Sports Burst – Farcelona



By Tim Stannard


Fans and press turn on Barca’s Champions League chumps

Well, Tuesday’s Champions League was all with the David Blaine – but not in a locked-in-a-glass-box-for-two-months-adult-diaper sense – but with the eye-spinning deception

While the soccer world was focused on Manchester City’s non-comeback against Liverpool in the second-leg of a quarter-final tie, Roma were quietly causing the biggest turnaround in the competition since…well, last year, when Barcelona pulled the same number on PSG.

Barcelona approached the clash in the Eternal City with a 4-1 lead and the enthusiasm of a trip to the dentist for some root canal work. And the team has been duly punished in the unforgiving local press on Wednesday with funerial pitch black front covers and type-face being dusted off for the occasion. “A disaster, no excuses” yelled Sport, whose reader poll spread the blame fairly equally on the players and Ernesto Valverde, the beleaguered Barcelona coach.

“The Fall of Rome” was the tagline for Mundo Deportivo in what is turning into a topsy-turvy season for Barcelona, where winning the league with a humongous margin over Real Madrid could be considered a huge failure if their Clasico rivals poach the Champions League trophy for a third time.  

Tune into Wednesday’s XTRA for a special edition of “Who’s to Blame” with Christian Vieri, where it will be revealed that somehow the culprit is Neymar.


Italians bask in ‘Romantada’ glory

While the atmosphere in Barcelona was all with the doom and gloom, the mood in Rome was a little lighter as the sections of the country celebrated the ‘Romantada’.

Sadly, there wasn’t a ‘Momma Mia!’ in sight on Wednesday’s front covers in Italy, instead Corriere dello Sport oozed over a ‘mythical Roma’ and Gazzetta dell Sport declared Roma as ‘Imperial’.  

Speaking to reporters in Roma on Wednesday morning, the club’s American president, Jim Pallotta, admitted that there was always a chance of an upset in the air. “I hoped the team would come out and play the way I knew they could play,” said Pallotta. What’s more, he even gave out some love to Juventus who have a similar Herculean task against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu - “I’d like to see Juventus do the same thing and win, it’s great for Italian football.”


Bayern Munich look to German genes to slip past Sevilla

And so, onto Wednesday’s games which is headlined by Real Madrid’s clash against Juventus. And once again, Madrid hold a huge advantage from the first leg, 3-0, that they are not expected to lose.

However, football logic appears to have been turned upside down this week and Sergio Ramos is suspended, meaning that a shaky defense could be weakened ever further for the visit of Juventus, who, to be fair are also missing Paolo Dybala through suspension. "You have to respect the big teams and they never give up or roll over," was the warning from Coach Zizou even before Barca’s shock demise.

No such talk of shocks with Bayern Munich against Sevilla despite a slender lead of just 2-1. And this is largely down to one reason. Bayern are German. And this kind of crumbling nonsense doesn’t happen to them.

Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for the best of the day’s action and analysis.


NBA regular season comes to close with Hollywood ending

So…what else is going on in the wide, wide, world of sport?

Well, it’s the final day of the NBA regular season with seeding on the line and also one place available in the play-offs. That last spot is a straight battle between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets. And rather handily, the two teams are playing each other in a winner takes all, loser goes home crying affair.

But the NBA internet is currently being owned by Andre Ingram who made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Not all that remarkable, aside from the fact that this happened after 10 years and 384 games waiting for the occasion. Ingram is now 32 and was signed up for the final two games of the regular season.



The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.