Not long ago, at the FC Barcelona General Assembly: participating members voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a referendum to decide whether a New Camp Nou should be built, or whether the Old Camp Nou should be renovated.
A recent Dani Alves tweet: “Off to the stadium!! Barça v Granada, come on, courage and joy, God is leading us.”
The team plays a late game tonight – better for parts of the Americas, but not so good for the lands of Asia and the Middle East, unless they’re just getting home after late Saturday night shenanigans.
Even though they just managed to stay in the Primera Division after last season (finishing 17th), Granada is one of those teams against which Barcelona struggles to play its natural game.
Udinese seems to like Granada (or is it the other way around?) because the Andalucian team currently sports 6 players on loan from the Italian side.
One of those – Daniel González Benítez – won’t be playing tonight which is a good thing. He’s the type of player who very quickly gets under the skin of our Dani Alves and this makes our #2 do silly things – like fouls, and penalties, and red cards.
Why is Benítez not playing? Late last season in Granada’s contentious home game vs. Real Madrid, Dani threw a plastic drink bottle at the referee. Red-carded and hauled before the RFEF disciplinary committee, Benítez was handed a 3 month ban which ends in November. So he won’t be on the pitch tonight.
The moral of the story is: if you want a ban that sticks, chuck a plastic drink bottle at a referee. It’s obviously more of a travesty than poking the opposition’s Assistant Manager in the eye, or deliberately stamping on the best player in the world’s hand while he’s sitting on the pitch.
Earlier today: Zaragoza beat Osasuna 3-1, and Celta de Vigo downed Getafe 2-1.
Celta’s coach, Herrera, was sent from the sidelines in the very last minute of overtime, and Getafe’s Alexis was sent off for striking a player during the following play.
Espanyol, minus Pochettino on the sidelines (due to last week’s sending off while at home vs. Bilbao), lost to Betis 1-0 in Seville just minutes ago.
Shock of shocks: In the Zaragoza – Osasuna match today, I witnessed unintentional handballs not being given yellow cards! (Not in the penalty boxes, however.) Perhaps this year the refs are concentrating on sending coaches from the sidelines instead.
Barca line-up: Valdés – Alves Song Mascherano Adriano – Cesc Busquets Thiago – Alexis Messi Villa
On the bench: Pinto, Bartra, Alba, Xavi, Sergi Roberto, Pedro! and Tello
Wow – no Montoya in reserve! And Villa starts!
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