FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF: Final within reach (3–1) | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona took a big step towards making another appearance in the final of the Spanish Cup by winning Wednesday night’s semi-final first leg over Villarreal by a score of 3–1. First-half goals from Leo Messi and Andrés Iniesta and a second-half score by Gerard Piqué will accompany the Catalans south for the return leg, set for 4 March at El Madrigal.
Five keys to victory over Villarreal | FC Barcelona
Barça's three strikers, with Suárez out in front, as well as the midfielders, pressed Villarreal and denied them mobility. It was this pressure that gave Barça a 1–0 lead as pressure from Neymar and Iniesta allowed Suárez to steal the ball from Musacchio and dish to Messi for the first goal.
Marc André ter Stegen: We have a good opportunity to get to the final | FC Barcelona
Blaugrana keeper Marc-André ter Stegen feels Barça have a great chance to make it to the Spanish Cup final following the side's 3-1 victory over Villarreal. The German was self critical after the match in Camp Nou, taking responsibility for Manu Trigueros' second half strike whilst praising the team's all round performance.
Luis Enrique says it isn't over yet | FC Barcelona
"It's a good result but, perhaps, we could have done better. We deserved more." He was very happy with the way his squad played, "especially giving up the ball," he added. He also liked how the team were able to contain Villarreal's counter attacks and acknowledged that he was a bit surprised to see such a defensive approach from their rivals.
Piqué happy with how quickly his teammates recover | FC Barcelona
After the 3-1 victory over Villarreal in the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi-finals, FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué was delighted by the way his team fought against a very combative Villarreal. "The 3-1 score is a good result, but we know that it could have been better," he said. El Madrigal is a difficult place to play so, although the result is favourable, the outcome has yet to be decided," said the central defender.
Mathieu still wary of Villarreal | FC Barcelona
Jérémy Mathieu is wary of underestimating Villarreal ahead of the Cup semi-final second leg and speaking to the Barça TV programme ‘El Marcador’ on Wednesday night, he insisted: "Villarreal have a good team and they are very strong collectively. We showed great patience today".
Pique of their powers: Barcelona building revival on renewed defensive rock - Goal.com
Things weren't looking good for Gerard Pique. Struggling for form and benched by coach Luis Enrique late last year, the defender's future at Barcelona appeared uncertain. But now he is back on song and his assured performances in recent weeks have given the Catalans a newfound and much-needed solidity in defense.
Messi to stay, Qatar to go - Benedito's election plans for Barcelona - Goal.com
"We have a very clear idea of what the club represents and we haven't seen that reflected in any past candidacy. So the only way to take Barca where we want is through our own candidacy - and that's what we're trying to achieve."
Bartomeu: Barcelona can’t register players, but they can sign them " Inside Spanish Football
"Braida is a signing by Barcelona, not by Bartomeu. Tomorrow we will sign the contract. I have a lot of faith in the team he will build with Rexach. Those two and Jordi Mestre and Javier Bordas will form a good team. They have to prepare the team for next season, the comings and goings, the renewals, players they’re interested in…The youth system will be taken care of by Jordi Roura. Barcelona cannot register players, but we can sign them, but first we’re looking at those in house."
La Liga ready to strike over TV rights - Espanyol chief | Eurosport
"We are ready to halt La Liga if this (law) does not come out in one, two or three weeks," Collet told Spanish radio. "I have already spoken with clubs like Valencia," he added. "We would have to hold another assembly but we are ready if the government doesn't get a move on."
Madrid chasing Porto’s Danilo | Football Espana
Real Madrid have made Porto right-back Danilo a main target for the summer transfer window, reports in Spain claim, amid interest from Barcelona. Marca say Los Blancos have identified the 23-year-old defender as a signing to join next season’s squad and early contact has been made. Danilo is contracted to Porto until 2016 but is looking to move on and won’t extend his deal in an effort to make an easier departure.
Coentrao injures calf muscle | Football Espana
Fabio Coentrao will be missing for around a fortnight after the Real Madrid full-back suffered a calf injury. Marca confirms Coentrao was injured in training on Wednesday, pulling up and leaving the session early. A calf problem was diagnosed and he will be out of action for at least 10 days, although there are fears it could stretch to as much as three weeks.
Bruno out for at least two months | Football Espana
Villarreal’s Bruno Soriano can expected to be on the injured list for at least two months after damaging his knee against Barcelona. Bruno had to be helped from the field 29 minutes in to the Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg between the teams, which ended with Barca taking a 3-1 advantage into the return at El Madrigal.
Cordoba face 140km training trip pitch 'sabotaged' chemical products burn grass - ESPN FC
Persons unknown have on at least two occasions through recent weeks entered Cordoba's training ground and used chemical products to severely burn the grass on its pitches. The surface is now so ruined that training there would now be dangerous for players, club president Carlos Gonzalez has said.
Fulham winger Bryan Ruiz denied move to La Liga side Levante | Sky Sports
Bryan Ruiz will remain at Fulham and not play on loan at Levante after the Spanish club saw their appeal to have the player's transfer granted finally turned down. The 29-year-old forward's planned six-month loan move to the Valencian outfit was scuppered with the paperwork received one minute after the transfer deadline on January 30.