Historic Barça Femení break two league records with victory in Logroño
Lionel Messi came on from the bench to rescue Barcelona’s men’s team, while Sabadell extend unbeaten run to eight
Barça Femení continue to break records in this truly historic season.
Their 2-0 win away to Logoño means their record now stands at 15 games played and 15 wins. Their lead at the top of the table has now been extended to seven points, and that’s with three games in hand over second-placed Levante.
Barça’s women’s side have let in a mere three goals in the league all season and have netted 78 - an average of 5.2 goals scored per game.
With the win in La Rioja, Lluís Cortés’s side broke two records - one for the best start to a league campaign with 15 consecutive wins, and another for the most successive victories, which stands at 19, stretching back to last season.
Jenni Hermoso’s brilliant backheel assist set captain Vicky Losada through to open the scoring in the first half, while Kheira Hamraoui made sure of the points converting a corner in the second half.
It has now been more than a calendar year since Barcelona’s women’s team dropped points in a league meeting - a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid on January 25, 2020.
The win sets Barça up excellently for next weekend’s Copa de la Reina final, to be played in Málaga against the same opponents as this weekend’s record-setting win.
2:22 minutes for Messi
Lionel Messi started a rare game for the blaugrana on the bench in the Benito Villamarín against Real Betis on Sunday night, and his side went into half-time duly trailing 1-0 thanks to a goal from former Espanyol forward Borja Iglesias.
However, Ronald Koeman didn’t wait around too long to get his star man on the pitch, introducing the Argentine in the 57th minute. A mere 2 minutes and 22 seconds later, Messi had the ball in the back of the net.
The captain put on a leader’s performance to dominate the second half and despite being pegged back for 2-2 late on, Barça still had enough to find a winner thanks to Francisco Trincão’s first goal for the club.
The win is Barcelona’s sixth in a row, putting them in their richest vein of form all season in the buildup to the crucial Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain this month. With Atletico Madrid seemingly running away with the league title, Europe and the Copa del Rey might be the easiest avenues for success for Barcelona this campaign.
Ansu Fati injury complications
The bad new for Koeman’s side is the news that was revealed this week surrounding the injury progress of Ansu Fati.
The young star had to undergo knee surgery in November and was expected to miss four months of action, but the recovery has not been going as planned, and the winger has already had another operation while a third hasn’t been ruled out.
Fati had a fantastic beginning to the campaign, cementing his place as one of the first names on the teamsheet, coming up with important goals and impressive performances before his injury.
Sabadell eight unbeaten
In the second division, recently promoted Sabadell are fighting for their lives. They haven’t been able to play one game in the second tier in front of their fans, and are hoping for survival this campaign to hopefully play in the professional division in front of their crowd next season.
A win away to Las Palmas over the weekend will have gone a long way to helping ensure that, especially as Cartagena, sitting just below the Catalans in the standings in the relegation zone, also found victory this weekend.
The win means Sabadell are eight league games unbeaten, although five of those games have been draws.
Higher up the table, Girona’s prospects of reaching the playoff spots are getting slimmer each passing week.
The north Catalans have only one win in their last six outings - a Catalan derby against Espanyol. Girona now sit seven points behind Leganés in the final playoff spot.
Manresa capitulate in final quarter
In Spain’s top basketball league, Manresa were the only Catalan side not to pick up a win this weekend, despite dominating most of their encounter with Gran Canaria.
Manresa will be disappointed to lose to a side that were coming off the back of three consecutive defeats, but islanders showed heart to rally back from 14 points down.
The defeat means they just about sit inside the playoff spots, with Málaga breathing down their necks with the same record of 10-12.
Ante Tomic y Xabier López-Aróstegui were in sparkling form once again for Joventut de Badalona, leading their side to a 91-84 win over UCAM Murcia. With 18 points, Tomic dominated the opponents’ area, while López-Aróstegui found form shooting from the perimeter on his way to 17 points.
Barcelona kept the pressure on Real Madrid at the top of the standings with a 90-73 win over Bilbao Basket. Despite the win, Barça remain two wins behind los blancos.