Barcelona stay third in Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:16:00 PST

Luis Suarez's brace helped Barcelona defeat Leganes. Barcelona did what they needed to do without playing outstandingly well. They lead La Liga by four points ahead of a trip to second-placed Valencia and have also claimed a Champions League last-16 spot. Click here to see which other clubs made Shaka Hislop's power rankings.

Umtiti leads water-tight Barcelona defence in scoreless draw at Juventus

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:27:00 PST

A 0-0 draw was enough to see Barcelona into the round of 16 as group winners over Juventus. Barcelona are into the knockout rounds of the Champions League as group winners after a goalless draw against Juventus in Turin on Wednesday. With one game to go, they have a three-point lead over the Italians and their superior head-to-head record means even defeat against Sporting Lisbon in their final group match won't knock them off top spot. Juventus Barcelona 0 0 FT Game Details Live football odds with bet365. Bet Now » Highlights GameCast Lineups and Stats Positives This Barca side are proving a tough nut to crack. They have conceded just five goals in 17 La Liga and Champions League games this season...

Barcelona fail to shine but Juventus draw ensures they top group

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:56:00 PST

A 0-0 draw was enough to see Barcelona into the round of 16 as group winners over Juventus. TURIN, Italy -- Three quick thoughts on the 0-0 draw between Juventus and Barcelona at Allianz Stadium on Wednesday. 1. Barcelona into last 16 as group winners Barcelona secured their place in the Champions League knockout stages with a goalless draw at Juventus on Wednesday in a performance that summed up their season so far. With Lionel Messi surprisingly left on the bench, given a breather, Ernesto Valverde's side failed to shimmer but did get the point they needed to ensure they go through...

Marc-Andre ter Stegen's improved play a big part of Barcelona's success

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:41:00 PST

Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes go head-to-head in predicting Wednesday's marquee Champions League matches. Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes talk Barcelona's transfer strategy heading into the January window after president Josep Bartomeu mentioned the club might be looking to buy. Watching Gianluigi Buffon miss out on a place at the World Cup with Italy last week almost brought Ivan Rakitic to tears. In fact, the Barcelona midfielder felt so bad about the Juventus goalkeeper not going to next summer's tournament in Russia that he said he'd swap places with him if he could. Buffon, ever the gentleman, took to Twitter to thank Rakitic for his words. And to tell him it would not be possible -- he doesn't fancy his chances in Croatia's midfield as a 39-year-old. However, despite...

Barcelona are winning but not playing well ahead of Juventus, Valencia tests

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:58:00 PST

Ahead of the clash between La Liga's top two, ESPN FC's Sid Lowe explains why Barcelona aren't underestimating Valencia. Ernesto Valverde questions the yellow card that will now rule Gerard Pique out of Barca's clash with second-placed Valencia. Ernesto Valverde delights in Luis Suarez's brace for Barcelona after going more than a month without a goal. The Spanish season has been so remarkable, so unpredictable and so topsy-turvy that few seem to have noticed Barcelona are posting record numbers despite playing quite poorly. If you are a Barca fan then there's ample excuse for being joyous about the situation and defensive in the face of constructive criticism. From losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a comical manner to failing with the pursuit of key targets like Philippe Coutinho and Marco Verratti and being humiliated by Real Madrid in...

Arsenal approach stops Spurs, Madrid derby helps Barcelona, Juventus slump

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 08:26:00 PST

Shaka Hislop says Spurs shouldn't worry after losing at Arsenal, but Steve Nicol questions their confidence away from home. Never mind those Arsenal/Tottenham combined XIs that were all the rage or that Arsene Wenger's sporting obituary has been written many times over; Saturday's North London derby was a reminder that fitness matters and tactics matter and that, while Mesut Ozil may be inconsistent, when he's on a high, he's a difference maker. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pointed out that Arsenal's first goal shouldn't have counted, and he's right: It wasn't a free kick to begin with, and scorer Shkodran Mustafi...

Transfer Talk: Barcelona readying Mesut Ozil swap deal?

