Pep Guardiola, the trainer of FC Barcelona, says that tonight’s Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal is like a final both for his team and for the English side (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Guardiola said that the match, which is the return leg of the confrontation between the two teams following the two-all draw result at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium last Wednesday, is the most important of the year so far. “I know that we’re starting with a good result, because we scored two [away] goals, but it’s a match against a good team with a lot of good players, they all know how to play the ball, they’re fast, have a lot of virtues and it will be necessary to play a high-level match and respond to the demands of the rival,” the trainer said. Both teams come into the game with key players missing due either to injury or suspension: for Barça, captain Carles Pujol is out following a red card at Arsenal last week and Gerard Piqué is also suspended (both defenders), while striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is injured—however, midfielder Andrés Iniesta returns after various weeks out of action; on the Arsenal side, Cesc Fabregas is injured while other players out of action include William Gallas and Alex Song. The match kicks off at 8.45pm at Camp Nou.
More than 10 cases of violence by parents against teachers come before judges in Barcelona each year (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Tomorrow, the mother of a 13-year-old student will appear in court in the city accused of hitting one of her daughter’s teachers in November 2008; the incident saw the teacher on sick leave for almost four months as well as needing psychiatric care and suffering from stress. This particular case is considered as a serious one and the prosecutor is seeking a sentence of three years for the accused if found guilty, as well as a fine and the obligation to pay financial compensation to the teacher. However, most of the confrontations that occur between teachers and pupils are less serious and they are not always treated as a delito (crime), but rather as a minor offence (falta) that only carries a fine as punishment—this was applied to the large majority of cases brought between 2006 and 2009, 48 out of 53.
Following a quiet week without major issues, thanks to the Easter holiday, today the temporary transport arrangements put in place while works are carried out between the Barcelona RENFE train stations of Sant Andreu Arenal and Arc de Triomf face their first major challenge as people return to work and school (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The line has been cut because of building works that are taking place on the construction of the new Sagrera-Meridiana station for the high-speed AVE train; as a result, train services between Barcelona and the outlying towns of Vic, Sabadell and Manresa, and the campus of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, are all affected (lines R3, R4 and R7), along with middle-distance services on the Barcelona-Manresa-Lleida line. For the next six months, until September 12th, these trains coming into Barcelona will stop at the Sant Andreu Arenal station and travellers will have to continue in to the centre of the city either by metro or by special bus service. Timetables for the trains have been adjusted so that they arrive in a more systematic way at Sant Andreu while the works are underway.
Also in the news: Spanish unemployment continues to rise (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Fourteen-year-old girl confesses to killing of 13-year-old girl in Toledo (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico); Chinese hairdressers in Barcelona unite to stop prostitution in similar centres (read full article in Castilian here, El Periodico).