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 situate in Spain, tract of Patxarn, pil-pil and pintxos, tapas nailed to food with lethal-looking concoction remains, of T-bones the size of T-Rexes and more Michelin adepts than anywhere in Europe, and left the room he did last-place epoch and the time before that; the course that FC Barcelona have left each time theyve taken place since 2007. For almost a decade now, theyve varied defeated. Emotionally, at least. Actually more, the majority of members of the time. Six months away Luis Enrique was of the view that hed “il be going” to devour 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 gut full of that.

Six experiences 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 precisely one actor who was there when they last-place started and acquired Leo Messi was 19 the working day and the operate are available to eight. Messi, 29 now, tallied but six times before that so had Willian Jos and a 1-1 pump left his slope six points behind Real Madrid six periods before the clsico. Theres something about this plaza, 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 lane. The sporting head, Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked, his assistant Carles Puyol marched and ballots were called; the manager admitted that his position had slackened and he seemed unlikely to last-place much longer. It was the end, or so it seemed; it turned out to be the beginning. In his second season, Luis Enriques squad lost 1-0 again, the week after defeat in the clsico: unexpectedly the headlines claimed there is a tournament! and there was too. In the end, it was Barcelonas but, as Gerard Piqu placed it, they had to triumph it twice. And now in this, his third season, Barcelona drew.

That, at the 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 competitions, there was some sort of forgive, even if a weak one actors left out, big tournaments up next or just gone , not all that much in play, a touching of tough luck perhaps. Not this time; this time, Sunday mornings headlines had announced it a final a game they had to prevail 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 phase gained is to talk about a miracle, he said. The discrepancies between the teams was so large-hearted that the glean is almost a miracle. We took a level from a game that was practically impossible to get a point 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 happen Barcelona could take from video games; if, eventually, they had to be satisfied with the pump. 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 bathroom, Eddie Murphy farting in the tub. Real Sociedads first hazard came after 88 seconds; Barcelona didnt have a shot for 38 and a half more hours. 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 occasion. Barcelona could not find a way out; blocked into the corner, unable to escape, 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 video games with two shots; 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 running at Marc-Andr ter Stegen from around the place; footballers in blue and lily-white were flying too, shutting Barcelona down, participate by musician, then racing beyond them. Taking the dance from them and the game to them. They acquired self-possession more hours in Barcelonas half than in their own. It was a stampede; rapidly, asphyxiating, precision to go with the tempo. Eight different actors had the possibilities and by the end of the game, la Real had acquired every stat, except pedants the only stat that really countings. Owned 52 -4 8 %, shots 17 -1 0, shots on target 8-2. They attempted more elapses and ended a higher ratio of them.

Footballing spreadsheet wizard Mr Chip noted that this was the first time that a squad had taken a part from Barcelona and taken owned from them extremely 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 degree, but right now it doesnt smell like much, Carlos Vela said subsequentlies. His area had scored one, knew any other incorrectly ruled out for offside, and he had hit the bar and stumbled the pole. He was still grinning, though. So was David Zurutuza. That was a goal and you know it, he tweeted.

Oh, they knew. It will be hard to win the tournament like this, Piqu said. He talked about a lack of position something which didnt much delight Luis Enrique, who suggested that during pitch-side interviews players paucity lucidity when perhaps what they truly lack 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 said. Andrs Iniesta, priceless, is still not fit, Aleix Vidal was on his honeymoon having got married on Friday yes, actually and Vela admitted that la Real took advantage of the fact that three of their actors run less.

But its not posture, at least not only; it is ideas too. Play. This was not a one-off; there used repetition themes here. Pres is starting to pay for foes. The crew so often defined by its midfield didnt have one for much of video games. Sergio Busquets, watching his proceed alternatives disappear into the distance, is organizing to look bad and the verify is go. Barcelona have removed 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 foes. La Real wouldnt told us into the game, they pressed wonderfully well, established numerical supremacy on the wing and inside, and made hazard after fortune, Luis Enrique said. Their coach, Eusebio, was an indirect scapegoat of this fixture two seasons ago: at the time, he was the Barcelona B crew administrator; Luis Enrique existed Zubizarretas departure but he, ultimately, did not. Many were unimpressed with him, but he are recognizing that he could see no reason why they got rid of him. We played well; we have attempted to distres the opponents and take the pellet off them; maybe we deserved a little more, he said.

