FOOTBALL – Despite La Liga being ravaged by positive Covid cases, not one match has been postponed.
The last La Liga match of 2021 was played with Espanyol winning 1-2 at Valencia. This is their first away win this season so far.
Valencia started strong with Hugo Duro hitting the post within the opening 10 minutes. However, the first half finished goalless.
Raúl de Tomás had a near miss at the start of the second half for Espanyol. However, it was Valencia who scored first with a goal from Omar Alderete in the 50th minute.
Then Hugo Duro brought down Jofre Carreras in the box and was sent off as it was his second bookable offense of the game. This earned Espanyol a penalty which was taken and sent home in the 83rd minute by Raúl de Tomás. The score was now level. Then, just 6 minutes later Espanyol clinched another goal, and the winner of the match when Javi Puado made a diving header. Valencia failed to equalise when a near miss hit the crossbar in injury time.
Only 2 points separate the teams in the La Liga with Valencia on 28 and Espanyol gaining the 3 match points putting them to 26.
Ahead of today´s game, against Mallorca, Barcelona is also on 28 points. Furthermore, in the pre-match press conference, Xavi said “if there was some
common sense, this game would not be played.” it is “madness” that the game is still going ahead. Due to injuries and Covid positive test results, Barça is down 18 men. Mallorca also has problems with their squad.
“We will prepare the game to win, but we are very few. Therefore, we must count on several of the youth team. However, we are Barça and in any game, we go for the 3 points, but of course, I’m worried about the situation. That the game is not suspended seems ludicrous to me,” he reiterated.
And he added: “Neither Mallorca nor Barcelona will have their top 11 players. It is a situation that is borderline for everyone.”
When asked what he thought of La Liga by not postponing the match, Xavi said “we are here to follow the rules, but it is evident that we are 18 players down. So, what is it we want? A spectacle? Or a professional football league?
So, the question is, what will the managers do to ensure they have a full squad? After all, it is not just Barcelona and Mallorca that are affected by this.
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