel, a few moments, amidst relative mediocrity. Their league stances during that move speaks: 15 th, 12 th, fourth, seventh, 12 th, ninth. Exclusively in that superb 2012 -1 3 season when they claimed a Champions League home, were they consistently impressive performers. Facing Barcelona was a chance to show what they could do. Could, but frequently didnt. Were aware of our potential, Willian Jos articulated. When David Moyes took over, the team believed that they needed a tough manager to get something out of underperforming musicians. 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 direction that I experience as a tutor, the room that I find as a actor, Eusebio told when he took over. My notion is a game based on authority, good attack, defensive equilibrium and ferocity. He played under Johan Cruyff and is described as Cruyffist and he has was linked to his force. Its delightful for the players to enjoy it on the pitch; that helps them to establish their best, he pronounces. He craves his team to pres high, to assault, to have the dance. Last-place time they hit Barcelona as well but it was too soon to repeat that often; this year, he admitted, it is different. The project is clearer, more assimilated; on Sunday night they did all those things he requires them to do. But it was not just this competition. He believes in his method of playing and he has persuaded us that this is the right mode, Xabi Prieto says.

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

On Sunday night, Cadena Ser radio station asked if la Real were playing the best football in Spain. The rebuttal is all very well be yes. In AS on Monday morning, they were described as best available team in the two countries, pound for pound. El Pas said that it was they , not the visitors, “whos” 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, agreed away from Madrid and Vela is smiling again; formerly on his way out of the golf-club and out of the country too, he has been recovered for the case. Yuri Berchiche is moving. Alongside Illaramendi, David Zurutuza, who didnt get on with Moyes and who missed more than 40 competitions over the past two seasons through injury, is fit and in his best figure. Up front, they have finally signed a striker who is attaining. William Jos got the goal on Sunday night.

In the end, all it made them was a describe that intention a four-game prize range, and left them in fifth, a single place behind Atltico. Had they won and they should have done they would have been just one point behind Barcelona. They have accumulated 16 of the last 21 stages, having played Atltico and Barcelona in that period; this is no fluke. If we play like we did tonight, were going to acquire a lot more recreations, Vela announced. Recently, “theyve been”: this is only their best performance, but not an separated one. A performance that communicated Barcelona home winless again. San Sebastin is not the kind of region that Luis Enrique would go to watch a game, but compensate 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 teammates and we stood up to them, Abelardo Fernndez announced. Last week I was ashamed and accountable; the coming week I am going to shed the strange heyday at myself. Well, OK, then. He was right, after all. Boasting had stood up to them, even after starting two down inside 20 times, both tallied by the conferences new top scorer, Ronaldo. Sporting got one back and is likely to be have got the place but when the hazard returned they didnt take it. Perhaps the pressure got too much. Duje Cop stood in front of criminal penalties recognise at the north end of the Santiago Bernabu, the rain swarming around him, scarcely able to see the goals and targets 12 grounds away, and contacted for his neck. There he was, checking his pulse. Yep, rapidly. Too fast. He stepped up and thumped the fire over the bar. The opening had gone for Sporting Gijn. Real Madrid didnt play well but they did acquire 2-1. Boasting be in the relegation zone.

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

Iago Aspas. Yeah, yeah, that angle. Or this goal, this assist, this 40 -yard chip off the bar. This weekend, in short. This season, in fact. With his point at Wembley and his aims in Spain a season in which only Ronaldo, Messi, Surez and Willian Jos have scored more.

So, Atltico extended 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 tallied to take a 3-0 acquire at El Sadar the stadium that the new Osasuna manager Joaqun Caparrs said is the consecrated food, the milk.

Javier Ontiveros is 19. And in the 92 nd hour he got the pellet, cut inside and belted an perfectly stunning aim from 25 gardens into the net to score the goal of the weekend and ended the game of the weekend too a 4-3 acquire for Mlaga that Juande Ramos suggested was just like a Russian mountain. Which is Spanish for roller-coaster, in case youre wondering. Depor seemed very difficult to be undertaken 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 destinations at the Rosaleda the very next week.

Alavs did it again: unfortunate to lose 2-1 at Sevilla, a depict at the Caldern, a prevail at the Caldern and now a 2-0 win at the Madrigal, where Villarreal had the best hadnt been beaten and where the selection board had best available residence enter in the league.

In the last minute four statements 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 participates observed forte 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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