They surely did, everyone agreed. Eusebios unit 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 meters one pair, one moment, amidst relative mediocrity. Their league places during that run reads: 15 th, 12 th, fourth, seventh, 12 th, ninth. Only in that superb 2012 -1 3 season when they claimed a Champions League region, were they consistently impressive musicians. Facing Barcelona was a chance to show what they could do. Could, but typically didnt. Were aware of our potential, Willian Jos said. When David Moyes took over, the golf-club believed that they needed a tough director to get something out of underperforming musicians. It didnt work.

Lionel Lionel Messi skirmishes to make inroads for Bara. Image: Javier Etxezarreta/ EPA

It is working now. The squad will play the channel that I feel as a manager, the way that I felt as a musician, Eusebio said when he took over. My feeling is a game based on self-control, good attack, defensive match and vigour. He played under Johan Cruyff and describes himself as Cruyffist and he has connected with his squad. Its lovely for the players to enjoy it on the tone; that helps them to show the very best, he says. He requires his team to influence high, to assault, to have the projectile. Last year they overpower Barcelona as well but it was too soon to repeat that are typically; this year, he acknowledged, it is different. The theme is clearer, more assimilated; on Sunday night they did all those things he requires them to do. But it was not just this play. He believes in his course of playing and he has convinced us that this is the right mode, Xabi Prieto says.

On the eve of this parallel, El Diario Vasco brought together Eusebio and John Toshack or a waxwork framework of John Toshack, anyway. Hes doing a great job, the Welshman said. Over in Barcelona, Luis Enrique was affected more, describing la Real as a side with a good formation, one that they are able to influence 100%.

On Sunday night, Cadena Ser radio station asked if la Real were playing the best football in Spain. The reaction may well be yes. In AS on Monday morning, they were described as best available team 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 team , not least with Prieto playing a role inside not outside. Antoine Griezmann has become but Asier Illarramendi is back and conformable now, settled away from Madrid and Vela is smiling again; formerly on his way out of the organization and out of the country too, he has been recovered for the crusade. Yuri Berchiche is flying. Alongside Illaramendi, David Zurutuza, who didnt get on with Moyes and who missed more than 40 games over the last two seasons through injury, is fit and in his best form. Up front, they have finally signed a striker who is attaining. William Jos got the goal on Sunday night.

In the end, all it earned them was a gather that resolved a four-game prize move, and left them in fifth, a single object behind Atltico. Had they acquired and they should have done they would have been only one point behind Barcelona. They have collected 16 of the last 21 qualities, having played Atltico and Barcelona in that age; this is no fluke. If we play like we did tonight, were going to acquire a lot more recreations, Vela said. Recently, they have been: this was their best rendition, but not an isolated one. A performance that transmitted Barcelona home winless again. San Sebastin is not the types of region that Luis Enrique would go to watch a game, but pay him no heed. You should. The food is good there. The football is too.

Talking points

We went to the Bernabu, a group of four mates and we stood up to them, Abelardo Fernndez said. Last week I was ashamed and responsible; this week I am going to throw the curious bud at myself. Well, OK, then. He was right, after all. Sporting had stood up to them, even after exiting two down inside 20 instants, both scored by the conferences brand-new top scorer, Ronaldo. Sporting got one back and is likely to be have got the spot but when the hazard came they didnt take it. Perhaps the pressure got too much. Duje Cop stood in front of criminal penalties discern at the north end of the Santiago Bernabu, the torrent running around him, barely able to see the goals and targets 12 yards away, and contacted for his cervix. There he was, checking his pulsation. Yep, fast. Too fast. He stepped up and smacked the shot over the bar. The possibility had gone for Boasting Gijn. Real Madrid didnt play well but they did prevail 2-1. Sporting are still in the relegation zone.

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

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

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

Javier Ontiveros is 19. And in the 92 nd minute he got the projectile, cut inside and belted an absolutely stupendous goal from 25 grounds into the net to tally the objective of the weekend and terminated video games of the weekend extremely a 4-3 winning for Mlaga that Juande Ramos said was just like a Russian mountain. Which is Spanish for roller-coaster, in case youre wondering. Depor felt very hard to be undertaken by: for the last half an hour they had been very impressive. Carlos Kameni Carlos Kamenid, by the space. Brilliant at the Camp Nou, he was to blame for two aims at the Rosaleda the very next week.

Alavs did it again: unfortunate to lose 2-1 at Sevilla, a depict at the Caldern, a winning at the Caldern and now a 2-0 win at the Madrigal, where Villarreal had best available hadnt been thumped and where they had best available home evidence in the league.

In the very last minute four paroles that have been used a lot when speaking about Sevilla this season. This time, in the very last minute Sergio Rico saved them against Valencia. The musicians find persuasivenes 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 evening: Las Palmas-Athletic


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