TOP 5 Barca: Pique celebration, Espanyol, Valverde, Neymar, La Masia


RCD Espanyol – FC Barcelona: All square in the rain (1-1) | FCBarcelona.com

A huge downpour in Barcelona before and during the entire game gave the surface at the RCDE Stadium a greasy top, ensuring that tackles had to be expertly timed, and passes accurate. Both sides appeared to cope well in the opening exchanges under the circumstances.

Barça’s passing game was quickly in evidence and the visitors were content to switch play from side to side. Without Lionel Messi from the start, Paco Alcácer was heavily involved, and the striker just failed to connect with a presentable chance before the quarter hour. More here.

Pique: After everything that has happened it's the least I could do! | Sport

Pique celebrated the goal by telling the home supporters to be quiet and he feels it was the logical reaction to the insults his family have received from the fans in the past.

"A lack of respect? A lack of respect is reporting me for saying they are from Cornella, which is a fact, and not reporting their own fans' insults towards my family." More here.

Valverde: Pique's celebration must be viewed in the context of our rivalry | Marca

"We already know what these game are going to be like. In the first-half there were a few fouls, but then it warmed up, which is the usual for a derby. Every tackle seemed to be something more than a simple tackle because the players slip.

"I contextualise Pique's celebration as part of all that gone on this week and how the rivalry has unfolded. He's been good for us because he assumes a lot of responsibility in these games." More here.

Barcelona transfer dealings under microscope as La Masia impact runs dry | ESPN

Pep Guardiola was the Barcelona manager who brought Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez into the first team when they had just helped the Catalan club's second team out of the fourth tier of Spanish football. During his time in charge at Camp Nou, he also gave chances to Thiago Alcantara, Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca, while bringing former academy products like Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas back to the club.

What would he have done, though, if he'd seen one of his best players stripped from his team just weeks before the season started? That is the situation Ernesto Valverde found himself in when Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million in August. More here.

Jordi Mestre: Neymar played cat and mouse with us | Sport

"Neymar told us nothing. If he had done, PSG would have been able to buy him for less money and it would have cost us less to sign too. What Neymar's behaviour created was the market inflation. We would have saved a lot of money and a lot of media noise."

"Neymar saw he would never be No 1 while Messi was at Barcelona. And evidently, there will only be one Messi. His departure? It was a little earthquake, because the trident was gone, and Valverde, who had just arrived, would be left without him. But everyone did a great job, we didn't lose our nerve or go mad." More here.

How can Barcelona break down teams who park the bus? | The Barcelona Podcast

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