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 07:25:00 PST

The Gunners may be open to acquiring a player in return due to Ozil's expiring contract. Barcelona are considering a shock deal for Mesut Ozil and Arsenal could receive Andre Gomes in exchange, reports the Daily Star. The German playmaker, fresh from shining in the north London derby, could be a more affordable option for the Blaugrana than Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho. For more on Ozil to Barcelona, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Luis Suarez ends goal drought but Lionel Messi quiet in Barcelona win

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 10:20:00 PST

Luis Suarez snapped a five-game goalless drought in all competitions as Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 victory at Leganes. Luis Suarez broke his long goal drought by scoring twice to give Barcelona a 3-0 win at Leganes that looked easy by the end but was anything but. The Uruguayan enjoyed a much needed two-week rest in Barcelona rather than going away with Uruguay on international duty and was far sharper as a result, scoring both his goals on the rebound and could even have scored a hat trick, but Paulinho added the third instead. Leganes had their moments, however, and Barca were again grateful to a massive performance...

Transfer Talk: Barcelona have yet to make move for Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:48:00 PST

Recent reports in Spain suggest Barcelona will table an offer for Mesut Ozil in January. It seems all but certain that Mesut Ozil will not be an Arsenal player for much longer, but the London Evening Standard reports that Barcelona "have yet to make formal contact" despite increasing speculation about a move. For more on Ozil and Barca, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Transfer Talk: Barcelona want Lionel Messi for life

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 05:24:00 PST

Lionel Messi is signed through 2021, but that hasn't squashed talk of a move to Manchester City. Barcelona are putting together a lifetime contract for Lionel Messi in a bid to end speculation about his future once and for all, claims Mundo Deportivo. For more on Messi and Barca, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Transfer Talk: Ivan Rakitic to Anfield if Philippe Coutinho joins Barcelona?

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 07:28:00 PST

The 29-year-old Ivan Rakitic has been with Barcelona since 2014. Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic could head for Liverpool if playmaker Philippe Coutinho goes the other way in January, reports the Mail. Rakitic "is not pleased at the prospect of playing second fiddle to Coutinho and is considering his options," according to the report. For more on Rakitic to Liverpool, as well as other rumours, check out Transfer Talk by clicking here.

Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona reportedly agree on big-money deal

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:13:00 PST

Sid Lowe explains why Antoine Griezmann can wind up being quite affordable to whomever lands his services. With the January window on the horizon, there's plenty brewing in the transfer market. All the latest deals and potential deals can be found here. Barca strike deal for Antoine Griezmann Amidst an international football feast and focus on the World Cup, reports in France suggest Barcelona are set to make a big splash, with a "deal agreed" with Antoine Griezmann to move to the Camp Nou. Le 10 Sport reports that Griezmann has decided to leave at the end of the season and the Blaugrana want a forward...

Paulinho's new lease of life after silencing Barcelona doubters

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:15:00 PST

Brazil coach Tite stresses performances, not results, will be the priority during the Selecao's preparation for the World Cup. Gabriel Jesus says Neymar has been positive, as always, with Brazil despite reports of a rift at PSG. Brazil midfielder Willian says his side must continue to improve if they want to achieve their goal of winning the World Cup in Russia next year. Defender John Stones says facing Germany and Brazil at Wembley will bring out the best in England. Wembley could have been Paulinho's home this season if things had worked out differently for him at Tottenham. Instead, on Tuesday, he's a visitor to England's national stadium -- Spurs' temporary home -- as an integral part of a Brazil side which finally appears to have recovered from the depression which followed a 7-1 humiliation to Germany in the World Cup semifinals over three years ago. Paulinho, like Brazil, suffered after that seven-goal embarrassment in Belo Horizonte. For around 18 months,...

