Sports Burst - Messi's Costco Conundrum


By Tim Stannard


Barcelona players watch on to see if Atletico fall to Valencia to give Camp Nou club another league title 


Soccer players are stinkingly rich - Barcelona ones especially so - therefore the upcoming first-world problem Sports Burst is mulling may just be in the realm of fantasy. 

But, it's arguably the biggest conundrum of the week. If not the year. Does Leo Messi throw a title-clinching house party today or not? 

It's probable that the club's Argentinean wonder has staff to organize everything for a shindig rather than himself and Luis Suarez piling down to Costco for several plates of those wrap-sandwich type things and a cheese platter. 

The problem is that the rest of the Barcelona gang could be invited over merely to sit and watch Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 1-0 and then shuffle off home, having created an unnecessary mess in the process.

Then again...there's still a chance that Barca could win the title today and a few cheery emojis on a WhatsApp group is not going to cut the celebratory mustard. 

This is what needs to happen for Messi's efforts not to be wasted. A 2-0 win over Alaves for Barcelona on Tuesday means that should Atletico Madrid lose at home to Valencia today then Barca will be champions of La Liga once again. 

Sports Burst is not saying it's not going to happen, but the odds are slim. Atletico has not lost at home to Valencia in any competition since 2011. The Rojiblancos have only lost once at home in 23 matches - and that was against Real Madrid. Then again, Atleti might be slipping into mental vacation mode while a motivated Valencia is chasing a Champions League spot. 

If Messi is going to make the effort to set aside some chicken tenders for Ter Stegen, then you can make room in the day to catch Atletico Madrid against Valencia at 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT. 


Manchester United's lose-lose derby day of despair 


Nice try Premier League, but you are not fooling anyone. 

There seemed to be some kind of effort to turn today's massive Manchester United against Manchester City clash - big enough in itself in terms of animosity - into a managerial grudge match. 

It began when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer noted in a pre-match press conference that the City players were more aggressive than one might think. 

"There will be fouls," noted the Norwegian. Pep did not concur. "My side is not built like that," was the refute. However, the whole affair was like trying to get two lovable puppies to sign up for an MMA fight. 


Today is the day Manchester United fans have been dreading. The day that Manchester City come to town. It's a game that United cannot win (even if they win). A win or draw against City and United's top four chances are boosted a little. However, the significant downside is that the result would leave the league title completely in Liverpool's hands. A horrific notion for United fans. 

A loss to City in Old Trafford and the "noisy neighbors" would be taking a huge step to a back-to-back league title wins while United would remain in sixth and in real danger of missing a top-four finish. Happy days!

The day is so huge with all sorts going on around the world that there will be an extra edition of the Sports Burst live show to take care of it. 

Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT for the usual look forward and then at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT for a post-match rant and rave with our Gabrielle Amado and the gang. 


River Plate's day of Copa Libertadores destiny 


Time now to soar across the Atlantic like a particular speedy eagle to look at some hefty affairs going on in the Americas. Matchday 5 of the Copa Libertadores continues - and beIN SPORTS is very proud to be presenting it. 

Gremio prevailed in a must-win match on Tuesday and ideally River Plate needs to do the same in a clash against Palestino today that could see the reigning champions in serious danger of being knocked out if matters get frosty in Chile . 

That is just one of seven games taking place across the beIN SPORTS universe with River Plate getting the action underway at 6PM ET / 3PM PT. 

It would be most un-American - and un-Canadian - of Sports Burst not to mention that MLS is in action on Wednesday as well. Two early frontrunners, DC United and LA Galaxy are playing in clashes against Columbus Crew and Minnesota United respectively.