On March the 20th 2016, Barcelona played out a 2-2 draw at the El Madrigal against a well fought Villarreal following a 3-0 first leg thrashing at the Camp Nou earlier in the season. Although the Catalan club wasn’t even close to their usual best, they still managed to sneak out a draw instead of a loss and of course, stretched their unbeaten run to an unbelievable 39 games.
The Yellow Submarines fought hard and strong and dramatically came back in to the game having trailed almost the entirety of the start hour. For Barcelona it was Ivan Rakitic and Neymar Jr. who scored a goal each in the first half. For Villarreal it was Cedric Bakambu and Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu, whose grave misfortune caused him to direct the ball in to his own net conceding an own goal and equaliser.
Of course, all that had come after some great work from Denis Suarez, for whom Barca have quite happily decided to fulfil the €3 million clause to buy back their former striker for the next season, of course following the brilliant performance against his parent club.
Villarreal played a really good game and many would say that they easily deserved at least a point, though this was their first point in three games. “We saw how the match started and the players understood that the match was not going to be easy,” Luis Enrique said afterwards. “It’s not that we were distracted. The rival has great quality. If we had played badly, they would have taken us apart.”
However, they retain 4th place in the league and keep their Champions League hopes alive for next season.
While there was a bright side for the Catalans, they missed out on the chance to go 11 points clear at the top of the table as their nearest trailers Athletico Madrid lost 2-1 against Sporting Gijon at the El Molinon. Luis Enrique said: “We are a point closer to our objective, with one round fewer still to play. Our closest rival lost and winning more points than our rival is fantastic.”
Though Still, Barcelona haven’t ever surrendered an 8 point lead in their history at this point in the league.
Now, the last time Barcelona lost a game of football was on the 3rd of October, 2015. It was against Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan, whom they have to face in the upcoming Copa Del Rey final on May the 22nd, 2016. And though Sevilla are a tough team to beat, they’re recent demolishment at the hands of the Los Blancos quite evidently made visual their recent dip in form.
If Barcelona avoid defeat against Madrid at the Camp Nou in the upcoming Clasico, it will be six whole months since they last lost a game, also in turn, they will take their tally to 40 unbeaten professional games of football in a row.
However, it’s not just the next, but the next five fixtures for the Catalan club that are in fact more than gripping. A run of games that will definitely decide their fate in terms of a successive treble, starting with:
- The El Clasico at the Camp Nou (3rd April, 2016);
- Athletico Madrid at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the quarter finals of the Champions league (6th April, 2016);
- Read Sociedad at the Anoeta Stadium in the league (10th April, 2016) (Barcelona haven’t won at the Anoeta Stadium since 2007);
- The return leg of the Champions League quarters at the Vicente Calderón (14th April, 2016), and finally,
- Valencia at the Camp Nou in the league (18th April, 2016).
If Barca can further come up with results like they have all through this season just like the one before, nobody can stop them from rewriting most of which is their own history, in of course greater historic terms i.e. a record breaking unbeaten run of games and a successive treble. Just as long as long Luis Enrique doesn’t lose his voice to say “Abracadabra” before every game, there shouldn’t be much of a problem for the Spanish giants.