By Tim Stannard
A bad day for Real Madrid as Barcelona win out in double-sport duel
Conspiracies! Skullduggery! Drama! Anti-Real Madrid bias! A pro-Barcelona campaign!
This is the dominant theme of Monday's press in Spain, a day after Real Madrid politely declined a La Liga title fight by losing to Girona. But rather than football being on the front covers of the papers, it's basketball where all the drama lies.
Barcelona defeated Real Madrid in overtime in Sunday's final of Spain's Copa del Rey tournament, but not without some refereeing rumbles. Of course.
Barca won in overtime but after a controversial call that saw Madrid losing out and a radio station reporting that the club might consider leaving the Spanish league to play in the European league. Heck, even the NBA if they would let them in.
The kerfuffle nicely warms matters up for next week's El Clasico double-header where Real Madrid will hope for better luck in another version of the Copa del Rey and then a last, last chance to make a better job of a La Liga title charge than Sunday's woeful effort in the Bernabeu.
The Locker Room will be pouring over whether Real Madrid is still alive in La Liga at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT.
Another Sarri match in store for Chelsea?
There's a bit of Monday business to take care of in the wild and wacky world of soccer.
Maurizio Sarri might be in a for yet another uncomfortable match on the Chelsea bench. His struggling side is currently going through the Manchester gauntlet. Part one was Manchester City in the Premier League last weekend - a 6-0 defeat - and the second is today in Old Trafford in the FA Cup fifth round.
That will then be followed by a Europa League clash against Malmo, League Cup final against Manchester City (again) and then a Premier League date against Tottenham. Fun! Chelsea could be in quite the Sarri state of affairs, one way or another by then.
But, on the flip side, with football being able to pull a Girona-style result on us from time to time, the game might be equally uncomfortable for Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer if an unpleasant home surprise is in store to partner the midweek defeat to PSG in the Champions League.
Dortmund desperate for Bundesliga boost
Staying on the subject of nerves and Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund, desperately need to steady theirs today. Back-to-back draws in the league for Dortmund and the steady thud-thud-thud progression of their rivals have seen Bayern Munich cut the lead at the top of the standings to just two points, all be it with one game more having been played.
Never far from home 🖤💛 pic.twitter.com/urGf79NGWX— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 17, 2019
That catch-up match is on Monday with Dortmund away at bottom-of-the-table, Nurnberg.
Over in Italy Roma need to make up some ground to edge back towards the top four with a home clash against Bologna.
beIN SPORTS has last placed Huesca looking to continue a bid to avoid relegation from La Liga by racking up a third win on the bounce with a home clash against Athletic Bilbao, live on beIN SPORTS at 2:50PM ET / 11:50AM PT.
Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for the best of all the day's goals and action.
Barcelona heads to Lyon's den in Champions League
Before too long, Monday is going to be full of soccer coaches predicting tough battles ahead and respecting their rivals.
It is press conference time for four teams who who are in Champions League action on Tuesday and to be fair, there are a couple of humungous battles to behold.
Barcelona is traveling to France to take on Lyon - the side that defeated Manchester City in the group stages. The pressure is certainly on the visitors to up their game 700% after Saturday's woeful display against Valladolid in La Liga.
And how about Liverpool against Bayern Munich? The German giants are traveling to England to take on what should be a well-rested Liverpool side that was not in FA Cup action over the weekend.
Our Sports Burst live show will give an early look at those to Champions League clashes. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.