Monday, January 30, 2012

Barca Drops More Points


"When Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw in the Catalan derby at Espanyol earlier this month, Pep Guardiola and his players preached positivity. There is a long way to go, they said: Over half the league was left to claw back Real Madrid's five-point advantage.
But that five-point margin is now a deficit of seven and the champions now have less than half of the league to overhaul their fiercest rivals.

Barca had looked so impressive as they thrashed Malaga 4-1 in their last away fixture in La Liga, with Lionel Messi bagging a brilliant hat-trick. That, along with the 2-1 win at Madrid in the Copa del Rey 10 days ago, appeared to have banished the Catalan's away-day blues.

However, Saturday night's goalless game at Villarreal was about as bad as it has been for Guardiola's side this season - and not even Messi could save them from another disappointment on their travels.

That's 13 points dropped now for Barca in the league this term, already two more than in the whole of last season. And if Madrid - who beat Zaragoza 3-1 earlier on Sunday - can match their haul of 49 from the first 19 fixtures, the Catalans will need to win all of their remaining 18 games to claim a fourth successive title. Impossible, surely, even for this spectacular side."