Sergio Busquets seen as world's best player in his position, says Guillem Balague
Guillem Balague says Mourinho is near the point of no return at Real, and blogs on Pochettino's exit
Last Updated: 18/12/12 8:45am
The first is seeing Falcao running with Carles Puyol. Puyol was at maximum speed and Falcao still got a couple of metres ahead of him. He just looks unplayable and the goal he scored made it all the better.
Falcao wasn't helped by the team after half an hour. It wasn't because they didn't know what to do, because they knew that and showed it in the first 30 minutes. I spoke to Atletico midfielder Mario Suarez and the plan was to leave the wings to Barcelona so they had to attack down the flanks, which isn't their favourite way.
But when Atletico were playing better Adriano scored out of nowhere. That's the difference from last season - or one of them - that when the team is not performing there is somebody who comes up with something. In this case it was Adriano, who has become the second best goalscorer in La Liga after Lionel Messi. He's having a fantastic season.
After the Sergio Busquets goal there was no coming back because Barcelona kept the ball and Atletico couldn't get it back off them. Busquets was outstanding - more on him below - and this Barca team keeps breaking records.
I spoke to Xavi and after a poor start to the season they feel completely fit and sharp physically. It's just a shame for them there's no more league or Champions League games now until after Christmas because they feel in a position to beat anybody at the moment.
My second big memory from the night will be Messi. I saw confirmation - as if it's needed - that he puts the ball where it has to go, not where it can go. He puts it in gaps where it will go in, not just to see if it goes in.
Meanwhile, I was also celebrating Espanyol's 2-2 draw at Real Madrid. The Real fans weren't celebrating though - they're seeing the consequences of a divided team. As Pako Ayesteran was told after the Celta Vigo game, the Real players don't know what's going on.
The methodology of Jose Mourinho is so demanding and exhausting he needs to recycle the players a bit earlier than anybody else. You could see him stay a long time at a club if he gets players sold every two or three years - but he won't be able to do that at Real because that would mean getting rid of Iker Casillas or Sergio Ramos and Real president Florentino Perez doesn't feel Mourinho is popular enough to hand those heads to Mourinho.
Mourinho has said it is 'practically impossible' to win the league but the chairman said 'we never give up' - he feels strong enough to contradict the manager, which is interesting.
Guillem answers your questions...
Got a question for Guillem? Then send it firstname.lastname@example.org or use the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week.
SPAIN ON SERGIO
Hi Guillem, What is the view of Sergio Busquets in Spain? Is he held in high regard or do some people believe he is overrated and a bit too controversial? Thanks, Sam Richardson (Tottenham fan)
GUILLEM SAYS: Sergio Busquets is seen as the best central midfielder in the world - and nobody in Spain will argue with that. Some Real fans may say he's too controversial sometimes but in the way he plays nobody plays better in that position, nobody in the world. Nobody plays in front of the back four, starts attacks and fills gaps like him.
PIQUE'S NEXT PAL
Hola Guillem, Who do you see being the long-term central-defensive partner of Gerard Pique at Barcelona once Carles Puyol retires? Thanks, David Stockton (Man United fan)
GUILLEM SAYS: I don't think they have a long-term replacement at the club. Marc Bartra is more like Pique and I don't think they have another centre back of that stature so they will need to buy to strengthen.
What positions do Valencia need to strengthen to move up the league table and push for a European spot? Thanks, Marcus Smith (Arsenal fan)
GUILLEM SAYS: Central midfield is a problem. David Albelda can not play three games in a week but he settles the team. Certainly Tino Costa and Ever Banega don't work consistently enough but I think it is more that the changing room is full of players who don't care enough for Valencia.
BIELSA ON HIS WAY?
Hi Guillem, You often speak about Marcelo Bielsa on Revista. Do you think his position at Athletic Bilbao is becoming untenable and who do the club see as a potential replacement? Cheers, George Marquez (Real Zaragoza fan)
GUILLEM SAYS: It's clear a lot of problems are to do with Bielsa. It is not only about Llorente playing or not. Aduriz is having a great season, he's scored 13 goals and Llorente only scored nine at this stage last season. The problem is the central midfield isn't settled, they lose lots of balls, they try to do everything at high speed like they did last season, without being so effective. He may stay until the end of the season but I don't think he'll stay any longer.
Who do you think the best young goalkeeper in Spain is? Surely it has to be Thibaut Courtois? Thanks, Ben Marshall (Man City fan)
GUILLEM SAYS: The problem is there are so many good goalkeepers in Spain, including Roberto, Thibaut Courtois and Kiko Casillas at Espanyol, who played against Real Madrid and is a good goalkeeper.