The Week In Barcelona: Super Suarez ensures all is back to normal at Camp Nou
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The week in five words
Turn the alarm bells off
What went well
The sigh of relief from Barcelona supporters when the first goal against Deportivo went in on Wednesday, probably blew the island of Mallorca just that little bit closer to Italy. Were the entire cule collective facing east across the Med at the same time, of course.
As in the clash against Valencia, Barca were bossing the match but were not turning chances into goals. But that 11th minute diverted volley from a corner for Luis Suarez opened the flood gates and then some with Barcelona whacking in 14 goals in two games with nada in the other direction, although Sporting had a very strong claim for a penalty in Saturday’s clash.
The two results proved the narrative of the more positive Barcelona fans during the past month of doom - and Luis Enrique to an extent - that it wasn’t that Barca were playing particularly below their normal standards, it’s just that a string of goalkeepers were having some extraordinary games and that everything would come good in the end.
However, despite this huge hurdle surpassed that keeps Barcelona in a very padded driving seat, with full access to WiFi, it will not be a lot of fun for players and fans to see both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid out and about on the town in Champions League semifinal action, with Barca twiddling their collective thumbs, and looking to clear their DVR back log.
Aside from a few Twitter comments around Luis Enrique’s love of the trainers-with-suit combination, it must have been a pain in the bum to see Atlético Madrid relentlessly ploughing through the league’s schedule with two typically Rojiblanco wins.
Although the two 1-0 victories against Athletic Bilbao and Malaga might be a touch different in tone to Barcelona’s own sins, it is a very true cliché that the triumphs are worth just the same amount of points, despite being done with 12 less goals.
Quote of the week
“It could be my Gijon genes, but I love this rhythm and adversity. I enjoy it more” - a wonderfully belligerent Luis Enrique, speaking ahead of the Deportivo clash admits that he embraces his inner a-hole, before leaving the press conference with a burst of “I am, what I am”.
The need-to-know facts
- The six goals from the Messi, Suarez and Neymar trident sees the trio with 122 goals in all competitions this season, equalling with the total of last year but with four matches to play (three league, one Copa del Rey final).
- Barcelona have now scored against Sporting in 13 successive league fixtures, netting 38 goals overall for an average of 2.92 per game.
- Messi scored his first ever goal against Sporting at Camp Nou.
- Excluding Lionel Messi, the last player to net Luis Suarez's current tally of 34 league goals in one season was Samuel Eto'o in the 2008-09 campaign.
Video/GIF of the week
The dam-bursting up at Deportivo with Barcelona's eight goal show is the choice of the week. Mainly because Gerard Pique is still very quiet on the Periscope front.
Winner of the week
With Lionel Messi seemingly quite happy to take on the role of unselfish provider for the past two victories, the performances of Luis Suarez have been quite breathtaking with his eight goals in two games. That burst activity should be enough to clinch the very fought-over goal-scoring ‘Pichichi’ title in Spain.
Although it would take some imagination from the minds of international club captains and managers who vote in the Ballon d’Or, the name of Suarez might well be one to break up the Messi and Ronaldo monopoly for the 2016 prize.
Loser of the week
It’s very much with the nit-picking considering the resurge of M and S, but N has still been very flat in Barcelona’s two league encounters. Whether the Brazilian is suffering from physical, mental fatigue or just suffering a bit a dip, three weeks of no midweek football and then a rest from Copa America duties, might be the pep that Neymar needs to get his mojo back.