FOOTBALL – Recent results on the pitch had been dismal and until Sunday, showed no prospect of changing any time soon. Consequently, there has been much gossip about the favourites to step up if Koeman was dismissed.
The 0-0 draw in Cádiz and the 1-1 draw against Granada did not help the position of Ronald Koeman as FC Barcelona coach. He later gave a speech about how the club has suffered from casualties, and as such, they were not the same team as before.
Furthermore, Koeman was not allowed to sit on the bench at the game against Levante yesterday as he was sent off for protesting during the game against Cadiz. As part of a two-match ban, he will also miss the game on Saturday against Atletico.
Thus, talk of the search for a substitute continues, just waiting for President Joan Laporta to give the order. However, there are hardly any names on the list despite the rumours. But, two names remain up there; Xavi Hernández and Robert Martínez. As Belgium coach; Martinez has the final phase of the League of Nations on the immediate horizon (from October 6 to 10, with Spain, France, and Italy as contenders).
However, Sunday showed renewed optimism with the return of Ansu Fati and Memphis on top form. Winning a convincing 3-0 at home for the first time this season. The first goal came just after 7 minutes when Memphis was awarded a penalty kick. Then just another 7 minutes later, Luuk de Jong scored. His first goal in a Barcelona shirt.
Then 18-year-old Ansu was brought on with just 10 minutes to go in the second half and did not disappoint. Although he left it rather late to get his goal a minute into injury time. Barcelona is still 5 points behind leaders, Real Madrid, but they do have a game in hand.
On Saturday, Barcelona make the journey to take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Also, on Saturday;
- Espanyol v Real Madrid
- Osasuna v Rayo Vallecano
And on Sunday, there is more action from;
- Getafe v Real Sociedad
- Granada v Sevilla
Barca lost to Bayern 0-3 in their first champions league match. And on Wednesday, they are up against Benfica at The Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. This will not be an easy match for the Spanish side. But currently sitting at the bottom of the table, they need a win here.
Other champions league action this week comes from
- Real Madrid v Sheriff
- Milan v Atletico Madrid
- PSG v Man City
- Porto v Liverpool
- Wolfsburg v Sevilla
- Juventus v Chelsea
- Man United v Villarreal