The unlikely hero: Seydou Keita
Ten-man Barca given scare by Sporting - Yahoo! Eurosport
Sporting had cancelled out Andres Iniesta’s opener via David Barral, introduced just seconds after Gerard Pique was sent off at the start of the second half. But, despite being a man light, Barca continued to control possession and Keita’s superb touch and finish claimed the three points with 11 minutes left, with Xavi adding a lovely third towards the end.
Guardiola: "I'm happy with how the players reacted" | FC Barcelona
Pep Guardiola was proud of the attitude that his team showed in tonight’s match against Sporting Gijón. The Barça manager said, "we won a match against a very defensive side in a match that turned against us. I'm happy with how the players reacted. They’ve done it again. The fans had a great time because we appealed to the epic [spirit] that this Club can sometimes have."
Liga - Alexis facing fortnight out - Yahoo! Eurosport
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez has torn a thigh muscle and will be out of action for 10 to 15 days, the European and Spanish champions said in a statement. "Alexis is 22, he has to develop and know what it is to play every three days," coach Pep Guardiola said. "But he is a vital player and we will miss him. It is one more hurdle to overcome."
Perfect return for Keita | FC Barcelona
It was a dream-like night for Seydou Keita. The Mali international, who played the full 90 minutes against Sporting Gijón, was the decisive player on the pitch when Barça desperately needed a goal. The midfielder, playing in his first match after the Africa Cup of Nations, unleashed pandemonium in the Camp Nou when he directed his left-footed shot to the upper corner of of Pablo’s goal.
Piqué: "The team did a brutal job" | FC Barcelona
"Our work is done, we won and we want to keep [our title hopes] alive. This is our aim week after week. The only thing we can do is win the three points every week," said Piqué. "There weren’t any spaces, there were a lot of defenders and they didn’t attack attack us. You want to close the game out quickly in games like this, but we couldn’t do it until the end," said the fullback.
Leverkusen beats Bayern Munich before visiting the Camp Nou (2-0) | FC Barcelona
Bayer Leverkusen’s record in the Bundesliga is three victories from three matches since Pep Guardiola led his side to victory in Germany in the Champions League knock-out away leg (1-3). In their last match before taking on Barça in the return leg of the Champions League, Bayer was host to Bayern Munich at the BayArena. Robin Dutt, despite the importance of the upcoming match in Europe, sent out his best men to cut into the Munich side’s lead in the table.
Diego Maradona: Sergio Aguero should play for Real Madrid - ESPN Soccernet
Argentina legend Diego Maradona has urged Sergio Aguero to ignore his Atletico Madrid connections and join Real Madrid, insisting such a move would represent "his big break". Aguero, 23, spent five years at the Vicente Calderon before moving to Manchester City, where he has flourished since arriving in a £38 million deal last summer.