It’s not often that a club manager may feel a bit low when his side achieve a historical 8-0 away victory, such as what Barcelona did in their match against Almeria over the weekend, but that was the reality for Pep Guardiola. The reason for this is that Juan Manuel Lillo was fired from his position as Almeria coach, and in the most embarrassing fashion too.
Lillo, often known as the “philosopher” for his broad and contemplative match statements, is a long time friend of Guardiola’s, and the Barca coach considers him his mentor. He had only been in charge of the Spanish club for about a year, but the owners of Almeria fired him pretty much immediately after the game. Some rumors say they even took the decision when the score was 5-0 at half-time.
Guardiola certainly did not celebrate Barca’s historic win, and after the match he described the situation as very “uncomfortable” for both himself and Lillo. Students sometimes surpass their teachers, but beating them by a record result doesn’t happen often. Still, it should be remembered that Guoardiola manages one of the very best teams in the planet, and Messi alone would cost more than the entire Almeria team. Freak results like this happen, but the real test for Barca will be next Monday when El Classico takes center stage. The games between Barca and Real Madrid are always big, but because of the sizzling form of both sides, this one has the makings of an epic.