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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Barca, Bolton and Bust-ups

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In this week’s review of the footballing action, we take a look back at the first El Clásico of the season, wonder what has happened to Bolton and hear about a clash in the Ajax boardroom. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.


A great win for Barcelona in the first clásico of the season as they defeated arch-rivals Real Madrid 3-1 in the Bernabeu and this despite going a goal down after only a minute. Messi once more outshone his Real rival Ronaldo, Xavi was wonderful and Fàbregas’ third goal was a gem but the undoubted man of the match was World Cup winner Andrés Iniesta who ran the show completely. The two sides are now level on points in the league and though Madrid have a game in hand the momentum has swung in Barcelona’s favour and they now travel to Japan for the World Club Cup in high spirits.


Tough times for English Premier League side Bolton as their latest defeat, their 12th of the current campaign, leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table Bolton started the season with an impressive away win at QPR but since then it appears that they have forgotten how to win. The manager Owen Coyle has been unlucky with injuries and departures of key players but he faces a real battle to keep Bolton in the top division.


Strange times for Dutch side Ajax as two of the club’s heavyweights do battle. Former player and coach Johan Cruyff, now director at the club, has asked for the appointment of former coach Louis Van Gaal to be suspended so that club shareholders can vote on this decision. Cruyff feels that Van Gaal’s return to the club may interfere with his plans for the future of Ajax and so asked for an injunction which a judge granted. Surely Van Gaal will respond and so the Dutch side, currently in fifth place in the Eredivisie, may be in for an ugly winter.


outshone: To be much better than

a gem: A wonderful goal, something special

ran the show: He dominated the game, the best player on the pitch

leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table: They are still bottom of the table

heavyweights: Strong people/characters

shareholders : Those who own shares in a company

an injunction: A court order to prevent someone from doing something

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