By Tim Stannard
Messi and Setien confirm clear-the-air talks ahead of Alaves win on Sunday
Monday was all geared up to be another day of CRISIS! for Barcelona.
A predicted defeat to Alaves on the final day of the LaLiga season was expected to be followed by Quique Setien's swift departure and a stand-in being called up for Barca's Champions League campaign - potentially just 90 minutes-long against Napoli in just over two week's time.
Instead, a solid 5-0 victory at Alaves and a considerably more cheerful Lionel Messi appears to have kept Setien on the Barca bench for a little while longer. The Barca coach has been spared by the star player.
"We did the main thing, which was to be self-critical behind the scenes, as it has to be," admitted Messi on reported steam-blowing talks between himself and Setien on Friday, "today, we took a step forward in attitude and commitment."
The notion of an hours-long yelling match - if Lionel Messi ever yells - was confirmed by Setien himself speaking after the Alaves win. "We've spoken and we've cleared up a few things," hinted the Barca boss.
Over at Real Madrid and the players are now set for a week's downtime before gathering next Monday to prepare for the team's Champions League match-up against Manchester City.
However, there is still business to attend to in LaLiga with the second division going through its final match of the regular season.
The top two of Cadiz and Huesca are already promoted but the final play-off spots and relegation places - including a battle for a desperate Deportivo - are taking place across the network at 3PM ET.
The Sports Burst live show will blast through all the day's news at 12PM ET on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and beIN XTRA channel.
Miserable Monday for David de Gea
Outside of Spain, the good folk of England are making David De Gea do the walk of goalkeeping shame after another blunder for Manchester United in Sunday's FA Cup semifinal defeat against Chelsea. "It is done. Move on. I know he is a mentally strong person and goalkeeper," said a supportive Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Juventus can take another step closer to picking up the Scudetto with a match against Lazio, a team that began the restart in Italy as genuine challengers but saw their season fall away rather quickly.
And look out for plucky Inter Miami, which has a chance for its first ever official franchise points on Monday against NYCFC in the MLS is Back tournament. Inter Miami has so far managed four defeats from four, preventing Sports Burst from picking up a half-price pizza deal at a local establishment which even pays out on a draw.
Niko Kovac begins first day with Monaco
The Principality of Monaco has a new resident on Monday with Croatian coach, Niko Kovac, taking over the local football club.
The Croatian was last seen being fired by Bayern Munich last November for ostensibly daring to take on a ferocious locker room. The situation is a little different in Monte Carlo with the Monaco squad looking for some stability and leadership after blasting through coaches in recent years, including Roberto Moreno who was dismissed on Sunday after just seven months.
Monaco ended last season's curtailed campaign in ninth. The first challenge for Kovac though was to survive the first day mini-documentary from the club's TV crew and awkward conversations with Monaco's bosses.
Job done there.
Meanwhile, PSG continues its preparations for Friday's Coupe de France final against Saint Etienne with a warm up match against Celtic that is live on beIN SPORTS on Tuesday at 1PM ET.
NFL on end of player backlash over health concerns
The NFL is now going through the same process as the other major sports in North America - just how safe is it to play?
The organization was peppered with Tweets from players on Sunday in a coordinated effort asking for more details on COVID-19 health and safety protocols, ahead of July 28 which is when training camps are set to open.
Using the hashtag #WeWantToPlay, NFL stars such as Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, declared that "we want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones."
I am concerned.— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) July 19, 2020
My wife is pregnant.@NFL Training camp is about to start..
And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. 🤷🏾
We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones. #WeWantToPlay
"If the NFL doesn't do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It's that simple. Get it done NFL," was the stern message from New Orleans Saints' never-kneeler, Drew Brees.
The week will continue to see NBA players occupying themselves in their Orlando Bubble of Isolation while MLB gets its shortened 2020 season underway on Thursday with the Yankees at the Nationals.