By Tim Stannard
1) Messi warns that La Liga is still far from over
Well, that’s pretty much pats on the back all round. Everyone fulfilled their assigned roles in Sunday’s Clasico.
Leo Messi channeled his inner Rick Grimes, with a blood-spattered, all-conquering performance. Sergio Ramos challenged his inner Sergio Ramos to get send off for hacking down Leo Messi. And Marcelo channeled his inner big chicken by failing to hack down Sergi Roberto when it mattered most. And Gareth Bale limped off early.
No wonder, Madrid-based daily ‘AS’ called Sunday’s Clasico, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, despite the result very much running up against Real Madrid’s title hopes. The message from Barcelona on Monday morning was a simple one – ‘Saint Messi’. Indeed, it was Messi – or a minion – who took to Facebook the day after the night before to remind joyous Barcelona fans that “there’s still a long way to go” in La Liga. Indeed, that journey continues on Wednesday with both Barcelona and Real Madrid returning for some special midweek action.
Tune into the XTRA from 7PM ET PM for exclusive footage from Sunday’s Clasico followed by the Locker Room to chew over the winners and losers from the clash.
2) Zlatan eyes injury return…in MLS?
One footballer who was no doubt watching the match with his feet up was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but through no choice of his own, as the Swedish forward is now facing quite the spell out of football. How long that spell is, is still up in air even for King Zlatan himself who posted to his Instagram account that he will be back in the future and that giving up is not an option.
Zlatan says that he will decide when he stops. And that might not be until he is done scoring a ton of goals in MLS.
3) Newcastle with chance to secure promotion against Preston
Despite an emotional and physically draining Clasico, the weekend is not done with us yet, as there are three big hitting clashes on beIN SPORTS.
Newcastle United have the chance to make it an instant return to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez with a home win over Preston North End. Find out if the Magpies can join the Seagulls in the top flight on beIN CONNECT from 2:45PM ET / 11:45AM PT.
There is a Basque derby over in La Liga with the mighty Eibar hosting Europa League chasing Athletic Bilbao at 2:45PM ET / 11:45AM PT – also on CONNECT. Serie A is taking pride of place on the channel with Roma able to take a huge chance of securing second spot with an away trip to struggling Pescara. Monday has already started pretty well for Roma with Monchi, Sevilla’s miracle-man Sporting Director, expecting to sign on at the end of the season.Catch all the highlights on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.
4) Pioli reportedly calls it quits on Inter
That’s not the only drama in Serie A. Oh no.
On Saturday, Inter contrived to lose 5-4 against Fiorentina after being 2-1 up in the game and Mauro Icardi scoring what turned out to be a fairly pointless hattrick.
The defeat sees Inter without a win and five and on the brink of being out of the running for European qualification. Indeed, so traumatic was the loss for manager, Stefano Pioli, that the Italian media is reporting that the Inter boss tried to resign over the weekend but had his request turned down.
5) Sharapova prepares for tennis return in Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the tennis center of the universe for a week with Angelique Kerber in town to defend her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. However, there is an interloper in town set to steal the limelight – a certain Maria Sharapova who is returning from her lengthy doping suspension and will be back out on a court on Wednesday to face Roberto Vinci.
beIN SPORTS is the proud home of WTA tennis and brings you extensive coverage from Stuttgart starting from Tuesday at 6AM ET / 3AM PT.
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB 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.