The Madrid camp after two draws for Barcelona in the space

It must have been with the naughtiest of childish sniggers that the very Madridista sports daily 'Marca' took the rare step of publishing a shiny picture of the Barcelona club badge in its pages in Thursday's edition. But such sacrilege was only allowed to take place because the paper's graphics department took the liberty of adding the letters 'ZZZ' across the middle of the crest to emphasise the current sensation in Spain that Barça are steadfastly clinging on to the dying tradition of the siesta.
August for Barcelona had been a phenomenally industrious month with Pep Guardiola's men beating Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup before taking care of Porto in the European Super Cup and then trouncing Villarreal 5-0 in la Liga for good measure. The theory is that Barcelona must have then 'rested their eyes' for a couple of minutes before waking up two weeks later, puffy-eyed and panic stricken.
Last Saturday, a two-goal lead was blown through nothing more than laziness in what should have been a comfortable victory away at Real Sociedad. With the local press boasting that the visit of AC Milan to the Camp Nou the following Tuesday would be the equivalent of a freezing cold shower and the ingestion of coffee powder up the bum for Barça, the Italian side took the lead after just 25 seconds before repeating the same feat at the end of the match with an equalising effort from Thiago Silva to force a 2-2 draw. "It's pretty clear we could have done without the first and last thirty seconds of the game," admitted Xavi.
In both games, a pillow-hugging Barcelona had drifted off into the land of nod for large patches, costing the side two points in their respective leagues in Spain and Europe. There have been some early accusations that Barça simply don't have the motivation to win anymore - 'end of a cycle' is a familiar cry from the Madrid camp - but such taunts have been swatted away by Carles Puyol who is back playing after a knee injury, just in time to blast a footballing foghorn into the faces of his teammates. "The side is still very hungry and wants to keep on making history," claimed the club captain.


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