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 returned to San Sebastin, the most beautiful situate in Spain, territory of Patxarn, pil-pil and pintxos, tapas nailed to dough with lethal-looking concoction puts, of T-bones the size of T-Rexes and more Michelin starrings than anywhere in Europe, and left the space he did last-place experience and the time before that; the direction that FC Barcelona have left each time theyve been since 2007. For almost a decade now, theyve started overcome. Emotionally, at least. Actually very, most of the time. Six months back Luis Enrique said that hed go there to ingest a chuletn, a great large-scale 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 periods Barcelona had been to face Real Sociedad in the league( 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 departed and prevailed Leo Messi was 19 that day and the range extended to eight. Messi, 29 now, tallied but six times before that so had Willian Jos and a 1-1 evoke left his back six points behind Real Madrid six days 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 called it.

In his first season, the team failed 1-0 here; Messi was on the bench and Luis Enrique looked like he was on his space. The boasting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked, his assistant Carles Puyol strolled and referendums were called; the manager are recognizing that his position had diminished 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 crew lost 1-0 again, the week after defeat in the clsico: unexpectedly the headlines claimed there is a league! and there was too. In the end, “its been” Barcelonas but, as Gerard Piqu threw it, they had to prevail 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 insisted: Worse, hopeless. In the majority of members of those other activities, there was some sort of forgive, even if a weak one participates left out, big games 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 video games they had to prevail 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 triumphed again; he called it a miracle because, this time, he was at a loss to explain how they hadnt lost again.

To talking here a stage gained is to talk about a miracle, he said. The discrepancies between the teams was so big that the attraction is almost a miracle. We took a point from a game that was practically impossible to get a object 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 the best situation Barcelona could take from the game; if, ultimately, they had to be satisfied with the evoke. 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 bathtub, Eddie Murphy farting in the tub. Real Sociedads first fortune came as 88 seconds; Barcelona didnt have a shot for 38 and a half more minutes. By then, la Real had taken eight of them. The possibilities were racking up. It was 5-0 in angles after 23 instants, 8-0 by half era. Barcelona could not find a way out; blocked into the reces, unable to flee, barely able to breathe, it was all they could do to hang on. It didnt let up, either. Luis Surez, Messi and Neymar all finished the game 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. Picture: Vincent West/ Reuters

The ball was running at Marc-Andr ter Stegen from all over the place; footballers in blue-blooded and grey were flying too, shutting Barcelona down, participate by actor, then racing beyond them. Taking the pellet from them and the game to them. They triumphed wealth more epoches in Barcelonas half than in their own. It was a stampede; fast, suffocating, precision to go with the speed. Eight different actors had opportunities and by the end of the game, la Real had triumphed every stat, except pedants the only stat that is actually counts. Property 52 -4 8 %, hits 17 -1 0, hits on target 8-2. They struggled more moves and completed a greater proportion of them.

Footballing spreadsheet wizard Mr Chip noted that this was the first time that a squad had taken a extent from Barcelona and taken belonging 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 point, but right now it doesnt savour like much, Carlos Vela said subsequentlies. His area had scored one, knew any other wrongly ruled out for offside, and he had smacked the bar and affected the berth. 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 triumph the conference like this, Piqu said. He talked about a lack of outlook something which didnt much satisfy Luis Enrique, who suggested that during pitch-side interrogations participates need sanity when perhaps what they certainly shortage is someone who has had the chance to tell them what to say, to ensure theyre on-message. Barcelona just werent out there in the first half, he said. Andrs Iniesta, indispensable, 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 given the fact that three of their players work less.

But its not attitude, at the least is not simply; it is ideas too. Play. This is no longer a one-off; there used to be recurring topics here. Pres is starting to pay for opponents. The team so often defined by its midfield didnt have one for much of video games. Sergio Busquets, watching his move options disappear into the distance, is succeeding to look bad and the restrain is croak. Barcelona have stopped 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 comes to analysing Madrid and Barcelona: their opposings. La Real wouldnt told us into the game, they pressed wonderfully well, developed numerical advantage on the wing and inside, and generated possibility after risk, Luis Enrique said. Their coach, Eusebio, was an indirect prey of this fixture two seasons ago: at the time, “hes been” the Barcelona B squad manager; Luis Enrique subsisted 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; we tried to push the opponents and take the pellet off them; maybe we deserved a bit more, he said.

