‘Feyeno­ord were just out of their depth’

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Sport -

ROT­TER­DAM: Feyeno­ord’s Cham­pi­ons League re­turn af­ter an ab­sence of 15 years was some­thing of a shock, coach Gio­vanni van Bron­ck­horst said while be­moan­ing the dif­fer­ence in qual­ity af­ter Wed­nes­day’s 3-0 thrash­ing by Manch­ester City. He ad­mit­ted his side were largely out of their depth. – Reuters 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 Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

Barca, fresh from Tues­day’s em­phatic 3-0 Cham­pi­ons League vic­tory over Ju­ven­tus, will have the chance pro­vi­sion­ally to move seven points clear of Real and Atletico Madrid and coach Ernesto Valverde has in­di­cated he will give game time to fringe play­ers.

“Up to now some play­ers have played more than oth­ers but ev­ery­one will get their chance,” Valverde said.

“I picked the best set of lads to get the job done against Juve and I’ll see who I think the best are for Getafe.”

Span­ish and Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Real Madrid be­gan the cam­paign by win­ning the con­ti­nen­tal and Span­ish Su­per Cups to firmly es­tab­lish them­selves as the coun­try’s dom­i­nant force, but their last two league re­sults have brought them down to earth.

They travel to high­fly­ing Real So­ciedad in Sun­day’s late kick off with­out the sus­pended duo of left back Marcelo and Ron­aldo, who serves the fi­nal match of a five­game do­mes­tic ban for push­ing a ref­eree.

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