Luis Suarez is staying positive despite stressful scoreless streak at Barcelona

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:13:00 PST

ESPN FC's La Liga expert Sid Lowe assesses Barcelona's start to the season and the reasons behind Luis Suarez's struggles. One day, not long after he had signed for Barcelona, Luis Suarez got a call from Liverpool. On the other end of the phone was Mario Balotelli, who had a favour to ask. Things weren't going well for him at Anfield but he thought that there may just be a way of turning them around. He'd found an old pair of Suarez's shin pads at the club's Melwood training ground; they were personalised, with pictures and number printed on them, and Suarez had won the Golden Shoe wearing them. Balotelli could...

Barcelona's quest for Umtiti competition amid De Ligt, Mina, Tah links

Thu, 9 Nov 2017 03:04:00 PST

The ESPN FC crew discuss what's wrong with Luis Suarez. In a summer of many surprises at Camp Nou, one of the bigger surprises was the news that Barcelona were close to signing Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez. Even before Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalan club were being linked with midfielders and forwards. Once the Brazilian left, everyone expected them to go on an attacking spending splurge. That did happen, with Ousmane Dembele eventually arriving for a club-record €105 million plus a reported €40m add-ons, but there was...

Barcelona stay third in Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 09:48:00 PST

Paco Alcacer helped Barcelona remain four points clear in La Liga. Paco Alcacer hasn't had too many shining moments since he arrived at Camp Nou, so his two-goal effort vs. Sevilla was something of a personal triumph. It also means Barcelona stay four points clear. Click here to see which other clubs made Shaka Hislop's power rankings.

Coutinho's rift with Klopp at Liverpool may open door for Barcelona move

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 05:32:00 PST

Jurgen Klopp has admitted the club is powerless to stop some of their top stars from leaving if they want to. With the January window on the horizon, there's plenty brewing in the transfer market. All the latest deals and potential deals can be found here. Barcelona ready fresh Coutinho offer The saga continues as Barcelona seemingly are set to rekindle their mischief and lure Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool after last summer's squabble. Sport reports the Blaugrana will make a new €120 million (£106m) offer for the Brazilian, who is currently nursing a calf problem. The report details how...

Credit Ernesto Valverde for his work at Barcelona

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 10:47:00 PST

The ESPN FC crew question how much Neymar's departure has affected Luis Suarez's form in front of goal for Barcelona. Ernesto Valverde may have tiptoed his way into the Barcelona job while we were distracted with 101 bigger stories, from Neymar to Josep Maria Bartomeu to the underwhelming transfers to Luis Suarez's funk, but if they do end up winning something important this season, he's owed a fair chunk of credit for steering the ship through stormy waters.Saturday's win over Sevilla was a fine example. With a portion of fans more preoccupied with protesting the fallout from the Catalan declaration of independence...

Alcacer's brace in Barca win vs. Sevilla enough to top Player Power Rankings

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 09:26:00 PST

Lionel Messi made his 600th appearance for Barcelona as Paco Alcacer's brace pushed the La Liga leaders past Sevilla. ESPN FC's worldwide editorial desks nominate their top performers from the weekend's action. Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer is this week's No. 1. 1. Paco Alcacer | Barcelona Why he's here: With Luis Suarez misfiring, Alcacer led Barcelona's line on Saturday, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win over Sevilla. 2. James Rodriguez | Bayern Munich Why he's here: James registered a pair of assists as Bayern earned a convincing 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. 3. Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain Why...

Paco Alcacer, Ivan Rakitic star as Barca stretch unbeaten run to 16

Sat, 4 Nov 2017 05:02:00 PDT

Paco Alcacer stole the show in Lionel Messi's 600th Barcelona match, scoring twice to lead Barca past Sevilla. Lionel Messi made his 600th appearance for Barcelona as Paco Alcacer's brace pushed the La Liga leaders past Sevilla. On Lionel Messi's 600th Barca appearance, Paco Alcacer, not the Argentine, was the hero with a surprise double to see off Sevilla under the pouring rain at Camp Nou. Ernesto Valverde shocked most by handing Alcacer his first league start since the opening day of the season, but he was handsomely rewarded by two poacher's finishes from the former Valencia captain. Alcacer's 23rd-minute opener was scant reward for Barca's dominance before half-time, and the hosts' lack of ruthlessness looked like...

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