Bitter-sweet opening win for BarcaComments
Having lost the Spanish Super Cup to Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona exacted sweet revenge against the Basque team in their La Liga season opener.
But it was a bitter sweet victory for Barcelona at the San Mames Stadium.
Luis Suarez hit the only goal of the encounter from Jordi Alba’s cross for the 1-0 win.
Lionel Messi could have fired Barca into an earlier lead but missed the 14th penalty of his career.
The win came at a price though.
Last season’s treble winners, who have had a transfer embargo imposed on them until January, lost full-back Dani Alves and midfielder Sergio Busquets to injury.
Blues off the mark
Meanwhile in England Chelsea finally got off the mark, registering their first win of the new campaign.
Having been held by Swansea then totally outclassed by Manchester City, Mourinho’s men beat West Brom 3-2 in their third game of the league campaign.
Pedro, who recently signed from Barcelona, fired in on his debut before setting up Diego Costa for the second.
Cesar Azpilicueta hit Chelsea’s third in between a brace from West Brom’s James Morrison.
Chelsea finished the second half with just ten men after John Terry was shown red for a foul on Salomon Rondon.
It was a much needed win for Chelsea who are now lingering around mid-table.
Up and down
On the up are Borussia Dortmund who beat Ingolstadt 4-0 making it three consecutive games they’ve hit four goals.
They also beat Borussia Monchenglach by the same scoreline and last Thursday came from 3-0 down to beat Norwegian side Odd 4-3 in the Europa league play-offs.
Joining the Bundesliga side on the up is Spain international Pedro who marked his Chelsea debut with a goal and an assist in the club’s first league win this season against West Brom.
His performance earned him the Man of the Match award – not a bad start to his Premier League career.
On the down – although it is early days – are Juventus who kick-started their Serie A title defence with defeat.
Last season’s champions and Champions League losing finalists lost at home to Udinese.
It was Juve’s first home defeat in the league since January 2013.
Road to Euro
This week on our Road to Euro, we head back to 1960 and the first European championships.
Politics managed to shape the latter stages of the competition after one nation was not allowed to travel to compete against their rivals in the quarter-finals.
General Franco refused to let Spain compete against the USSR in the quarter-finals, due to the Soviet Union’s support of the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War.
Although the Soviets were the team to beat – they were defending Olympic champions – Spain was experiencing a golden age and the team boasted the likes of Paco Gento, László Kubala, Alferdo di Stéfano and Luis Suárez.
Unfortunately they didn’t get the chance to shine on this particular stage.
Just before the squad was set to depart for Moscow for the first leg of their qualifier, they were informed that they would not be making the trip.
Spain’s withdrawal from the competition left three communist countries in the final four of the tournament, along with hosts France: USSR, Czechoslovakia and SFR Yugoslavia.
We might be wrong
We might be wrong, but we keep on trying.
Here are our predictions for next weekend’s selected matches. Don’t forget to send us yours. Use #TheCornerScores.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Roma 0-2 Juventus
Monaco 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain.