By Tim Stannard
A Dani Carvajal crash-land sees more VAR conspiracies brewing in Barcelona
When Dan Carvajal crashed into Mallorca's Dani Rodriguez to win the ball and then set up Real Madrid's opening goal in Wednesday's 2-0 win, then eyebrows were definitely going to be raised in Barcelona to Carlo Ancelotti proportions.
Gerard Pique and even Quique Setien had already been grumbling that referees appeared to be pushing Real Madrid to a league title win, especially after the VAR-dominated Real Sociedad victory. That accusation is being reinforced on Thursday after the foul by the Real Madrid right-back was deemed on review to be fine and dandy.
"A free-way!" yells Thursday's foot-stomping front cover of Sport in a clever pun that doesn't really translate to English.
Not to be outdone, another paper in Barcelona, Mundo Deportivo, has gone one better in terms of a blame game.
To add to the list of match schedules, refereeing decisions, and Antoine Griezmann in general, the evils of water breaks has been added. Thursday's paper is offering up scientific proof that the regular stoppages in play are messing with Barcelona's flow and allowing opposition teams to recover from the apparent suffocating pressure imposed by Leo Messi and co.
Everyone will have to take a beat and wait until the weekend with more squabbling as literally the most exciting title race in the world continues.
Barcelona have a challenging task at Celta Vigo on Saturday with Real Madrid traveling Espanyol and enjoying an extra five hour's break on their Catalan rivals from the last time the two teams played.
Time to call in the Feds.
Crisis Day in LaLiga as Match Day 31 wraps up
Moving on to the present with Thursday's two tantalizing games in LaLiga, the final matches of Match Day 31 before Match Day 32 gets underway on Friday.
The first match-up between Eibar and Valencia sees two teams on the fringe of something bad and something good respectively. Eibar are hovering above the relegation zone, while Valencia need a win to put the Mestalla side back into the top six. Coverage of that game gets underway at 1PM ET on beIN SPORTS.
The best LIVE soccer is here 🇪🇸⤵️ pic.twitter.com/bdIxMU2Zye— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) June 25, 2020
The second game features two proper clubs in crisis with Real Betis hosting Espanyol. Betis are playing their first match since sacking Coach Rubi while Espanyol are rock bottom of the standings but just five points from safety. Coverage begins at 3:30PM ET.
Liverpool can win first English league title in 30 years from home
In a year where doing things at home is definitely de rigueur, Liverpool's players could end up winning the club's first English league title in 30 years from their expensive off-white sectional couches.
30 years is a long time. Indeed, on the day that Liverpool were last kings of England - 28th April, 1990 - Michael Bolton was fifth in the Billboard charts demanding to know "how can we be lovers when we can't be friends?" It's a question that hasn't really been answered properly, three decades later.
A 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday sees Liverpool needing just two points to win the EPL title. However, if Manchester City fail to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today then those two points will not be required with the difference between the pair becoming too big to be closed. "It's our time to win the league," chirped Mohamed Salah.
Back at Anfield, back celebrating... 🙌— Liverpool FC (at 🏠) (@LFC) June 25, 2020
The boss 👌 pic.twitter.com/dpwqXmuFFj
Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero is beginning his recovery from knee surgery performed in Barcelona on Wednesday. The question is whether the Argentinean will be available for the Champions League return which in City's case is a match against Real Madrid. "I don't know," was the enigmatic but understandable response from Pep Guardiola.
Fans yes, signing no says Dutch FA on Netherlands soccer return
Not sure where to go with this one. The Netherlands Soccer Association has announced that the new season will begin on September 12, after the previous one was wrapped up early due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Even better news was that news that fans would be allowed into stadiums to watch games with stadiums being at one-third capacity. But there is a catch. No singing or chanting is allowed.
Fortunately, Thomas "if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much" Rongen is on today's Sports Burst live show to share his thoughts on this plan. Go to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and beIN XTRA channel at 12PM ET.