The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to Tottenham, Juventus and AC Milan but the Russian champions have no plans to sell the Belgian
Reports from Catalonia have expressed concerns about the officiating in Barcelona’s opening games of the season, with three of the four referees assigned to their matches coming from Madrid.
Catalan newspaper Sport included a piece highlighting some big decisions that have gone against Barcelona this term and hinted that underpinning political tensions regarding the region’s ongoing strive for independence from Spain could be a motivating factor:
What Jaime Latre did at Camp Nou was almost a record. In just a few minutes he denied Barcelona two clear penalties against Malaga, in the league match on Saturday night. Not to mention the other controversial calls he made during the game.
It’s more of the same. Referees always seem to wrongly hurt Barcelona. And Barcelona supporters are getting tired of this story. And suspicions are starting to appear.
For example, taking into account that Barcelona represents Catalunya and the current political situation, is it logical that of the first four official games of the season, three referees are residents of Madrid?
There’s no denying the Blaugrana were unlucky not to have gotten two penalties in the first half of their 1-0 win over Malaga, the first for a clear handball and the second for a blatant trip on Luis Suarez. Needless to say, Luis Enrique’s players and the Camp Nou crowd were pretty appalled by the officiating.
However, it’s worth remembering Barcelona were awarded a penalty in their league opener, which Lionel Messi subsequently missed. As noted by Bleacher Report’s Rik Sharma, the Blaugrana don’t seem to be taking full advantage of their spot-kick opportunities anyway:
It’s no surprise that Sport feels as though Barcelona are constantly on the end of Madrid-biased officiating. For as long as the Blaugrana and Real Madrid have been rivals, each side has always maintained the other is favoured by referees, and while the Catalans have been dealt some harsh hands in the past two matches, they’ve been the beneficiary in clashes gone by too.
Indeed, claims of wrongdoing have regularly come from the other side of this debate. Recent examples include former Real boss Jose Mourinho suggesting there was a UEFA conspiracy to favour Barcelona in 2011, per Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail. As noted by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, the Madrid press also hit out at what they perceived to be unfair refereeing after a Clasico defeat to Barca in 2013.
But Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who was sent off earlier this season for berating an official, has insisted there is no agenda against either side from referees. “Winning La Liga will not depend on the referees,” he said, relayed by Joe Wright of Goal. “The referees are 100 per cent impartial.”
The players can certainly see that’s the case, even if they do occasionally get immersed in the emotion of matches. But for the equally tribal Spanish media and supporters, a full sense of perspective is unlikely.
While both sides will continue to argue about refereeing decisions ad infinitum, there are plenty of people who support other clubs in Spain that’d quickly point out there’s an overall bias toward the league’s two juggernauts. So while Barca have been on the end of some recent rough justice, over the course of the season, they will get their fair share of favourable calls.
Officers called to address in Enfield after reports that armed man was making death threats
Police have shot dead a man in north London after he made “threats to kill”, Scotland Yard has said.
The man, described as white and in his 40s, was killed by police outside an address in Cedar Road, Enfield, at 11.50pm on Sunday.
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Sorry… But, why is he crying?
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During his U.S. visit in September, the pope is set to meet with unaccompanied minors from Central America who have formed a youth soccer team co-sponsored by New York’s Catholic Charities.
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When it comes to cloud storage, much like content delivery services, there is something to suit everyone. Microsoft’s OneDrive is a great choice if you’re a Windows 10 user.
OneDrive, like all services, has its good points and its bad points. But some of those good points really make it worth your attention. Especially if you use other Microsoft products and services.
Here are our top reasons to use OneDrive.
Even in today’s GPS-enabled world, asking someone to point you in the right direction can often be easier than wrestling with your smartphone. Enter the Animotus, a wirelessly-connected, 3D printed cube that acts like a sort of haptic compass. Developed by Yale engineer Adam Spiers, the device literally changes shape to point you in the right direction… Continue Reading Shape-shifting navigation device points you in the right direction
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China stocks fell sharply on Monday before recovering much of their losses as regulators cracked down on speculators which Beijing blames for a 40 percent crash in the country's stock markets since June. "A pull back in the market was to be expected as some investors are taking profits after the two-day rally," wrote Gerry Alfonso, director of Shenwan Hongyuan Securities, referring to a rebound on Thursday and Friday after ferocious selling earlier last week. China will release its official reading on August factory conditions on Tuesday, and economists polled by Reuters believe activity likely shrank at its fasted pace in three years.