Barca ready for Real Madrid slip-up in title race – Suarez

By Sports Desk July 08, 2020

Luis Suarez said Barcelona must be ready if LaLiga leaders Real Madrid drop points as the title race nears its conclusion.

Two-time defending champions Barca kept their slim title hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over rivals Espanyol on Wednesday.

Suarez scored the only goal of the match in the 56th minute to relegate Espanyol midweek, while moving Barca to within a point of Madrid.

Madrid can restore their four-point advantage against Deportivo Alaves on Friday and while Barca only have three games remaining, star forward Suarez insisted the Catalan giants have to be ready to pounce on any slip-ups.

"What we have to do is win our next three games," Suarez, who moved third on Barca's list of all-time scorers, said afterwards. "Whatever Madrid do is up to them.

"If the rival drops points then fantastic, we have to think about being there if they do."

Barca were far from their best at Camp Nou, where substitute Ansu Fati was sent off after coming on at the start of the second half, while Espanyol's Pol Lozano was also dismissed.

But Barca managed to extend their unbeaten run to nine games following back-to-back triumphs.

Suarez added: "We knew it was going to be difficult. We knew their situation. We have to be aware of the fact that we put in a great performance on Sunday and were still feeling the consequences of that physically. The important thing is to win and to get three more points.

"I think if I didn't score in the first half or Barcelona didn't create more chances, that's virtue of the rival, who were very well organised.

"I think they make it difficult for Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba to push up on the flanks. But eventually the chance came and I'm delighted to be able to take it.

"I didn't see Ansu Fati's [red card] because there was a player in the way and the other one I didn't see either, there was another rival blocking my view.

"But in both cases VAR – which is there to help in these kind of situations – was able to help the referee to take the right decisions."

After his goalscoring display in the 4-1 rout of Villarreal on Sunday, Antoine Griezmann was handed another start alongside Suarez and Lionel Messi.

"It's the manager who takes the decision," Suarez said. "He wanted to find a formula, it's the formula he's trying at the moment. It's the first year of Antoine here so we know it's difficult – the adaptation period. The other day we could all enjoy a brilliant performance from Antoine Griezmann."

Espanyol knew anything but a derby victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday would relegate them to the second tier for the first time since 1994 but they were unable to preserve their top-flight status.

"I think today's match I'm proud of my team-mates, we had chances," Javi Lopez said. "If I'm here now it's to ask for forgiveness from our fans because we know these are tough moments for us but also for our fans. It's been a season in which nothing has gone right for us.

"I thank the fans but apologise again because it's the players' fault. We apologise again and tell them we are committed to coming back stronger and will fight for this club badge. That's all I've got to say – sorry to the fans, that's the minimum we can do.

"I think we all assume the responsibility in the changing room. We're most responsible for this. The players are out on the pitch and the ones who fault it is. These are really tough moments for all of us. We just have to be absolutely committed to come back stronger than ever before. I'm convinced that we will."

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Wolves' Jimenez suffered fractured skull against Arsenal BREAKING NEWS: Wolves' Jimenez suffered fractured skull against Arsenal

    Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull and underwent surgery after a sickening injury in Wolves' win at Arsenal on Sunday, the club have confirmed.

    Jimenez collided heavily with Arsenal centre-back David Luiz when defending a fifth-minute corner at Emirates Stadium and left the field on a stretcher after receiving oxygen and lengthy medical attention.

    Wolves provided an update on Monday, confirming the nature of the injury and adding that the Mexican was "comfortable" after an operation.

    "Raul is comfortable following an operation last night, which he underwent in a London hospital," read a club statement.

    "He has since seen his partner Daniela and is now resting. He will remain under observation for a few days while he begins his recovery.

    "The club would like to thank the medical staff at Arsenal, the NHS paramedics, hospital staff and surgeons who, through their skill and early response, were of such help.

    "The club ask that Raul and his family are now afforded a period of space and privacy, before any further updates are provided in due course."

  • Boca players in moving Maradona tribute to legend's daughter: 'To honour the best, you must play well' Boca players in moving Maradona tribute to legend's daughter: 'To honour the best, you must play well'

    Boca Juniors made a moving tribute to the daughter of club legend Diego Maradona during their 2-0 win over another of his former sides Newell's Old Boys on Sunday.

    Argentina great Maradona, regarded by many as the best footballer ever, died at the age of 60 last Wednesday.

    Such was his influence on the sport, homage has been paid across the world – from compatriot Lionel Messi revealing a Newell's shirt during a goal celebration earlier in the day, to Napoli confirming plans to rename their stadium Stadio Diego Armando Maradona and revealing an Argentina-inspired fourth kit in their weekend win over Roma.

    Boca, where Maradona spent two spells, had their Copa Libertadores clash with Internacional postponed just a few hours after the 1986 World Cup winner died, meaning the visit of Newell's to a mostly empty La Bombonera was their first game since his passing.

    Colombia international Edwin Cardona opened the scoring with a free-kick, before the team ran over to the sidelines and produced a Maradona jersey, laid it on the floor and applauded in front of the private box where his visibly emotional daughter Dalma was watching on.

    Boca coach Miguel Angel Russo, a former Argentina team-mate of Maradona, said after the game: "I knew it was going to be an uphill struggle. The phrase I used was that, to pay homage to the best in the world, you have to play well and that Boca needed to win.

    "It was the best way to pay homage to him, to play this beautiful sport well that he played to an incomparably high level.

    "We got through it in the best way. I am happy for the victory. The day has been covered by a blanket because of what Diego Maradona was as a player and person."

    Every Boca player wore Maradona's name on the back of their jersey throughout the match and defender Carlos Izquierdoz could not help but feel humbled.

    Nevertheless, he believed the team acted responsibly with respect to donning the name of one his country's most famous players.

    "The truth is that wearing a name like that on my shirt gave me a little embarrassment, so to speak," he told FOX Sports.

    "We tried to do it responsibly. I'm happy for tributes that have been paid to him everywhere. We were able to win, to show that we wanted to play – the best tribute was to give his family a win.

    "They were special moments. The truth is that all this generates emotion, remembering such an emblematic player who represented so much for Argentine footballer, the country.

    "He always put the flag on his shoulders. He deserved recognition."

  • Cavani Instagram post to be investigated by FA Cavani Instagram post to be investigated by FA

    Edinson Cavani's Instagram post containing an offensive phrase is set to be investigated by the Football Association (FA).

    The Manchester United forward sent the message after scoring twice in Sunday's 3-2 victory at Southampton, including a last-gasp winner.

    Uruguay international Cavani used a Spanish phrase in response to an Instagram story from a fan and has since deleted the post, having been told of its potential to cause offence.

    The FA said it had been informed and would look into it, while United are also reported to be aware of the post.

    Cavani's double at St Mary's Stadium came after he was introduced from the bench at half-time, the victory leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side just three points adrift of the top three with a game in hand.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.