Messi avoids the worst for Barcelona ahead of Villarreal in a memorable 4-4 - fut365
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Messi avoids the worst for Barcelona ahead of Villarreal in a memorable 4-4

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It was one of those nights at the Estadio de la Ceramica where football is impossible to understand. Villarreal started better, tightening Barcelona, but conceded two goals. The Brazilian duo, Coutinho and Malcom opened the scoring for the Catalans. Messi, who was benched, must have thought that he could finally rest and enjoy the match. However, the Yellow Submarine grew turned things around and got to be winning by 4-2. The Argentine player was already on the field at that time and tried a few passes to pierce the defense. However, he could score only in a free-kick. There was still something missing to close the script: That last gasp goal, of course! In the last minute, Luis Suarez stroke a beautiful kick from outside the area to equalize. 4-4. It was certainly one of the craziest games in La Liga’s recent history.

It was supposed to be an easy match for leaders Barça, visiting the 17th place. But things got so bad that the number 10 needed to step up in the second half. And he surely was enough to influence and change the game. He scored a world-class goal in a free-kick. He curled the ball into Asenjo’s top corner. The ball even hit the post before smashing the back of the nets. No chances to the poor goalkeeper. It was his 6th goal from a set-piece in La Liga this season. 7th if we count other competitions as well.

The 4-4 was too harsh on the Yellow Submarine. They were always better than Barcelona, even when they were 2-0 down. They looked better tactically, physically, and also mentally. Villarreal, who is facing the ghost of relegation, could and should have done better against the leaders. However, they cannot complain. When they were 4-2 up, with 10 minutes to go, they had a defender sent off. If playing against Messi with 11 men is already almost impossible, imagine being one man down…

With the beautiful goal, Messi equaled Cristiano Ronaldo as the top scorer in the history of the top-5 leagues in Europe. The Argentine has 414 goals in La Liga, while Portuguese adds the same number in the Premier League (84), La Liga (311) and Serie A (19). Enjoy these two while you guys can. We are lucky to witnesses these legends. I did not see Pele nor Maradona. But got to see these two.

The Catalans are now going to face a battle against the second placed, Atletico Madrid. It’s going to be on Saturday, at the Camp Nou. The distance between these two dropped to eight points with the Catalan draw, so nothing yet defined in the championship with 8 games -24 points – to go. Can Atletico catch up to Barcelona? I don’t think so.

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Redknapp comments on Spurs top four chances

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Redknapp has said that Tottenham could end up having a poorer season than their London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, following their 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday.

Nathan Ake scored the only goal of the game during the second half stoppage time in a match during which Son Heung-Min and Juan Foyth received red-cards. Spurs could have clinched Champions League qualification if they had won the game. The result means that the top four will be decided during the final games of the season next week.

Spurs will not face an easy task against an in-form Everton side. Speaking ahead of the game, Redknapp said: “It does. They’re showing relegation form, not top four form,” Redknapp said on Sky Sports when was asked if the team’s dropping points make the race exciting. “It’s been amazing to watch”.

“You and I were there yesterday to see Tottenham, 9 men, concede a goal in the last couple of minutes, it was incredible”.

“It just shows you the pressure, the panic. We were very critical to Arsenal and Chelsea, but there’s every chance they could end up having a better season, maybe win a trophy, and maybe get in the top four ahead of them”.

“Tottenham have just got to make sure they get that result against Everton next week with no Son and no Kane. Especially after a Champions League night, when they go away to Ajax, it’s not easy”.

“Still a lot to play for. The pressure is certainly on them.”

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Guillem Balague claims that Kane is the only player from Spurs who can’t be replaced

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Football pundit Guillem Balague has claimed that Harry Kane is the only player from Tottenham Hotspur who cannot be replaced easily. The 25-year-old Kane has been mercurial since he burst onto the scene with his boyhood club and boasts an incredible record of having scored 164 goals from 251 career appearances.

Spurs have yet to win a trophy under Mauricio Pochettino management, despite the Argentine having done a very impressive job since he took over the club in 2012. The last time that the North Londoners won a piece of major silverware was back in 2008 when they claimed the League Cup. Balague feels that the Lilywhites will have to keep hold of Kane if they hope to end their trophy drought anytime soon.

Writing in his column in BBC, he said: “Of all the top sides in the Premier League, Tottenham stand out as the one without a clear starting XI, where rotation rules the roost. That tells you the story. While every other team has identified 10-11 starters that are superior to the rest, at Spurs, there is really only one irreplaceable player, Harry Kane.”

Kane has established himself as one of the best forwards in not only the Premier League but also in football World. Most managers would love the chance to have the England international in their squad. It is a pity that he has yet to win a major trophy at club level. Kane may soon be faced with a situation where he will have to choose between remaining with his boyhood club or moving on to a club where he can have a shot at winning major silverware.

At 25, he is approaching the peak of his career and if Spurs do not win anything at least by the end of next season, he will need to seriously consider moving on.

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Three managers that Newcastle United can consider hiring if Benitez leaves

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Rafa Benitez has led Newcastle United impressively since he was appointed as manager of the club in 2016. Benitez has managed to ensure that the Magpies have remained in the Premier League since he won the promotion in 2017 and in spite of the fact that he has had to work with a limited transfer budget.

The contract of the Spanish manager is due to expire this summer and he has yet to agree to a new deal. The Magpies may well have to find a new boss. The following are some candidates that they should certainly consider.

1- Sam Allardyce

Big Sam has not been in management for nearly a year after he was sacked by Everton last summer. He is one of the most experienced managers in English football and has the know all to help the club avoid relegation, even if he has to work with limited resources.

2- David Wagner

Wagner surprisingly helped Huddersfield Town win ascent to the Premier League via the Championship promotion playoffs during the 2016-17 campaign. He performed nothing short of a miracle last season as he helped the Terriers to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Things, however, did not fare well for the Terriers this year and they have languished on the bottom of the standings for much of this season. The German was subsequently sacked as manager of Huddersfield back in January. He won a lot of praise for the work that he did while he managed the club and many would consider his sacking to have been rather harsh.

3- Darren Moore

The 44-year-old Moore is arguably one of the best young English managers. He took over West Brom at the end of last season when the team was already destined to the relegation of the Premier League. He may have not been able to save the Baggies but he did do an impressive job while appointed on an interim basis, so much that the club decided to hire him on a permanent basis ahead of this season.

It is always difficult to lead a team successfully once relegated due to the changes that occur. However, Moore led the Baggies impressively this season and had the team in contention for promotion to the Premier League via the Championship playoffs at the time of his sacking in March.

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