Admirable though the Chilean may be in his energetic efforts, if he was the manifestation of the overall away strategy then the Blaugrana were on a hiding to nothing.

” Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari maintained their 100 per cent record and condemned Tiger Woods to another defeat as Europe extended their lead in the 42nd Ryder Cup to 8-4. Fresh from overturning an early 3-1 deficit by winning a foursomes session 4-0 for the first time in the contest’s history, the home side came out firing on the second day at Le Golf National in Paris.

1 Sergio Garcia was in the mood for celebrating after the Saturday fourballs. Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia survived a nervy finish to lead from the front and beat Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau, before Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton were a combined nine under par in a 3&2 victory over world number one Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

Fleetwood and Molinari, whose win over Woods and Reed was the only European success on Friday morning, then repeated the feat in style on the back of three consecutive birdies from the 11th from Open champion Molinari after Woods had somehow dragged the match back to all square. McIlroy, who had not made a single birdie in Friday morning’s fourballs, recorded four of them in the first eight holes, including crucially holing from 15 feet for a half on the fifth after Finau had holed his bunker shot.

Garcia’s birdie on the 11th forced Finau into missing from much closer for a half and the European pair were in complete command before Koepka birdied the 14th and both Garcia and McIlroy dumped their approaches in the water on the 15th.1xbet ios app download Finau’s birdie on the 16th raised the possibility of a stunning reversal but Garcia birdied the 17th to seal a vital win.

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The only match which went against the home side saw Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas beat Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm 2&1, despite the European pair being seven under par. However, the eight matches won in a row was the most by any side since the current format was introduced in 1979 and gave Europe an 8-4 lead heading into the afternoon foursomes. ” ” “D10s – God – in his temple,” was the headline Marca went with just seven days ago, hailing Lionel Messi’s brilliance and riding on a high after Barcelona put three past Liverpool at the Camp Nou.

But it turns out Anfield is no Barca player’s temple, and a week later, the gloating has turned to a hurried quest to find someone or something to explain the collapse that pathed the Reds’ way to Madrid. 5 Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi both scored twice as Liverpool stunned Barcelona 5 Luis Suarez endured a miserable return to Anfield We didn’t know it at the time, but the writing was already on the wall when Catalunya Radio analyst Ricard Torquemada noted how at the end of the first half, Arturo Vidal was the Barca player “reading the game best”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafael_Márquez “If there’s a battle, he wins it.

If not, he commits the foul before it’s too late and helps Barca to reorganise”. Admirable though the Chilean may be in his energetic efforts, if he was the manifestation of the overall away strategy then the Blaugrana were on a hiding to nothing. Attempting to outmuscle Liverpool was a battle they were never going to win. As one Barcelona journalist noted, and others have throughout the season, Vidal is the symptom of something bigger.

Philippe Coutinho, withdrawn in the second half to boos from his old fans that may as well have come from his current supporters, is another. “What a disaster of a game for Coutinho. What an irrelevance. Bought at the price of gold, and today on a huge stage, we’ve practically never seen him,” commentator Bernat Soler scathed.

5 Coutinho cost Barcelona ?142million but was non-existent against his former club Perceived to lack both effort and clarity of mind, the Brazilian has had a rocky relationship with the Barcelona support this year, to the degree that captain Messi felt the need to remonstrate the Camp Nou fans and warn them not to boo last week. Even Messi’s insistence will likely fall on deaf ears after Tuesday night, though in truth, it would be unfair to single out Coutinho alone on an evening of flat performances from almost all of Valverde’s players.

Marca editor Hugo Cerezo dared to go for the most sacred of targets. “From Messi to Valverde, look wherever you want, it’s an historic failure”. Though it wasn’t the number 10’s night either, blaming him isn’t a view that will be shared by many.

Messi has long been sustaining Barcelona sides with diminishing quality across multiple lines, and crucifying him for a rare instance of not being able to win a match on his own is an extreme even the typically reactionary voices in Spain will largely avoid. Coach Valverde, on the other hand, will be less fortunate.

5 Messi is stunned after Barcelona concede a fourth against Liverpool “When they come back in a tie like this against you, you don’t have many excuses,” the Barca boss noted with brutal honesty in his post-match comments. Valverde has just wrapped up a second league title in a row, yet for the second year that will be forgotten by many, all because of one match. Because of a second leg match, where half the work appeared to be done.

Three nil in Roma, squandering a three goal first leg lead. Four nil in Liverpool, again squandering a three goal first leg lead. Alisson Becker, like a bad luck charm for the Spanish coach, played for the winning team on both occasions.

League title or not, Valverde’s position will now be up for question, so important is the Champions League for Barcelona. The ridiculousness of Liverpool’s fourth will only make matters worse. “Can I explain the fourth goal? No… Maybe there was a… I don’t know.

With the fourth goal, honestly, I don’t know,” Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted in his post-match interview. Not normally a man who is left lost for words, the club’s voting members will look to him to seek out culpibility of some kind in the coming days. 5 A beleaguered Valverde looks on during remarkable Champions League semi-final second leg at Anfield The immediate reactions were dramatic to say the least (one Catalan journalist claimed it was “the biggest disaster in the history of Barca”, which the generations who lived through decades of Real Madrid dominance may be surprised to learn). The more long-term post-mortem will be of greater significance. “At least no one will talk about Roma now,” TV3 journalist Alex Castells reflected wryly. “This is worse”. “