Barcelona march towards historic back-to-back treble


Barcelona salva el partido y le gana 1 –” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  MULADAR NEWS 

Barcelona’s quest for a historic back-to-back treble hit a slight bump in the road when Villarreal came from two goals down to earn a point in their La Liga clash.

Ivan Rakitic and Neymar put the Catalan club ahead in the first half but Cedric Bakambu and an own goal from Jeremy Mathieu earned a point for the home side at El Madrigal.

Luis Enrique’s men still hold a comfortable lead at the top of the table with the team nine points in front of Atletico Madrid and 10 ahead of their great rivals Real Madrid when this article was produced.

The Catalan club are in an extremely strong position as they pursue glory in all three competitions and earn their place in history.

They brushed aside Arsenal with ease in the round-of-16 stage in the Champions League, beating Arsene Wenger’s men 5-1 on aggregate without playing at their peak.

Barcelona now face a showdown against Atletico in the quarter-finals, which will feature a fierce contest between Spain’s most potent attacking force and its best defence. Meanwhile, only Sevilla remain as their final obstacle to clinch their 28th Copa del Rey crown.

The trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have almost singlehandedly guided Enrique’s side to the Primera Liga title. They have scored 69 of their 86 goals, while also netting 15 of their 20 strikes in the Champions League.

They have been unstoppable since their formation as a three-pronged force after notching over 100 goals between them in the last campaign, which guided the club to their second major treble.

Although Messi has not scored the ridiculous amount of goals he did last season, the 28-year-old’s game shows no signs of decline and the form of Suarez and Neymar may extend his dominance at the top. The burden for him to fire every week has been eased by his fellow South American duo.

Suarez has been the leading man for Barca this season, firing 26 goals in his 28 appearances in La Liga trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo in the goal charts.

The Uruguayan has been in equally fine form in Europe with six strikes in seven matches as well as three assists, while Neymar completes the fearsome trio with 21 goals in La Liga and another three in the Champions League.

Not even the Bayern Munich duo of Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski can match the trio’s efficiency in front of goal, which is why the oddsmakers have Enrique’s men at odds of 1/200 in the La Liga football betting and 6/4 to secure a European crown for the second year on the spin.

One glimmer of hope for Barcelona’s opponents will be with their displays at the back, with their 2-2 draw against Villarreal hinting that fatigue may be beginning to take its toll on the Catalan club due to their heavy fixture schedule this season.

Atletico will – for once- be hoping their city rivals, Real, can produce a victory in El Clasico at the Nou Camp when La Liga resumes after the international break to give them a glimmer of hope in the title race.

However, should Barcelona prevail, it’s difficult see any side stopping them from recording a historic back-to-back treble.