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FC Barcelona News: 19 January 2012; Barça Win First Leg of El Clasico, RFEF Uphold Iniesta's Yellow Card

Just look at that technique!
Just look at that technique!

Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: Real start strongly but Barca eventually find a way through | Zonal Marking
In all three Clasicos at the Bernabeu this season (Supercopa, league, cup) Real have taken the lead and then come under sustained pressure from the half hour mark. The results have been different (draw, two goal defeat, one goal defeat) but the pattern has been the same, and the reality is that it’s extremely difficult to dictate the flow of the game against Barcelona. They simply have too much of the ball.

Xavi: "We were superior to Real Madrid in their stadium" | FC Barcelona
Xavi Hernández explained: "we’re very pleased with the victory at the Bernabéu, this is a good period we’re living in. We went out onto the field and we had a great time against a powerful and historic Madrid. We played a great game."

Guardiola: "We're playing against Madrid, I'm not taking anything for granted" | FC Barcelona
"We’ve played a good game here once again. The most important thing is that we’ve played half of the tie and we managed to get a positive result. We controlled the game and we recovered well from Cristiano’s initial goal. I believe we played a good game, we shouldn’t forget that we just played against Real Madrid. We generated good play and goal-scoring chances."

Ninth victory for Guardiola against Real Madrid | FC Barcelona
Counting this Wednesday’s victory in the quarter-final away leg of the King’s Cup (1-2), FC Barcelona takes its tally to nine victories against Real Madrid since Josep Guardiola took charge of the first team bench. Guardiola has never lost at the Bernabéu, and this is his fifth win in the Spanish capital. In total, Guardiola has 9 victories, 3 draws and only 1 defeat in his 13 showdowns with Los Blancos.

The Committee upholds Iniesta's yellow card | FC Barcelona
The Competition Committee of the Royal Spanish Federation of Football (RFEF) have decided to uphold the yellow card shown to Andrés Iniesta during the match against Real Betis. The Committee contends that the post-match referee report accurately reflects what happened on the pitch.

Five Barça players named to's team | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona racks up yet another success. Five men from the team led by Josep Guardiola were named to’s ideal team by users of the site. Alves, Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were named to the team along with Casillas, Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Robben, Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Guardiola was named the best manager of the year, an award he also won in 2009.

Barcelona's Jonathan Soriano set to join Salzburg - report -
Benfica is reportedly Soriano's likeliest destination, with the striker claiming that talks with the Portuguese club are at an advanced stage. However, Spanish sources claim that Soriano is close to joining the Austrian side in a deal worth €800,000 plus variables.

Roma director Franco Baldini reveals coach Luis Enrique has been offered contract extension -
Roma director Franco Baldini has revealed that coach Luis Enrique has been offered a contract extension. The Spaniard endured a difficult start to life in the Italian capital but the Giallorossi’s form has improved dramatically over the past month and they currently stand seventh in Serie A, with a game in hand.

Real Madrid's Pepe sparks controversy for stamp against Barcelona | The Guardian
Messi was on the ground after being fouled by José Callejón when Pepe appeared to deliberately tread on the left hand of the world player of the year. The referee booked Callejón but took no action against Pepe, who was on a yellow card. Both managers claimed not to have witnessed the flashpoint and the Spanish football federation will be able to take retrospective action only if a mention is included in the referee's report.

Will winning La Liga but losing the Barcelona Clasicos be enough to save Jose Mourinho his Real Madrid job? -
Mourinho was brought to Madrid with the specific mission of breaking Barca's stranglehold at home and in Europe, but after disputing nine Clasico clashes with the Catalans, the Portuguese appears no closer to cracking the code. He may yet win La Liga, but will even that be enough to save the Portuguese his job at the end of the current campaign?

Seville derby stokes passion like no other | Andy Mitten - Yahoo!
Saturday night will see the first Seville derby in three years. For many in Spain, it's the truest derby — a cross-city rivalry between clubs of similar size. The derbies in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, the only Spanish cities which are bigger than Seville, are usually one-sided and dominated by the bigger club. It's different in beautiful Seville, Europe's hottest city in more ways than one.

Advantage Bilbao after win over Mallorca - Yahoo! Eurosport
Spain forward Llorente, who is nearly 2 metres tall, powered home an Oscar De Marcos cross to make it 1-0 in the 35th minute as the home side dominated their La Liga rivals at the San Mames. Muniain, who plays for Spain's Under-21 side and is just under 1.70 metres, sent a more measured header into the top corner just before the hour mark to give the Basques the advantage ahead of next week's second leg in Mallorca.

Courtois seeks Atletico stay | Sky Sports
Thibaut Courtois has reiterated his desire to spend a second season with Atletico Madrid, and he has informed Chelsea of his wish. The Belgian keeper signed for the Blues over the summer, but was aware that they had snapped him up with one eye on the future.

Kameni leaves Espanyol for Malaga - Yahoo! Eurosport
Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni has joined Malaga from Espanyol on the same day that incumbent keeper Willy Caballero signed a new contract. Kameni, 27, leaves Cornella El Prat after seven years with the club. This season he was third-choice keeper, however, behind club captain Cristian Alvarez and Kiko Casilla.

Espanyol in advanced talks over £3m deal to sign Ajax striker Mounir El Hamdaoui -
The 27-year-old is a long-term target for Espanyol having nearly joined on the final day of last summer’s transfer window - and now he finally looks set to complete a switch to the Estadio Cornella-El Prat. He is considered by the Spanish side as a natural replacement for Pablo Osvaldo, who joined Roma last summer.

Sergio García out for two months | LFP
Espanyol centre-forward Sergio García has undergone surgery to trim and remove portions of torn internal meniscus inside his left knee. The player, the team’s top scorer with five strikes this term, will remain out of action for the next six to eight weeks after he is discharged from hospital tomorrow.

Villarreal keen on Tottenham Hotspur's Giovani dos Santos - report -
Giovani dos Santos could leave Tottenham Hotspur in the winter transfer window as Villarreal are interested in securing the services of the versatile attacker, according to Sport. The Primera Division side are keen to strengthen their squad in January following their disappointing performances in the first half of the season, and they reportedly see the former Barcelona starlet as the perfect addition.

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