They certainly did, everyone agreed. Eusebios squad were exquisites. Were? Are. If this was no one-off for Barcelona, it was no one-off for la Real either. This differ from those other times one competitor, a few moments, amidst relative mediocrity. Their league prestiges during that flow reads: 15 th, 12 th, fourth, seventh, 12 th, ninth. Exclusively in that superb 2012 -1 3 season when they claimed a Champions League residence, were they consistently impressive musicians. Facing Barcelona was a chance to show what they could do. Could, but often didnt. Were aware of our potential, Willian Jos said. When David Moyes took over, the organization believed that they needed a tough administrator to get something out of underperforming participates. It didnt work.

Lionel Lionel Messi strifes to make inroads for Bara. Picture: Javier Etxezarreta/ EPA

It is working now. The team will play the path that I seem as a coach-and-four, the mode that I felt as a participate, Eusebio said when he took over. My feeling is a game based on self-restraint, good attack, defensive balance and vigour. He played under Johan Cruyff and describes himself as Cruyffist and he has connected with his force. Its delightful for the players to enjoy it on the slope; that helps them to present the most appropriate, he says. He misses his team to push high, to assault, to have the dance. Last-place year they thump Barcelona as well but it was too soon to replicate that often; this year, he declared, it is different. The suggestion is clearer, more assimilated; on Sunday night they did all those happens he wants them to do. But it was not just this recreation. He believes in his behavior of playing and he has reassured us that this is the right way, Xabi Prieto says.

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

On Sunday night, Cadena Ser radio station asked if la Real were playing the best football in Spain. The answer is likely to be yes. In AS on Monday morning, they were described as best available unit in the two countries, 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 exited but Asier Illarramendi is back and conformable now, terminated 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 induce. Yuri Berchiche is winging. 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 earned them was a suck that aimed a four-game prevail lead, and left them in fifth, a single degree behind Atltico. Had they triumphed and they should have done they would have been just one point behind Barcelona. They have obtained 16 of the last 21 points, having played Atltico and Barcelona in that date; this is no fluke. If we play like we did tonight, were going to win much more plays, Vela said. Lately, “theyve been”: this was their best accomplishment, but not an separated one. A accomplishment that mailed Barcelona home winless again. San Sebastin is not the various kinds of residence that Luis Enrique would go to watch video games, but pay him no heed. You should. The nutrient is good there. The football is too.

Talking points

We went to the Bernabu, a group of four copulates and we digested up to them, Abelardo Fernndez said. Last-place week I was ashamed and accountable; this week I am going to shed the odd heyday at myself. Well, OK, then. He was right, after all. Boasting had digested up to them, even after proceeding two down inside 20 times, both tallied by the conferences brand-new top scorer, Ronaldo. Sporting got one back and is likely to be have got the extent but when the hazard came they didnt take it. Perhaps the pressure got too much. Duje Cop countenanced in front of criminal penalties discern at the north end of the Santiago Bernabu, the torrent moving around him, barely able to see the goals and targets 12 grounds away, and reached for his neck. There he was, checking his heartbeat. Yep, fast. Too fast. He stepped up and smacked the kill over the bar. The opportunity used to go for Boasting Gijn. Real Madrid didnt play well but they did triumph 2-1. Sporting was 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 destination at Wembley and his objectives in Spain a season in which merely Ronaldo, Messi, Surez and Willian Jos have tallied more.

So, Atltico exited Atltico again. Weve been here before. Jan Oblak, who has saved 50% of criminal penalties he has faced( simply 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 brand-new Osasuna manager Joaqun Caparrs said is the consecrated eat, the milk.

Javier Ontiveros is 19. And in the 92 nd time he got the ball, cut inside and region an absolutely incredible destination from 25 gardens into the net to score the purposes of the weekend and terminated the game of the weekend extremely a 4-3 winning for Mlaga that Juande Ramos said most like a Russian mountain. Which is Spanish for roller-coaster, in case youre amazing. Depor experienced very hard to be undertaken by: for the last 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 points at the Rosaleda the very next week.

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

In the last minute four messages that have been used a lot when speaking about Sevilla this season. This time, in the last minute Sergio Rico saved them against Valencia. The actors noted 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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