Barca recover to set pace in La Liga
Catalan giants look to extend unbeaten run, while Real miss Ronaldo
BARCELONA have emerged from a cloud of pessimism to make a perfect start to their La Liga campaign and travel to Getafe tomorrow looking to stretch their advantage over Real Madrid, whose early optimism has been dampened.
A pall of gloom hung over the Catalans in the close season following the departure of Neymar to Paris St Germain and other failures in the transfer market, leading club members to sign a petition of no confidence against the club president. Yet their off the pitch problems have seemingly had no effect on their performances.
Three wins from three has put them top of the table and with a fourpoint advantage over rivals Real, who have stumbled with two draws in their last two games in the absence of the suspended for attacking absentees.
“Ronaldo is a key player for us, he’s always in it and always scores,” Zidane said.
“I hope it’s the last game of the season that we’re without him. We’ve not got Cristiano nor Benzema, but we will have other players and we’ll do well.
“We’ve won two trophies in spectacular fashion already and we played well (in the 22 draw) against Valencia.
“Against Levante (1-1) we weren’t good and we weren’t against APOEL in the first half either. Against Real Sociedad this weekend we need to start in a different manner.”
Atletico Madrid will play their first game at their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium as they host pointless Malaga while Levante host Valencia in the Valencian
derby. – Reuters