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FC Barcelona News: 6 April 2012; Pique Ruled Out of Saturday Match, Three Spanish Teams Advance in Europa League

Another muscular injury this season?
Another muscular injury this season?

All hail the reign of Spain | Early Doors - Yahoo! Sport UK
Thursday night brought formal confirmation, if any were really needed, that the dominant culture pervading football is that of Spain: for the first time in the history of European football, one country provides five of the eight clubs contesting the semi-finals of the continent's two cup competitions.

On-form Zaragoza to test FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
This Saturday FC Barcelona will travel to La Romareda to play against the second-from-the-bottom team in the Liga. Despite the distance between the two in the table, Zaragoza have found their form of late and the face off promises to be a tough one for Guardiola’s men. The Aragón side have won their last three matches; what once was a 12-point climb out of the relegation zone has turned into only 4.

Pique ruled out of Zaragoza trip - report -
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has been ruled out of Saturday's La Liga match at Zaragoza, AS reports. The Spain international was forced off in the second half of Barca's 3-1 Champions League quarter-final second-leg victory against AC Milan in midweek with a muscular injury.

Iniesta goal marks the history of games against Chelsea | FC Barcelona
Four days after seeing off Madrid 2-6 in the Bernabeu – a result that virtually ensured Guardiola’s team took the league title – Barça travelled to Stamford Bridge after drawing 0-0 in the Camp Nou in the first leg. Reduced to 10 men after Abidal saw red, Barça were up against the wall when Alves, in injury time, put in a cross from the right to the far post: Eto’o headed it back towards Messi, who laid it off for Iniesta on the edge of the area and the Spanish midfielder fired in a brilliant shot.

One goal short of Guardiola era record | FC Barcelona
Those 157 goals have come in just 53 games over the six tournaments the team have been involved in: 86 goals in la Liga, 33 in the Champions League, 23 in the Spanish Cup, 8 in the World Club Cup, 5 in the Spanish and 2 in the European Super Cups. That works out at an average of 2,97 goals a game - much higher than previous seasons (2,54 in 2008/09, 2,33 in 09/10 and 2,45 in 2010/11).

It is no one's fault that Alexis Sanchez got injured, says Chile's Borghi -
Chile coach Claudio Borghi has rejected the notion that his side were responsible for the muscular injury suffered by Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez last month. After the game, Barca coach Pep Guardiola blamed the Chile national team for the injury and said that Alexis was given the nod to play even though he lacked match sharpness. "It is hard to tell a player to step onto the pitch and not give his all," Borghi told Esports COPE. "We understand that if the player is fine, he can play.

Europa League - Bilbao knock out Schalke - Yahoo! Eurosport
Athletic Bilbao reached the Europa League semi-finals for the first time in 35 years after a 2-2 draw with Schalke at San Mames that gave them a 6-4 aggregate win. Schalke threatened early on and took a deserved lead through the prolific Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who drilled a classy opener in from 20 yards.

Rami double sends Valencia through - Yahoo! Eurosport
Central defender Rami missed his side's surprise 2-1 defeat to AZ in the first leg in the Netherlands due to suspension, but returned in some style as Unai Emery's side coasted through with a 5-2 aggregate win. AZ simply could not cope with the home team's movement and were undone by their inability to deal with numerous cross balls.

Falcao sends Atletico through - Yahoo! Eurosport
The game sprung to life midway through the second half courtesy of Adrian Lopez's superb individual goal for Atletico but Mame Diouf ensured a tense last 10 minutes when he drove home from inside the box for the hosts. But it was the Spaniards who had the final word as the Colombian's 87th minute rocket set up an all-Spanish semi-final with Valencia.

Man City's Roque Santa Cruz wants permanent Real Betis switch - ESPN Soccernet
Santa Cruz, 30, made a £17.5 million move from Blackburn to City in 2009, but his opportunities have been restricted since Roberto Mancini replaced Mark Hughes. He joined Betis last summer on a season-long loan and, having scored six goals in La Liga, he has confirmed that he would like to remain at the club.

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