It was an action filled weekend from the 14th round of matches in La Liga with Atletico Madrid the big winners on a strange weekend where only three of the top ten teams recorded victories (though CD Leganes, Atleti, and Getafe got these wins against fellow top ten teams).
Here are the key takeaways from the weekend's action:
#5 Samuel Umtiti will be a big miss for FC Barcelona
Cules have every right to be incensed by refereeing mistakes in the 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo. The wrong offside call for Luis Suarez’s goal for instance (Video Assistant Referee cannot come soon enough) affected the outcome of the game.
However, the injury to French centre-back Samuel Umititi should be of greater concern to the fans. The 24-year-old French international has been a rock at the back for the Blaugrana and an extended absence will be hard felt.
His composure and brilliance at the back have been integral to Barcelona’s unbeaten run this season and being out for 8 weeks with a hamstring injury means that Javier Mascherano’s rumoured move in January may be blocked by the board.
Coach Ernesto Valverde will have to reshuffle the pack with Thomas Vermaelen expected to continue in the First XI after the Belgian’s calm displays at the heart of the defence in recent games.
Valverde has shown that he understands how to organize a defence so Barcelona fans can rest easy in the belief that things should continue like before but in their hearts of hearts, most fans would be praying for a miraculous recovery for the Cameroonian born Umtiti.