Press Esc to close
Tuesday 24 May 2016
News updated at 1:19 PM IST
Weather
Max: 34.1°C
Min : 22.7°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Barcelona hope to fire opening salvo

MADRID, Oct 6 2012, Reuters:

Real bank on in-form Ronaldo

The millions of fans around the globe who will tune in to watch Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ in Barcelona could witness the death throes of Real Madrid’s La Liga title challenge in their seventh match of the season.

Defeat at the Nou Camp for Jose Mourinho’s side, who are chasing a second consecutive title after ending Barca’s three-year run as champions, would stretch the Catalan club’s lead over their bitter rivals to 11 points.

While that may seem insignificant compared with the 93 points that will still be available, it is worth noting Barca only dropped 15 and 18 points respectively during the whole of their title-winning campaigns in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Three times previously Barca have hosted Real with a lead of eight points or more and three times they have gone on to claim the title.

While nobody is writing off Real’s chances of reigniting the championship race, they have been less than impressive in domestic competition, crashing to shock defeats at Getafe and Sevilla and producing a limp draw at home to Valencia.

Leaders Barca, by contrast, have shown some of the fight that was perhaps missing from their performances last term in winning all six of their matches.

They battled back from two down to beat Sevilla 3-2 last weekend and overturned a one-goal deficit to secure a 2-1 triumph at Osasuna at the end of August.

Vilanova has a defensive headache with regular centre backs Carles Puyol (dislocated elbow) and Gerard Pique (foot) sidelined by injury.

Pique has a slim chance of returning but Barca may have to deploy new signing Alex Song at the back alongside Javier Mascherano, a prospect that will have Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow Real forwards licking their lips in anticipation.

After a slow start to the season, Ronaldo has found scintillating form.  His hat-trick in Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League victory at Ajax Amsterdam took his tally to 12 goals in all competitions, two more than World Player of the Year Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

It was the Portuguese forward’s second treble in four days after he scored three in Sunday’s 5-1 La Liga win at home to promoted Deportivo Coruna while Messi has not found the net in three matches, a worrying drought by his high standards.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah after the oath of secrecy to Chief Minister  J Jayalalithaa at the ...

Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah after the oath of secrecy to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the ...

Wailing relatives paying floral tributes to the three policemen who were shot dead by militants ....

Wailing relatives paying floral tributes to the three policemen who were shot dead by militants ....

School students performing band show during passing out parade at the Sheeri Training Centre in  ...

School students performing band show during passing out parade at the Sheeri Training Centre in ...

Village women carry earthen pots & plastic containers to collect drinking water on Hot summer day...

Village women carry earthen pots & plastic containers to collect drinking water on Hot summer day...

BJP workers busy putting party posters in the streets of Guwahati on Monday, on the eve of oath ....

BJP workers busy putting party posters in the streets of Guwahati on Monday, on the eve of oath ....

Members of Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a protest against BJP-RSS for the attack on ...

Members of Communist Party of India (Marxist) staged a protest against BJP-RSS for the attack on ...

Cyclists pedal during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race...

Cyclists pedal during the 14th stage of the Giro D'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race...

Bayern's Robert Lewandowski holds up the trophy after the German soccer cup...

Bayern's Robert Lewandowski holds up the trophy after the German soccer cup...

A man walks on a road flooded with rain water at Khurai Lai Wangma, Imphal East on Sunday...

A man walks on a road flooded with rain water at Khurai Lai Wangma, Imphal East on Sunday...

Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty with husband Raj Kundra celebrate their son Viaan's birthday...

Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty with husband Raj Kundra celebrate their son Viaan's birthday...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523