The_Spanish_Inquisition_by_lyonlamb You didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition?

Ben and Sophie return to the Lounge to discuss where it all went wrong for Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League this week.

Was Messi selfish to start? Who is helping Ronaldo? Is it time these teams looked beyond their individual icons in favour of collective choreography? Did Mourinho mess up? Why didn’t Tito react? Is a miracle comeback possible for either side? Just where do they go from here?

1931Dracula There’s no biting in football…unless you are Luis Suarez of course! Liverpool’s star player is in hot water once again and the biggest question is what will this legendary and historical club do with him?

Unless you’ve been living under a gigantic rock, Suarez took a healthy bite out of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a game at Anfield over the weekend. It’s not the first time Suarez has done this to an opponent. In April 2011 while playing for Ajax, he sunk his teeth into PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal. He received a seven-match ban and it was the last time he ever played for Ajax, a club with as much rich football history as Liverpool. This is unacceptable behaviour from a player who doesn’t even need to act like Mike Tyson on the football pitch.

La Liga Lounge returns with a Champions League special after this week’s first leg matches in the quarter-finals.

As the competition reaches its business end, Sophie and Ben discuss Barcelona’s depleted defence (who will partner Piqué?), Messi’s mini-absence, disagree on Víctor Valdés and question whether the Catalans have a mental issue late in games.

The Lounge bar staff also talk Madrid and how it’s all coming together for Mourinho, Casillas vs Diego López, the strikers and how this could be their year. We also chat Cristiano Ronaldo, look at his amazing stats and those of Messi, remember Ronaldinho, weigh up Neymar and big up Málaga, probably the story of this Champions League campaign. Will we see them back next year?

Two Clásico clashes in five days and both were won by Real Madrid. We haven’t seen that for a while. Sophie and Ben discuss the two latest installments of the famous fixture in an hour-long special not to be missed!

What is wrong with Barcelona? Qué pasa con Messi? We also talk Tito and Roura, Pique and Alves, the penalty incident and much more!

And then there’s Madrid, of course. Is Mourinho having the last laugh? Is Ronaldo the world’s best player right now? We look ahead to the Champions League clashes, talk Milan and Manchester United and even made some predictions for our respective teams in the North London Derby!

La Liga Lounge returns for a little chilled, relaxed and at times, passionate football talk. Despite the looming winter break in Spain, the Lounge bar staff are putting in some overtime to bring you enlightening and groundbreaking opinions!

In this week’s episode, we chat Tito Vilanova and his illness, how Barcelona will cope without their coach, a mouth-watering meeting between Real Madrid and Manchester United in the Champions League, Mourinho’s must-win match, Malaga and Valencia, Atletico, Falcao’s future and much more.

Sophie and Ben’s laid-back look at the game in Spain has been very laid-back of late, but they return to discuss Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the fight for the Ballon d’Or. How would Ronaldo cope if he lost out to Messi again? What would it mean if Messi won for a fourth time at the age of 25?

The Lounge staff continue the Messi dialogue and chat about his pursuit of Gerd Muller’s single season scoring record. How would Barcelona cope if he were injured? And it wouldn’t be a fulfilling show without a little Mourinho at Madrid and the possible destination for both he and his great rival Pep Guardiola next season.

There’s no doubt Brendan Rodgers will be under intense scrutiny and pressure when the new season starts. Taking over the managerial reigns at Liverpool and following in the footsteps of legend Kenny Dalglish will definitely be a tough task for the ex-Swansea coach.

However, if there is one man who easily wins the gold medal for “Manager Under the Most Pressure” it has to be Andre Villas Boas. Will we see the man who dazzled the football universe at Porto? Or will we see the AVB who failed miserably at Chelsea? As mentioned earlier this month on this site, I don’t believe lightning will strike twice for Villas Boas, who lived in the shadow of the Special One during his time at Stamford Bridge.

The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee this year and 60 years of magnificent reign over England. This last season, Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated 25 years of reign at Manchester United and has clearly been the King of English football with his unprecedented success! The game has never quite seen anything like him and his legacy is solidified in football eternity.

Joining me on A Conversation With is Will Tidey, Editor and Lead Writer for the Bleacher Report, and author of “Life With Sir Alex.” With the recent 20 year anniversary of the Premier League and Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominance and milestone in the game, seems appropriate to have a conversation about the great man, with the man who wrote about him!

Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson have thrilled U.S. audiences with their La Liga commentary for many years. As a team, they have been prolific in their art and undoubtedly have become the voices of La Liga Stateside. Whether you are being dazzled by the brilliance of Barcelona or wooed by the tenacity and strength of Real Madrid, Phil and Ray paint a picture so beautiful, you wished every single game lasted longer than 90 minutes plus injury time!

If you are a football romantic, then Andre Villas Boas to Tottenham could end up being one of the potential feel good stories of the new season. If you are a skeptic, then every single sign says Villas Boas will crumble more than an England player during a penalty shoot out.

The former Chelsea and Porto manager certainly has a point to prove on his return to the Premier League. His failure at Chelsea leaves many unanswered questions about his overall ability to manage a team at that level. Many would argue winning the treble with Porto is easier than winning the Premier League with Chelsea. Either way, there is an evident gulf between the two leagues but surely people can respect winning the treble at any level is quite an achievement.

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  • Two Thoughts of the Day

    Antonio Conte is proving that the "need time to get used to the Premier League" is just a myth that most clubs, managers, players and fans utilize as an excuse for being average or rubbish.

    Can Sunderland just be relegated already? Are we not all tired of hearing about their relegation survival and how they'd already be in the Championship without Jermaine Defoe?!!

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