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Barcelona: The bipolar La Liga leaders


A derby is always a derby and football showed it is more than just numbers. Barcelona sweated to turn around a game they were losing because of a lack of intensity. They turned it around with quality, and then threw it away again in a thrilling finale. Following the rollercoaster that is Barcelona this season gives the sense of a strange bipolar affliction the club is suffering. Barcelona covince when they push the issue, but pay highly for their moments of disconnection. We have seen it in the Champions League in recent years too.

The first 45 minutes are up to Barcelona to look at themselves over and self-criticise. The team was awful and Espanyol were winning because they wanted it more. When the team lacks rhythm they suffer, they concede, they are blocked in attack and seem disgusting. It's so hard to win anything like that. The players know it and Valverde too, because he stuck on Arturo Vidal. But if the Chilean is always the solution, this is a bad Barca.

But quality helps. And Barca did well because Suarez wanted it. Two moments that turned the game around. It seemed enough. But when De Jong was sent off and Barca lowered their arms, any team can believe, even bottom of the table Espanyol. Barca are just about winter champions, but their play is frozen.


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