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Barcelona faced an impossible week, including two Clasicos, but were perfect. Here’s how they did it

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So extraordinary has this week been for both Real Madrid and Barcelona that I think it’s worth stopping and reflecting on the size of the task Barca were facing at half-time last Saturday in Sevilla.

With the fates having arranged that the reigning Spanish champions, in limp form at the time, had to play Sevilla away and then face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu twice in the space of 72 hours, you’d have been forgiven for indulging in some doomsday thinking. Losing 2-1 at half-time in the Sanchez Pizjuan, far stranger things have happened than Pablo Machin’s side holding on to their lead. And while Madrid wouldn’t have considered their 1-1, first-leg draw at Camp Nou in the Copa Del Rey semifinal last month as a definitive result, it was an advantage that, in front of their own fans in the Spanish capital, could easily have been converted into qualification for the final.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Talking of Herculean tasks, had both of those first two results gone against Barcelona as they easily could have, especially given Madrid’s superior first-half display last Wednesday when they actually looked the more likely side to qualify for the final in May, then what price Barca could you get on them losing again in the Liga Clasico?3

Two defeats could have been sufficiently bitter medicine to cause schisms within the squad, undermining or even corroding the titanium-tough unity they’ve gone on to demonstrate during this quite extraordinary week. If they had lost to Sevilla and Madrid, Ernesto Valverde’s team would have seen their currently brutal lead at the top of the table trimmed to just three points over Madrid and, potentially, just a point over Atleti.

I know these are hypotheticals. But in the first two cases, Barcelona flirted with them happening; if you are naive enough to believe that these kind of “what if?” thoughts don’t plague the psyches of most players and coaches, then you don’t know them like I do.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

This could have been seven days of apocalyptic gloom for the Camp Nou club. “End of era” editorials would have been written, Ousmane Dembele (rather than Vinicius Junior) would be getting the “is he really that good” treatment, gigantic abuse would be being heaped on a Barcelona board that’s just seen fit to renew Valverde’s contract and Barca would be left clinging onto the hope that their 0-0 away draw against Lyon couldn’t be overturned by the French team, thus instantly turning a promising season into a ravaged and desolate wasteland.

All of the above could have happened. The wafer-thin margins are sharp, liable to cut, slash and scar. That’s the nature of living on a knife-edge.

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