Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Violence mars Catalan derby
by Ian Plenderleith, September 29th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



[SPAIN] Barcelona continued its revival with a third successive win, but after Leo Messi's controversial last-kick penalty winner in the 2-1 victory at 10-man Espanyol, the team was more concerned with condemning the behavior of its own fans.

With Barcelona losing 1-0 well beyond the hour mark, flares were launched from the away team's fans that landed in the home spectator section, and the game was halted for several minutes. A handful of Barcelona fans were later detained by police in connection with the incident. Barca's players, coach and president all "expressed their repulsion" at the violence, according to the team's official web site, which said it was time for "zero tolerance, whatever happens and whatever the cost ... in order for stadiums to be cleaned of this violence."

In the game itself, there was an element of luck involved in all three goals. Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes was clearly elbowed by Espanyol forward Luis Garcia as he attempted to clear a cross which he punched weakly straight to scorer Ferran Coro. Thierry Henry's equalizer with 10 minutes left owed more to a streaky deflection off Espanyol defender Daniel Jarque than it did to the striker's skill, while the tackle by Nicolas Pareja on Samuel Eto'o that led to Messi's game-winning penalty kick in the 13th minute of stoppage time was also open to debate. Pareja certainly played the ball first, but then came in on Eto'o from behind with his full weight to bring him down.

It was all too much for Espanyol President Daniel Sanchez Libre, who said that the league was a stitch-up to ensure that Barcelona and Real Madrid would always benefit from refereeing decisions and stay at the top. He called the Barcelona fans "pigs" who could have killed someone, while General Director Pedro Tomas claimed that the over-exuberant celebration of the Barcelona players after the winning goal had been a further incitement to trouble.

All of this relegated Ruud van Nistelrooy's clinical stoppage-time winner for Real Madrid at Real Betis to the lower news sections. Betis had leveled thanks to Sergio Garcia's first goal for the club that canceled out Gabriel Heinze's go-ahead goal for Real. It was a mixed day for Garcia, who had scored on the rebound from his own poorly taken penalty, but who was red-carded with six minutes left.

Villarreal stayed second on a goal from half-time substitute Giuseppe Rossi, whose goal direct from a corner was enough to scrape a 1-0 win at pointless whipping boys Sporting Gijon. American Jozy Altidore was not on the Villarreal roster. Valencia held on to first place with a 4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna, including two goals from David Villa that took his season's total to six.

Valencia 13
Villarreal 13
Real Madrid 12
Sevilla 11
Barcelona 10
Almeria 10
Atletico Madrid 9 (4 games)
Sevilla 8 (4 games)
Getafe 8
Mallorca 8
Espanyol 7
Valladolid 6
Athletic Bilbao 5
Deportivo La Coruna 5
Osasuna 4
Numancia 4
Recreativo 4
Malaga 4
Real Betis 2
Racing Santander 2
Sporting Gijon 9

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"If [Lionel] Messi scored a goal like that, people would be talking about it for weeks. ...
USWNT: Five regulars return for Romania series    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis recalled five regulars who had sat out the Switzerland ...
MLS Playoffs: Youngster Boateng takes charge for Galaxy    
Emmanuel Boateng made up for a penalty whistled on him that negated the LA Galaxy's early ...
Report: Barrett out of running for Dynamo head coach    
Wade Barrett, who served as the Houston Dynamo interim coach for the last five months, won't ...
What They're Saying: Michael Bradley    
"For tonight, every player, every person who is a part of this club, every fan, every ...
What They're Saying: Harvard dean Rakesh Khurana    
"As a human being, and a member of the Harvard College community, I am always profoundly ...
MLS Moves: Robinson stays with 'Caps, but changes coming    
Three days after a 4-1 win over Portland ended a disappointing MLS season for Vancouver, the ...
MLS Playoffs: Toronto FC stars come to play    
Ten years. That's the time it took Toronto FC to finally win its first playoff game. ...
MLS: SKC takes win streak into first playoff meeting    
The Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City have been playoff mainstays -- eight straight appearances for ...
MLS Playoffs: Teams at familiar stage    
MLS's Knockout Round concludes Thursday with two games: D.C. United-Montreal and Seattle-Sporting KC. All four teams ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives