Barça take to the streets as Real Sociedad start to slide
Has the Spanish League become ridiculously easy to win? It says much that the Catalan press and Barcelona themselves have spent such a chunk of energy to justify why the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs title win is still worthy of celebration.
While it is true that the last two races have been of a fairly one-horse variety due to the other ClÃÂ¡sico nag going lame, you can only beat the opponents in front of you and win the titles available, and all that jazz.
LLL is all on board with the notion that this title victory will only be fully appreciated for its genius in future-world (the blog still has high hopes the same will happen for Buffy). It's an opinion obviously shared by the half-million people who lined the streets of the Catalan capital to watch the BarÃÂ§a players on their annual bus-ride evening of waving from under silly hats.
Hats in the air like you just don't care
Mundo Deportivo's Santi Nolla says that the Primera title victory was the big plan for the club all along. Ã¢ÂÂBarÃÂ§a prioritised the league as the most important competition of the season and achieved this. The Champions League attracts more attention but no-one recognised Chelsea as the best team in Europe.Ã¢ÂÂ
TuesdayÃ¢ÂÂs Sport is calling for a fun few weeks for the BarÃÂ§a players over the final three matches, as the club tries to match Real MadridÃ¢ÂÂs 100-point total from last year. Ã¢ÂÂSoon, some traumatic measures may be required,Ã¢ÂÂ writes J. Vehils in the inside pages. Ã¢ÂÂHowever, it would be nice that some players end their time here with full honours.Ã¢ÂÂ
Among those are Eric Abidal and David Villa. However, Barceona's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told Cataluyna Radio that the situation with Tito Vilanova next season is not completely clear. Ã¢ÂÂWe know that a more aggressive process is to come in New York,Ã¢ÂÂ said Zubizarreta, Ã¢ÂÂand we will reflect on it together.Ã¢ÂÂ
Hours after the celebrations were completed in the Catalan capital, there was proper football action to behold with Real Sociedad hosting Granada in a big chance to fend off the challenge from Valencia for fourth spot. Sadly for a biased blog, La Real blew it and conceded an injury-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw.
The point takes the Basque side into fourth, level on points with Valencia but ahead due to a superior head-to-head record. However, Champions League football remains in some doubt as La Real prepare for the last three-game sprint. Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre ready to suffer and fight,Ã¢ÂÂ said manager Philippe Montanier on what will be required over the final three matches of la Liga.
"Yonder! Europe!" Montanier makes his point
A quick move to the second division now, and a curious result from the weekend is starting to make a few waves in Spain. Bottom-of-the-table, very relegated Xerez were paying a visit to the second-placed Girona. Remarkably, Xerez won 4-2, the southerners' first win since the beginning of November. This has triggered the suggestion that there may have been some kind of Ã¢ÂÂincentiveÃ¢ÂÂ paid to the Xerez footballers to give a little bit extra in the match.
The suggestion was far from ruled out by Xerez sporting director Miguel ÃÂngel RondÃÂ¡n, speaking to local radio station Cope Jerez on Monday. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm not going to ask about it in the dressing room. It doesnÃ¢ÂÂt bother me. If they did it, good for them, theyÃ¢ÂÂve not been paid for a while. IÃ¢ÂÂm not going to criticise them.Ã¢ÂÂ