Sunday saw one of the most dramatic turn in events in an already unpredictable season in La Liga. Defeat at the Camp Nou for the first time in over 2 years for Barcelona allowed a rejuvenated Real Madrid to gain some ground on the Catalan leaders. In Spain, there are 4 main sporting newspapers; two are Barcelona-orientated and two are Real Madrid-orientated. This unique press landscape provides contrasting opinions and different views that are interesting to take a look at, so here they are:
With a Barcelona tilt on what they cover, Mundo Deportivo’s focus was very much on Barcelona’s shocking 4-3 loss to Real Betis. They went with the headline ‘Paso Atrás’ (A Step Backwards), which best describes the situation Ernesto Valverde and his Barça side find themselves in. After dropping points, those behind had the chance to catch up and, in particular, Real Madrid.
Another notable addition to MD’s front page was the statement ‘Benzema y Ramos hacen fijo Solari’ (Benzema and Ramos make Solari permanent), hinting that Madrid’s goal scorers in Vigo may have helped extend Solari’s stint at caretaker until the end of the season.Embed from Getty Images
Another Barcelona-based paper went with the very simple headline ‘Lección’ (Lesson) to describe the defeat at the Camp Nou with Valverde the central figure on the front page. Many Barça fans thought that Valverde had been outwitted and outthought by Betis boss Quique Setién.
The taglines accompanying the main headline look to pin the blame on the Barcelona defence with claims that Messi’s 2 goals weren’t enough to ‘tapar las carencias defensivas del equipo’ (cover up the team’s defensive shortfalls). Although it wasn’t an all-out scathing attack on the Barcelona team with Sport saying that ‘intentó hasta el final’ (they tried to the end).
Marca see events through Real Madrid-tinted glasses and chose to lead with Los Blancos’ win at Celta on Sunday night. Taking into account Barcelona’s earlier slip-up, their headline was ‘Solari Tiene Estrella’ (Solari is a lucky man). However, Madrid’s interim manager might not feel that way given the host of injuries that his team picked up in Vigo.
Poking fun at Barcelona, Marca labelled Betis’ win at the Camp Nou and their style of play as ‘a lo Cruyff’ (Cruyff-esque). Comparing Quique Setién’s side to the Johan Cruyff’s famous ‘Dream Team’ at Barcelona in the early 1990s certainly won’t have gone down well in Catalonia’s capital.Embed from Getty Images
Karim Benzema was very much the hero of the day as far as AS were concerned with their headline being ‘Benzema Tira Del Carro’ (Benzema Leads The Way). The Frenchman netted the first and made the second and AS described his performance against Celta as ‘excelso’ (sublime).
There were more compliments for Betis coach Quique Setién, with the Andalusians’ display being labelled an ‘exhibición’ (exhibition), especially in the first half.