Barcelona Still 10 Points Behind After Win Against Atletico

While FC Barcelona has taken some time in recent matches to fully get into the game, on Sunday night they started out fully in their stride. Barcelona were guests of Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium and with none of the apparent grogginess of late they started out on the attack.

This seemed to pay off after just seven minutes when Lionel Messi scored, however the referee ruled it out for handball. Next up came Xavi, whose 30 yard free kick forced Atletico keeper Courtois to show what he could do and save the ball.

The hosts quickly stepped up to the mark and responded to the Barcelona attack with a couple of dangerous looking breaks of their own. However, solid work by the defence and by Victor Valdes ensured nothing came of these.

The match started to get a little tough, but Barcelona settled down and then showed why they are considered the best team in the world at the moment when Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Dani Alves worked in perfect harmony to score the first goal of the match. However, Atletico’s Falcao responded with an attack on the Barcelona goal, which was denied by the quickness of Valdes.

After the break Atletico came on with a renewed sense of purpose and quickly started to push. This paid off a few minutes into the second half when Falcao, on the back post, volleyed the ball into the Catalan’s net from a corner.

As is so often the case Barcelona dominated possession, but even so the hosts were quick to attack when they had the opportunity. Dani Alves was instrumental in setting up an attack on the Atletico goal, but the ball was just beyond Messi’s reach and Alexis headed it over the post. Close to the end Barcelona’s defence messed up and allowed Falcao into the area. However, Valdes kept his head and reached the ball to prevent a second goal.

The match was won from a free kick by Messi. The ball soared over the Atletico defence and looked like it would go over the goal; however at the last second it dipped and went into the back of the net, much to the surprise of the Atletico goalie.

The final score was 2-1 to Barcelona, but with a 10 point disadvantage to Real Madrid their dream of another Spanish league title in 2012 was already over; coach Pep Guardiola admitted the fact, saying only that they would continue to play until the end.

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Day Trips From Reus

Reus is situated in north east Spain on the Costa Dorada. It is a historic city with a number interesting sights to visit and when you need to take some time out there are a great choice of bars, restaurants and shops.

Reus Airport is just 2km from the city and about 80km south of Barcelona on the CN-420 road to Tarragona. From the railway station in Reus there is a daily train service to Barcelona which takes about 55 minutes.

The best way to explore Reus and the surrounding area is by car. It is easy to drive to positioned near the Autopista del Mediterraneo which the principal motorway going north to south along Spain’s eastern coast. From the Autopisto just follow the T-315 which runs directly into Reus. If you are approaching from western Spain drive along the major E-90 motorway and join the N-420 towards Baden.

Reus is probably most famous for being the home of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, but it boasts no examples of his work and the finest Modernist creations are by Lluis Domenech I Montaner which include the Pere Mata Institute, the Casa Navàs, the Casa Rull and the Casa Gasull.

Reus has for many centuries been notable for the production of wines and spirits (particularly brandy). Other products include olives and hazelnuts. A recommended tour of Reus starts in the Plaza de Prim with its beautiful Theatre Fortuny along Calle de Monterols to Plaza del Mercadal with the modernist Casa Navas which still contains all its period furniture, coffered ceilings and lamps. Plaza de Sant Pere has a sixteenth century Gothic church with an octagonal bell tower from the top of which you can see the whole of the Costa Dorada.

In the old quarter of Reus you will find the Gothic San Pedro church (Antonio Gaudi was christened here on 26th June 1852), and the Prim-Rull Museum. The Reus Tourist Office offers scheduled excursions to buildings which are generally closed to the public plus free entrance to the Salvador Vilaseca Museum and the Art and History Museum with paintings and drawings by Maria Fortuny and Joan Rebull.

In the month of June Reus holds its biggest fiestas with live music in the squares every night and street entertainments including Castellers which are the famous towers made of men. Once you have seen the main attractions that Reus city has to offer, you might like to consider a day trip to Tarragona, Salou or Montblanc.

TARRAGONA

Tarragona is very full day of sightseeing. It is only a 15km drive from Reus along the N-420A, C14, T11 and A7 motorways. It is the capital of the Costa Dorada, standing on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Tarragona has a large number of tourist attractions concentrated in a small area.

It was invaded by the Romans in 218BC and most of the monuments forming the city’s cultural heritage were built during the Roman occupation including the amphitheatre, the aqueduct and the Escipions Tower. The Roman city wall was built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC with a good part of it still remaining along with three towers from the same period.

Its imposing Romanesque-Gothic cathedral has one of Spain’s finest cloisters dating back to the 13th century. Nearby are the archiepiscopal palace and the archaeological museum. You will find almost everything of interest within the old city walls. The most important street is Las Ramblas which leads to a great viewing point called the Balcón de Europa which overlooks the lower part of the city and fishing neighbourhood of Serrallo.

Tarragona is a port and commercial centre exporting some Spain’s finest wines which are produced in the nearby Priorat region. Also the Carthusian monks who were expelled from La Grande Chartreuse in France in 1903 settled in the city and still produce their famous green chartreuse liqueur.

SALOU

Is just 10km west of Tarragona and is 10km from Reus city centre along the C14 and C31B motorways.

Salou is fairly spread out and merges with the neighbouring resorts of La Pineda to the east and Cambrils to the west, all of which have l clean sandy beaches and secluded rocky coves. Salou is also packed with entertainment for all ages including watersports to an aqua park, go-karting and Universal’s Port Aventura which is a massive theme park modelled on Florida’s Busch Gardens.

Salou’s seafront promenade has beautifully landscaped gardens and parks with fountains which are lit up at night. It offers some very lively entertainment with a number of nightclubs, bars and British-style pubs.

MONTBLANC

Is a medieval town just 30km from Reus along the C14 and N240A motorways. Montblanc a former residence of kings and knights and is the place where St. George reportedly slayed the dragon. In the village there is a marker commemorating the deed.

The dukedom of Montblanc was created by King Juan I in 1387. In the Middle Ages Montblanc had its own fairs and markets and a notable Jewish community. It still have with two thirds of the primitive walled area from the 15th century, towers and the gates of Sant Jordi and Bover and it was designated a monument of historic and artistic value in 1947.

The majestic Gothic church of Santa Maria with its baroque façade has a stone altarpiece dedicated to saints Bernardo and Bernabe. You can also visit the 13th century churches of Sant Miquel with a Romanesque façade; the church of Sant Francesc and the church and hospital of Santa Magdalena with a Renaissance cloister.

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