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Catalan teams now top and bottom of men’s and women’s football leagues

A terrible week for Espanyol has seen them move to bottom of La Liga, as Messi puts on a goals show celebrating his Ballon d’Or

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09 December 2019 01:30 PM

by

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

The men’s and women’s football leagues now share a similar Catalan curiosity - with teams from the city of Barcelona coming first and last in both sets of standings. 

FC Barcelona are leaders in La Liga as well as La Liga Iberdrola, the women’s football league, while Espanyol have fallen to the bottom of the standings in both divisions. 

Pablo Machín’s men fell to another defeat over the weekend, this time 2-0 away to Real Madrid, while Leganés earned a huge 3-2 victory over fellow relegation-threatened side Celta Vigo, meaning they overtook the Catalan side at the bottom of the league.

This week will be a huge one for Espanyol’s future. On Monday, the majority shareholder of the club, Chen Yansheng, arrives in Barcelona to help clean up what is by far the biggest crisis during his time at the club. 

On Tuesday, the Shareholders’ General Meeting takes place, where Yansheng and the director of football, Roger Guasch, will present figures and plans for the future. It will be a crucial day for the club to take decisions and plan their security for the immediate future.

Next weekend, familiar faces will return to Cornella-El Prat that could provide a much-needed antidote to the current disaster that surrounds the Periquitos, or else compound their woes. 

Former manager Rubi and ex star striker Borja Iglesias, who both left the Catalan side last summer, will be looking to take three points back to Andalucia when their Real Betis team visit Barcelona again on Sunday with intentions of disappointing their former fans.

This is likely to be a make-or-break week for Espanyol that could shape their fortunes for this whole season and perhaps longer.

Messi goals show

Elsewhere, celebrating his 6th Ballon d’Or by showing it off to the applauding fans before kickoff, Leo Messi put on a show for all in attendance in the Camp Nou on Saturday night.

Another brilliant hat trick from the captain helped Barcelona to a 5-2 win over the newly-promoted team from the Balearic islands. 

Two further goals from Antoine Griezmann, who opened the scoring with a neat chipped finish after running half the length of the pitch, and Luis Suárez, who scored a goal of the season contender with an unbelievable backheel finish, showing off the Uruguayan’s incredible improvised creativity. 

Off the pitch, it was a big week for youngster Ansu Fati, who signed a new contract with Barça with a new release clause that rises from €100 million to €170 million, but will also rise to €400 million when he signs his first professional contract, as currently he is still technically considered as part of the youth team. The breakout star is now officially tied to the club until 2022.

Stuani eyes goalscoring records

In the second division, Girona’s star strike Cristhian Stuani now has more goals to his name this season than 7 teams in the top flight. 

After scoring another hat-trick over the weekend in Girona's 3-1 win over Lugo, the Uruguayan warrior has now hit the back of the net 16 times in 19 matches, as he looks on course to perhaps break the goalscoring record for the division if he keeps up this run of form. Girona sit in the playoff positions, and just four points off the second automatic promotion spot.

Women's football 

In the women’s football, Espanyol still sit bottom of the table, and things are going from bad to worse for the Budgies, as a 2-1 loss to away to CD Tacón puts them in an even more perilous position. 

Newly-promoted Tacón’s barometer of success will be to avoid relegation in their first ever season in top-flight football, so the game could have been considered as a relegation six-pointer even at this early stage. 

Meanwhile Barcelona extended their lead again at the top of the women’s league with a 3-0 win over Real Betis. The result, coupled with Atletico Madrid again failing to find a win means a gap of five points now has opened up between the blaugrana and their nearest rivals, Atleti. 

Basketball

In Liga ACB, the highest level basketball league in Spain, Barcelona came out on top in the Catalan derby against Manresa, beating them 75-84 to remain level with Real Madrid at the top of the standings. 

Manresa will have another chance to taste victory in a Catalan derby next week, when they travel to Joventut de Badalona, who will be eager to put right their agonizing one-point loss away to Baskonia this weekend. 

Barcelona remain level with Real Madrid at the top of the table with 10-2 records, while Joventut sit in 5th spot with 7 wins and 5 losses. Manresa understand clearly that they are in a relegation dog-fight, on 3-9 with two other sides at the bottom of the standings.

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  • Luis Suárez contorts his body to score an incredible back-heel goal against Mallorca (by REUTERS/Albert Gea)

  • Luis Suárez contorts his body to score an incredible back-heel goal against Mallorca (by REUTERS/Albert Gea)

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