FC Barcelona News: 20 January 2012; More El Clasico Opinions, Jonathan Soriano Leaves for Salzburg

Pepe apologized, so does this make all the problems go away?

Barcelona see off Real Madrid and José Mourinho with little problem | Football | The Guardian
The nightmare recurs for José Mourinho's Real Madrid. There was a familiar feeling here: defeat, impotence. The match finished 2-1 to Barcelona but it was about more than the result, secured with goals from the defenders Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal; it was about the feeling this game left, the palpable difference between these two sides.

Real Madrid damage image, reputation and status in defeat to Barcelona | m.guardian.co.uk
Players? Player. Two things dominated the post-match agenda: Mourinho's Madrid losing the game and Pepe losing his head. There was a familiar feel to both of them. Pepe is a repeat offender and so are Madrid. They lost another clásico; Pep Guardiola is unbeaten in seven trips to the Santiago Bernabéu, winning five of them.

Pepe once again disgraced Real Madrid in the team's loss to Barcelona -- Graham Hunter - ESPN
Pepe was quick, attentive, aggressive within the rules and often laudable. But during the passages of the game when Madrid lost its way, he absolutely, pathetically feigned injury and rolled about as if mortally wounded when barely touched and then took two patently deliberate attempts to stamp on Lionel Messi's hand while the Ballon D'Or winner had been fouled and was on the ground.

Great results after the clásico | FC Barcelona
Guardiola's side is rarely caught off their guard after facing their biggest rivals. In fact, they have generally picked up great results the next time they have played. They have only been beaten once in such matches over the last season and a half.

La Liga: Pique: No room for error against Malaga - ESPN Soccernet
Gerard Pique has warned his Barcelona team-mates they ''cannot afford to fail'' when they head to Malaga on Sunday.The Spain defender has taken little time to enjoy Barca's 2-1 win over arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey as he knows the bigger prize will be to close Madrid's five-point advantage in the league.

Two photos, the same story | FC Barcelona
The men behind these two pictures are the same: Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández and photographer Miguel Ruiz. The goalscorer, the supplier and the person who caught the image for posterity. Both pictures are graphic testimony of the mark that Pep Guardiola and his team have made on the Santiago Bernabéu.

Salzburg agree deal with Barcelona for Jonathan Soriano - Goal.com
Barcelona announced on their official website that they have reached an agreement with Salzburg for the transfer of Jonathan Soriano.Neither club have released any information regarding the transfer fee, but Spanish sources suggest that Soriano will cost Salzburg €800,000 plus variables.

Pepe says sorry after backlash | Sky Sports
And in a statement on the club's official website, Pepe said: "I wish to say yesterday's incident with Leo Messi was unintentional, but I nevertheless want to apologise to him if he was offended because all I do is defend my team and this institution. "I give my heart and soul, and the thought of hurting a colleague has never entered my mind."

The cynical stamping on Barcelona's Messi, brutal kicking out at Getafe's Casquero & more - Pepe's five fiercest flashpoints at Real Madrid - Goal.com
Most of Barcelona's players would not be drawn on the incidents, but Xavi called the actions 'shameful' and others such as coach Pep Guardiola and Andres Iniesta simply said that the images 'speak for themselves'. They certainly do. And it isn't the first time, either.

Zidane comes out fighting - Yahoo! Eurosport
"I think all the criticisms aimed at Madrid, their coach and the players are very unfair," the former Real Madrid and France midfielder told sports daily AS on Friday. "Pepe is a player you almost never hear a squeak from off the pitch. He's a charming lad, very polite. But when he goes on the pitch, he is obsessed with winning and this anxiety to win sees him make mistakes.

Jose Mourinho hasn't spoken to Kaka in four months, claims former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon - Goal.com
"The players are no longer happy. He [Mourinho] hasn't spoken to Kaka once in the last four months," Calderon said to Ona FM. "The Spanish players are unhappy with their situation because of the privileges Mourinho gives to the Portuguese players. "And then there's the situation of Sahin. The reason he doesn't play is because Mourinho doesn't like him."

Santos' Neymar: I'm not interested in joining Barcelona or Real Madrid right now - Goal.com
Santos star Neymar has made it clear that he has no intention of leaving his current club for Barcelona or Real Madrid in the January transfer window. The Brazil international is continually being linked with the two Spanish giants, but Neymar has reiterated that he is happy with life at the Copa Libertadores holders, and wants to stay at Santos for now.

Valencia close on semi-finals | Sky Sports
Valencia moved a step closer to the final four of the Copa del Rey with a 4-1 win over Levante in Thursday night's quarter-final first leg. Los Che looked superior throughout against their local rivals at La Mestalla, Jonas putting Unai Emery's side ahead in the 24th minute with arch goalscorer Roberto Soldado making it 2-0 seven minutes later.

Ever Banega signs new Valencia contract - ESPN Soccernet
Valencia midfielder Ever Banega has signed a new contract which will keep him at the Mestalla until 2015. The Argentinian's previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season, but he is a key part of the club's plans.

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