Photography by Paul Cooper

La Liga, April 17 2016

Barcelona 1
  • Messi (63)
Valencia 2
  • Rakitic og (26)
  • Mina (45+1)

Two weeks before this daunting trip to the Camp Nou, Pako Ayestarán took charge of a Los Che side 14th in La Liga and facing a potential relegation battle after the departure of Gary Neville. In Barcelona, the former Liverpool coach took on a side that had destroyed Valencia 7-0 in the Copa del Rey in February, and who were looking to get their title challenge back on track after defeats to Real Sociedad and Real Madrid had cut their lead at the top of the table to a single point. Here, Ayestarán tells The Coaches’ Voice how he set his team up to take on a Barcelona team boasting the attacking might of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – and come away with a victory that blew the title race wide open.


Starting teams and formations


Manuel Pellegrini

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Vicente del Bosque

We had serious issues

Vicente del Bosque on managing the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry within a successful Spanish national squad