Another week another chance to shine for Barça players around the world. Here is a glance at Barça main prospects (on-loan players and buy-back transfer options) and at how they performed this weekend.
Adama Traoré - Aston Villa - Buy-Back Transfer
Did not play
Premier League - Day 32 - Aston Villa 0-4 Chelsea (2/4)
Aston Villa keeps getting worse week after week. The International break wasn't enough for the Villains to recover and get back on the winning track, especially with Rémi Garde leaving just a few matchdays away from the end of a long and painful season. It was Scottish coach Eric Black who took over the first team previously to the big game against Chelsea at Villa Park. The only ray of sunshine in a very cloudy week (litteraly and figuratively) was the return of Grealish and Adama. The former was involved in the team for the Chelsea game, the latter was finally left aside, to avoid any risks of another injury, nearly 3 months after the Blaugrana's last appearance with Aston Villa's shirt. Unfortunately, the change of coach was of no (positive) consequence for the team, that registered a severe defeat (0-4) after goals of Loftus-Cheek (26th minute), Alexandre Pato (48' on penalty kick), and Pedro (46', 59'). 6 games before the end of the seasons (7 for 18th Sunderland and 19th Newcastle), it seems clearer and clearer that Villa will fall into the Championship, 18 years after their last appearance.
Alex Song - West Ham - On Loan
Did not play (on the bench)
Premier League - Day 32 - West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace (2/4)
In football, beauty doesn't score points, sadly. That is what Dimitri Payet must be thinking after another stunning performance at Upton Park with the Hammers. The French International, who scored a tremendous free-kick in the friendly between Netherlands and France did it again for West Ham, against Wayne Hennessey that was completely helpless in goal. This masterpiece had enabled West Ham to go 2-1 in front just before half-time (41th minute) after Lanzini had quickly reacted (18') to Delaney's opener (15') for Crystal Palace. But the only goal scored in the second half was the one of Dwight Gayle, to draw the game. It is the third draw in a row for West Ham, that now sit in 6th position, just 3 points behind 4th place Manchester City, and 2 points behind Manchester United. Dreams of playing the Champion's League in the Olympic Stadium haven't vanished, but the Hammers must chain up wins. As for Alex Song, called up for international duty although he didn't play a single minute with Cameroon in the two games of World Cup qualifiers against South Africa, he didn't play either in this game, left on the bench by Slaven Bilic.
Martín Montoya - Real Betis - On Loan
Liga BBVA - Day 31 - Atlético Madrid 5-1 Real Betis (2/4)
Played 90 minutes
Martin Montoya and Real Betis faced an on form opponent on the weekend. Three days before their Champion's League quarter-final clash against Barça, Atlético were really motivated. And the Andalusian paid the price. 5-1, offensive feast for the 2nd in La Liga, and a nightmare for Betis' back four. Montoya, on the left side of the defence once again, couldn't stop Atlético's fury. Torres (37th minute), Griezmann (41') and Juanfran (65') gave a 3-0 lead to Madrid. Rubén Castro's goal (79') didn't change the physionomy of the game. On the contrary, Atlético scored two more goals by Griezmann again (81') and Partey (91') to win 5-1 and prepare their clash of Tuesday the best way possible. Real Betis are still 6 points ahead of the relegation zone, and no doubt Montoya and his teammates will have quiter nights until the end of the season.
Gerard Deulofeu - Everton - Buy-Back Transfer
Played 62 minutes
Premier League - Day 32 - Manchester United 1-0 Everton (3/4)
It seems like playing against Manchester United was easier just a few weeks ago. The Red Devils have finally found sort of their rhythm, in the last part of the season. Unfortunately for Gerard Deulofeu and Everton, United are having a good streak - they haven't lost in four games - and kept it going with a narrow margin win (1-0) thanks to French golden boy Anthony Martial. With this win, United stay in the race for Champion's League football next season, while Everton are stuck at 12th place, 9 points behind 7th place Everton, and 6 points behind their rival, Liverpool.
Cristian Tello – Fiorentina – On Loan
Played 90 minutes
Serie A - Day 31 - Fiorentina 1-1 Sampdoria (3/4)
There is no more gas in the tank it seems for Fiorentina. La Viola's fourth place in the Serie A is mainly due to their fantastic performance of the first half of the season, because they have been seriously struggling in the past weeks. No win in the month of March, and April hasn't started really well either. In a home game against Sampdoria, Cristian Tello's teammates couldn't hold on to the win, despite Ilicic scoring the opening goal after 23 minutes. But Ricardo Alves scored the equaliser before half-time (39'). Depite having the ball and dominating the game, Fiorentina couldn't score the goal that would have given them the victory. They're now 7 points away from Roma, in 3rd place and in the spot for a Champion's League playoff.
Denis Suárez - Villarreal CF - Buy-Back Transfer
Played 90 minutes
Liga BBVA - Day 31 - Eibar 1-2 Villarreal (3/4)
Although they were promoted this season, Eibar are having a blast in La Liga. 2016 has been slightly tougher on the Basque club so far, but they are still 10th and enjoying a first year full of surprises and good results. Especially at home, where they proved to be particularly hard to beat. Yet, as stated above, the new year hasn't been great, and the form has gone down significantly. Therefore, when hosting Villarreal, Eibar players weren't expecting anything easy. And they were right to think so, as they couldn't hold on to the score after Ander Capa scored the opener after 21 minutes. Adrián got Villarreal back into the game (35') and during the second half, Soldado scored the winner to secure the fourth place for Denis Suárez and his teammates, now 8 points ahead of 5th place Celta Vigo. The former Blaugrana didn't have his usual influence on the game (no assist this time) but he played the full game and participated actively in the win. Next stop for the Yellow Submarine, Sparta Praha in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Alen Halilovic – Sporting Gijón – On Loan
Liga BBVA - Day 31 - Levante - Sporting (4/4, 8.30 p.m.)
If there is a game to win absolutely, it is this one. Alen Halilovic, just back from International duty with Croatia (he played 28 minutes of the game against Israel), and his teammates of Sporting will face Levante in Valencia tonight at 8.30 p.m. Just before the break, they had they first win against Atlético at home, a huge performance that boosted them for the end of the season. But more than earning points in games againt the top tier teams, it is important to win against direct opponents, just like Levante. Especially when they're in a very uncomfortable situation. With 24 points, the Valencia-based team is 3 points behind Sporting, and 5 points away from the 17th Granada. A loss would practically condemn them, while a win would shuffle the cards once again and offer a very interesting battle until the end. That is not what Sporting are going to Valencia for. They hope to get the three points, get away from the relegation zone and get a second consecutive win, to earn even more confidence and face the last games of the season in the best shape possible.