Sunday April 23: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu in La Liga
Real Madrid hosted FC Barcelona, a matchup known as the El Clasico. This rivalry has been dated back for over 100 years with Real Madrid having the most wins overall. It was available to watch on beIN Sports, a tv channel that is not available to all networks. In the previous match, Real Madrid and Barcelona drew 1-1. Casemiro opened the goal scoring in the 29th minute off a rebound from the post for an easy slot into the back of the net. Shortly after, Lionel Messi would score in the 32nd minute to tie the game at 1-1. The game would go into halftime tied with each team creating chances. It wouldn’t be until the 73rd minute when Ivan Rakitic strikes a powerful curling ball around Real Madrid’s goalkeeper. Momentum was building for Barcelona and they were exposing Real Madrid’s defense. Sergio Ramos is shown a red card in the 77th minute on a reckless found on Lionel Messi. After the red card, Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez was subbed on for the remaining time. He would score in the 85th minute to tie the game up at 2-2 and Real Madrid started to show life even though they were down a man. The match would receive 2 extra minutes of play. Lionel Messi would score in the 92nd minute to seal the El Clasico win over Real Madrid. That goal would be Messi’s 500th goal for the club team, an historical mark. FC Barcelona is now tied in the La Liga standings with Real Madrid with a few games left in the league. It was one of the best performances between the two clubs in a while and it may be one of the greatest of all time.
Wednesday April 26: Barcelona vs Osasuna at Camp Nou in La Liga
Lionel Messi wasted no time scoring his 501st goal for FC Barcelona in the 12 minute. It started from a turnover he recovered and chipped the goalkeeper. Ivan Rakitic sent a well-placed cross from a powerful volley from inside of the box to Andre Gomes to give Barcelona a 2-0. Osasuna’s Roberto Torres brought faith when he score a stunning free kick in the 48th minute, still Barcelona would 2-1. Andre Gomes would restore a two-goal lead scoring 9 minutes after Torres’s goal. In the 61st minute, Lionel Messi scored his second goal of the match from a strike from 20 yards out. Paco Alcacer scored two minutes after Messi’s goal which would give Barcelona a comfortable 5-1 lead. Tensions rose in the 67 minute when Denis Suarez was fouled in the edge of the box. Barcelona was awarded a penalty kick and Masherano, who hasn’t scored since 2010, was given the chance. He took advantage and score to extend the lead to 6-1. Paco Alcacer ended the game with his second goal and giving helping Barcelona win 7-1 against Osasuna. FC Barcelona is still tied with Real Madrid atop of La Liga.
Saturday April 29: Barcelona vs. Espanyol at RCDE Stadium in La Liga
Barcelona would welcome back Neymar from a 3 match ban received last month. In the first half, the game was physical with both side committing fouls and players arguing. Barcelona started the game off slow but slowly started to regain possession and move the ball around. There wasn’t many chances for both sides and the first half ended goalless. Moments after the second half start, Luis Suarez scored from a bad pass from an Espanyol defender. Ivan Rakitic scored a dagger from a ball from Lionel Messi which gave Barcelona a sold 2-0 lead. Luis Suarez sealed the game scoring the 3rd goal for Barcelona. Barcelona’s 3-0 win keeps them alive in the title race.
Neymar returned to play for Barcelona in return for the club’s matchup against Espanyol on April 29th following his 3 match ban. Barcelona has been heavily dependent on Lionel Messi in the past few games in Neymar’s absence.
Barcelona captain, Andres Iniesta, missed the Catalan derby against Espanyol on Saturday with a groin injury. The team has not determined when they expect Iniesta to return. He has been facing a variety of injury problems all season. A calf injury set him out a couple weeks earlier this year and also sustaining a injury to the knee in October. He has started in 10 La Liga games to date this season, making Luis Enrique managing his playing time.
A Week Ahead
Saturday, May 6: Barcelona vs Villarreal at Camp Nou in La Liga