Sports Burst - Barca Wins First Clasico Battle

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS

Real Madrid face nightmare match-up in Champions League against Manchester City while Barcelona enjoy naptime against Napoli

 

El Clasico may still be two days away on Wednesday - live, live, live on beIN SPORTS! - but a Champions League battle has been won on Monday by Barcelona

The draw has been made for the Last 16 knockout stages of the Champions League and with the caveat being that anything can happen between now and the matches being played, Real Madrid look in all sorts of trouble already. 

Barcelona don't. 

Round of 16 draw 🔥

Sum up your reaction with a GIF 📱#UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/fkdBCoX7v6

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 16, 2019

 

Barcelona? 

Well, the Camp Nou club has been drawn against the current biggest basket case in the tournament. Step forward Napoli, a team that is now being managed by Gennaro Gattuso and plummeting down the Serie A standings with the club owner at war with the players. Suing them in fact. 

The holders, Liverpool are up against Atletico Madrid in a matchup that already looks dogged. We have the newly-crowned "Thomas Tuchel Derby" with the PSG boss taking on his former club, Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea are facing Bayern Munich - there are goals in that one - while Tottenham have RB Leipzig with further evidence that Jose Mourinho is going to win the competition again. 

Juventus take on Lyon while Valencia and Atalanta face-off. 

Join the live Sports Burst show from Barcelona at 12PM ET on the beIN SPORTS Facebook page with our Ray Hudson and Gabrielle Amado breaking down the draw and looking back at the weekend for both Real Madrid and Barcelona. 

And circle back later in the day for all the Clasico news on Magisterial at 7:30PM ET. 

PSV sack Van Bommel as Bayern ponder Coutinho capture 

 

So, what else is going on? 

Well, Monday's big coaching sacking news sends Sports Burst to the Netherlands for a change rather than England or Italy. 

PSV manager and former Barcelona midfielder, Marc Van Bommel, has been relieved of command after a 3-1 loss to Feyenoord at the weekend. PSV are fourth in the Eredivisie, 10 points behind Ajax at the top. 

"The continuous series of negative results is a decline too large and unworthy for PSV," fumed a fairly harsh club statement. 

Moving over to Germany now and there are hints that could be very good financial news for Barcelona next month. 

A hat-trick for Philippe Coutinho and two assists against Mainz for Bayern Munich on Saturday sees the Brazilian living in Praise City on Monday with the floating of the inkling of a possibility that a release clause on the player worth $111 million to Barcelona could be triggered as early as January by Bayern. 

What a week for our favorite Brazilian wizard! 🇧🇷🎩

4⃣ Goals ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️
2⃣ Assists 🅰️🅰️
2⃣ MOTM 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/nHeUaoUJpy

— 🇺🇸 FC Bayern US 🇨🇦 (@FCBayernUS) December 15, 2019

 

"We need this kind of player," admitted Robert Lewandowski, who no longer has to score four a game for Bayern to keep the club afloat in the title race with an in-form, happy Brazilian by his side.

However, realistically, a cautious - and spendthrift - Bayern might want to kick Coutinho's tires a little more and keep looking for a more cost-effective alternative.

 

More "Neymar Stays! news as Leonardo gives rare praise for commitment to the cause

Elsewhere, there is further evidence in the "Neymar is staying at PSG!" department. 

Exhibit number one came last week when Neymar claimed that he would be happy playing football anywhere as long as there were some posts and a ball. And a week off for his sister's birthday. Well, that last bit was made up. 

Secondly, Neymar's Dad revealed that Barcelona were still being sued for $3.5 million what they claim is unpaid money from his time at the club - a curious negotiation tactic when supposedly hoping to join Barcelona again.

Thirdly, PSG's Sporting Director, Leonardo - traditionally frosty on the topic of his countryman - gave some praise to Neymar after a 4-0 win at Saint Etienne on Sunday. "I think Neymar is making a lot of effort in every way and also in terms of state of mind," lauded Leonardo.

Tune into Weekend Winners with Hope Solo at 7PM on beIN SPORTS to see if that was enough for both PSG and Neymar to make the grade.


>