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Lionel Messi should have seen red card, says furious Asier Illarramendi

Craig Burley and Steve Nicol say the title race is back on in La Liga after Real Madrid's loss to Sevilla.

Asier Illarramendi was furious Lionel Messi was not sent off as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in the Copa del Rey on Thursday to end a 10-year wait for a win at Anoeta.

Messi was booked in the first half for time wasting and Illarramendi felt he should then have seen a second yellow card for obstruction when he stopped him taking a quick free kick after the break. Messi has only been sent off once in his career for club and country on his debut for Argentina against Hungary in 2005.

The Real...

Andres Iniesta set for tests after injuring calf in Barcelona's win

Andres Iniesta, right, could not finish Barcelona's victory over Real Sociedad.

Andres Iniesta will have tests on a calf problem on Friday after being forced off during Barcelona's 1-0 Copa del Rey win over Real Sociedad.

Neymar scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as Barca ended a 10-year wait for a win at Anoeta, but the victory was tainted by Iniesta's injury.

The midfielder was replaced by Andre Gomes at half-time after complaining of a light pain and the Blaugrana will hope that the knock is nothing serious.

A statement from the club after the game confirmed:...

How Barcelona can turn their attack from good to great

The FC guys debate whether or not Real Madrid dropping points at the weekend has opened the door for Sevilla and Barcelona.

Barcelona are struggling ... slightly. Despite a comfortable 5-0 win this weekend, they sit third in La Liga. That's even after Sevilla's surprise come-from-behind victory against Real Madrid. As it stands, Madrid lead the league with 40 points and a game in hand, Sevilla have 39 and Barcelona have 38.

Barcelona are on an 80-point pace. It's hard to call that bad, but it's certainly not good enough, and not nearly as good as the 91 points they totaled last season. The fact that the drop-off is occurring in the shadow of a Real Madrid side which just finished a 40-game unbeaten streak and is on pace to finish the season with 89 points just adds insult to injury.

...

Gustavo Poyet 'honoured' to lose against Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Alison Bender and Gab Marcotti discuss Lionel Messi's contract situation, amid rumors Manchester City are interested.
Gus Poyet explains during his presentation as the new head coach of Real Betis how his approach differs from that of Gary Neville and David Moyes.

Former Real Betis coach Gustavo Poyet says coaching a side against Lionel Messi is an honour which no one can take away from him.

Messi scored two goals and created another as Barcelona beat Real Betis 6-2 at Camp Nou on the opening day of the La Liga season.

It was Poyet's first game in charge of the Seville-based side and while his team were comfortably beaten, he has fond memories of witnessing Messi up close.

"I maintain the memory of that game, the first in La Liga this season," the now Shanghai...

Real Madrid confirm Dani Carvajal hamstring injury

Following their 40-match unbeaten run, the FC crew believe Real Madrid need to refocus after two losses in as many games.
Zinedine Zidane insists Real's overall success this season is contingent upon every player's effort.
Gabriele Marcotti is joined by Alison Bender to tackle your questions on Real Madrid, La Liga and Pep Guardiola's dilemma.
Zinedine Zidane has said that he knew Real Madrid would eventually have to lose as they sunk to a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla.
The FC guys debate whether or not Real Madrid dropping points at the weekend has opened the door for Sevilla and Barcelona.

Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal is facing a month of the sidelines after the club confirmed the Spain international sustained a hamstring injury.

Carvajal suffered the muscular problem in training this week and did not feature in the 2-1 defeat to Celta Vigo in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg.

A Real Madrid statement read: "Following the tests carried out today on Dani Carvajal at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 injury to his...