Feb 26, 2013, 11:13 AM EST
FC Barcelona has dashed away from Real Madrid for the La Liga crown in a way that few could possibly see coming. A full 16 points separate the Spanish giants.
If you still want to bet that Jose Mourinho’s men can close such a yawning gap, please contact me at once. I’ll give you great odds.
The La Liga race is over – and has been for some time.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid is in less-than-favorable position in its titanic Champions League clash with Manchester United, fueling even more speculation that the sand has run out on Mourinho’s hourglass at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona also finds the Champions League ground beneath their fleet feet surprisingly unstable, in need of a big performance now to get past AC Milan.
All of this is a set-up to say: today’s Barcelona-Real Madrid match was always important – but it has taken on added significance due to recent developments.
Today’s contest is for a place in the Copa Del Rey final. The competition certainly means something to Barcelona, but it now means even more to the men from Real. If Mourinho’s men fall out of the King’s Cup, they may be looking at a 2012-13 season with zero trophies.
Interesting subplot here is Leo Messi, who is just two goals away from establishing the scoring record in the two clubs’ storied rivalry. (One that perhaps defines “storied,” considering the political history and general bitterness attached.) Messi, today or soon, will pass legendary figure Alfredo di Stefano as the leading scorer in El Clasico history.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
Rog and Davo are joined by Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, who discusses her short stint selling hot dogs at St. Mary’s and the rivalry between Southampton and Portsmouth.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:50 PM EST
With 45 points through 17 matches, Bayern Munich is having the best season in Bundesliga history.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
The opening weekend of MLS play features Orlando City SC and New York City FC facing off in a battle of expansion teams.
Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST
Newcastle and Sunderland may be bitter rivals, but their managers are telling supporters to behave on Sunday.
Dec 19, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
The Blues’ boss said his Belgian playmaker can become a Chelsea legend, but must win titles first.
Dec 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
England’s number one keeper finally put pen to paper with a new deal that will keep him at the Etihad until 2019.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
The Leicester City boss was also fined $15,000 by the FA following his altercation with a fan.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
CR7 and Howard, it seems, are among the few blessed with tons of talent and even more desire to work.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
In the Premier League, Brad Guzan is tasked with keeping Manchester United off the scoreboard.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:05 PM EST
Orlando City founder and president Phil Rawlins described Shea as a big addition to the squad.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Altidore’s production for his country and in the Eredivisie prove he’s a much better player than his horrible spell at Sunderland.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:52 PM EST
According to The Daily Express, Man Utd’s man if Mats Hummels won’t come over from Borussia Dortmund is Nicolas Otamendi of Valencia.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Where and how to watch all the PL games during Week 17.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:38 AM EST
“He had to make a step back in his recovery,” said Southampton boss Ronald Koeman.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
Villa Park hasn’t been a fortress for the Villans, and that’s underlined when bigger teams visit.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EST
Sporting also added Hungarian striker Kristian Nemeth and Haitian mid James Marcellin.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:02 AM EST
Here’s how PST’s lead writer and editor sees things panning out this weekend.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:06 AM EST
Mangala on visitors to the Etihad: “Normally, teams that are coming here play more defensively.”
Dec 19, 2014, 8:05 AM EST
And to think, all it took was months and months of continuous anger and frustration from nearly everyone who wasn’t a part of FIFA itself.
Dec 19, 2014, 7:45 AM EST
FIFA rankings… what a riot!
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