11th July 2020
Quique Setien Barça
Sport

La Liga round-up: Messi gets winner in Quique Setién’s debut game at Barça

Messi scored the only goal for Barcelona to beat Granada 1-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday night, and where Quique Setién was overseeing his debut game since being appointed coach last Monday.

Messi’s goal in the 76th minute proved the only spark in the match, despite the much-anticipated launch of Setien’s new era at Camp Nou. It means that Barça also remain top of La Liga on goal difference.

Barcelona sacked Ernesto Valverde last week after two and a half seasons in charge, winning two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey. However, he’d been regularly criticised for his team’s style of play throughout his tenure, always employing a more cautious, rigid game – unacceptable for many of Barça’s core fans.

Valverde’s position had looked almost untenable last year following the Champions League semi final catastrophe against Liverpool, but he was kept on for the start of this campaign.

It’s the first time that Barça have sacked a manager mid-season since getting rid of Louis van Gaal in 2003.

Quique Setien Barça
Quique Setién in the dugout for Barça against Granada on 19 January 2020. (Photo courtesy of @FCBarcelona / Twitter)

The decision finally came after Barça’s Super Cup semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid, as well as the club’s failed attempts to bring in legendary former player Xavi Hernández back to Catalonia. Ex-Real Betis boss Setién has been chosen to lead Barça for the next two-and-a-half years.

Setién, who has also managed Las Palmas and Equatorial Guinea, is renowned for his attacking style of play based on keeping hold of possession, and is thought to be a natural fit for how Barça want to play and achieve.

ALSO READ: Lionel Messi wins record-breaking 6th Ballon d’Or

Meanwhile on Saturday, Real Madrid started without their top scorer Karim Benzema, without their captain Sergio Ramos – and also without their record signing Eden Hazard – but they still managed a 2-1 win over Sevilla. 

Casemiro‘s two goals secured the victory in the second half, after Luuk de Jong had briefly pulled Sevilla level.

Asked about his missing star players, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said, ‘It makes the win even more important. It’s only three points but we needed them and we got them by suffering.’

Real Madrid have now gone 17 games without losing, including them winning the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia last weekend. Ramos, still recuperating from an ankle injury, paraded the trophy on the pitch before kick-off on Saturday.

Julen Lopetegui was back at the Santiago Bernabeu as coach for Sevilla for the first time since he was sacked by Real last season, 138 days after they appointed him.

La Liga results from Matchday 20 (of 38) played between 17-19 January

Played Friday 17 January

Leganes 0  Getafe 3

Played Saturday 18 January

Levante 0  Alaves 1

Real Madrid 2  Sevilla 1

Osasuna 0  Valladolid 0

Eibar 2  Atletico Madrid 0

Played Sunday 19 January

Mallorca 4  Valencia 1

Real Betis 3  Real Sociedad 0

Villarreal 1  Espanyol 2

Athletic Bilbao 1  Celta Vigo 1

Barcelona 1  Granada 0

ALSO READ: Over 3,000 security personnel to ensure ‘El Clásico’ goes ahead

La Liga Table – Monday 20 January

(Played, Won, Drawn, Lost, Goals For/Against, Points)

Barcelona         20  13   4   3   50  23  43

Real Madrid     20   12   7   1  38  13   43

Atletico Madrid  20  9   8   3   22  14  35

Sevilla               20  10   5   5   25  20  35

Getafe               20    9   6   5   29  20  33

Real Sociedad   20  9   4   7  33  28  31

Valencia           20   8    7   5  30  29  31

Athletic Bilbao   20   7   9   4  21   14   30

Villarreal          20   8   4   8   34  28  28

Granada           20   8   3   9   25  26  27

Real Betis        20   7   6   7   29  32  27

Levante            20   8   2   10   26  30  26

Osasuna          20   5   10   5   26  25  25

Alaves              20   6    5   9   21  29  23

Valladolid        20   4  10   6  17  23  22

Eibar                 20   6   4   10  20  29  22

Mallorca          20   5   3   12   22  34  18

Celta Vigo       20   3   7   10   17  30  16

Leganes          20    3   5   12   16   33  14

Espanyol         20    3   5   12    16   37  14

 

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (15): Messi’s late goal secures Barça victory at Atletico Madrid

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (13 & 14): Real Madrid and Barça both fight back to stay on top

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (11 & 12): as Levante stun Barça, others fail to take advantage to go top

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (10): Granada go top, for the first time in 46 years

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (9): Barça now top after Real Madrid lose to Mallorca

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (8): Barça and Real Madrid now both on form

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (6 & 7): Sevilla stop Real Sociedad from going top

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (5): Karim Benzema puts Real Madrid level on points at top of La Liga

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (4): Barça’s 16 year old Ansu Fati continues to more than impress

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (3): Gareth Bale scores twice, then sent off

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (2): Griezmann scores Barça double

ALSO READ: La Liga round-up (1): Opening weekend

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