Analysis: Four things we learned in Spain's Matchday 12******
MADRID, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- The 12th round of games in La Liga saw Sevilla and Real Madrid close the gap at the top of the table as Real Sociedad were held in a tense Basque derby on Sunday night. Here are some things we learned this weekend in Spain。
1. Barca problems run deeper than Koeman。
Anyone who watched FC Barcelona's 1-1 draw at home to Alaves on Saturday night will have drawn the conclusion that the club's issues can't be solved just by getting rid of Ronald Koeman. Although sacking the increasingly entrenched Dutchman last Thursday was surely the right thing to do given the increasingly hostile atmosphere around the club, the fact is Barca simply don't have the players they had two or three years ago.。
Sergi Barjuan's debut as caretaker coach saw him field basically the same side Koeman did (with injuries also limiting his options), but despite a bit more aggression, the same problems remain: lack of punch in attack and a defense that is fragile at the wrong moment.。
To be fair, Barca weren't much worse than in many games last season, but last season they had a master locksmith to open stubborn doors and now Messi is in Paris.。
2. Vinicius takes up Benzema's baton。
One of the things Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr had to do this season was to turn his undoubted pace and ability to beat his rival into the end product of assists and goals and so far it looks as if he is doing his homework.。
Vinicius was the difference between the two teams as Real Madrid claimed a narrow win away to Elche on Saturday, with his two moments of individual magic putting his team 2-0 ahead on a day when Karim Benzema was given a well-deserved rest.。
Benzema and Vinicius have been Madrid's key players this season, and now Carlo Ancelotti needs others to step forward and contribute more.。
3. Athletic Club make their point in Basque derby。
Real Sociedad were moments away from retaining their 3-point lead at the top of La Liga when Athletic Club Bilbao captain Iker Muniain stepped forward to take an injury time free kick from the edge of their penalty area and seconds later that 3-point lead was reduced to just one as Muniain (with the inestimable help of Real Sociedad keeper Alex Remiro) fired home the equalizing goal.。
It was a draw Athletic deserved after neutralizing Real Sociedad's flowing attacking play for nearly all of the game and only a penalty had put the home side ahead in a tense and tactical Basque derby in which Athletic coach Marcelino again showed his tactical awareness to stop rivals playing.。
4. Carrasco leads from the front as Atletico bounce back。
Yannick Carrasco was the key player as Atletico Madrid ended a worrying run of three draws with a resounding win at home to Betis in a rain-swept Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday afternoon.。
Carrasco has had a slightly strange Atletico career, with a hiatus in China for good measure, but there is no doubt that the Belgian player has talent to spare and he showed that with a thumping opening goal that helped to ease nerves in the Wanda.。
Betis had started the weekend level on points with the top of the table, but with Carrasco always offering an outlet, Atletico dominated the game with a result and performance that will ease a lot of doubts raised after recent displays. Enditem。
Trump's new social media app begins slow rollout******
A person checks the app store on a smartphone for "Truth Social," with a photo of former US President Donald Trump on a computer screen in the background in Los Angeles.
Donald Trump's new social media app started a gradual rollout late Sunday and should be "fully operational" by late March, potentially raising the former president's profile more than a year after he was banned by major platforms.
"This week, we will begin to roll out to people on the Apple App store," said Devin Nunes, CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), parent company of the new app Truth Social.
The former Republican congressman was speaking on Sunday on conservative Fox News.
"I think, by the end of March, we're going to be fully operational – at least within the United States," added Nunes, who resigned from the US House to lead the Trump group.
Trump has described Truth Social as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, all of which banned him following the assault on the US Capitol by his supporters on January 6, 2021.
The former president has been accused of inciting his followers to use force in a bid to overturn the result of the 2020 election.
On Sunday, the App Store was allowing visitors to pre-order Truth Social starting Monday, the Presidents Day holiday in the United States.
Later Sunday, the app was reported as available to some of those who had pre-ordered.
"It's actually very moving for me to see people that are on the platform that have had their voice canceled," Nunes said.
'The truth is coming'
"We want (customers) to tell us what they would like to have on the platform, which is the opposite of some Silicon Valley tech oligarch freak telling people what they want to think and deciding who can or cannot be on the platform," he said.
Trump and his wife Melania Trump also plan on Monday to offer for sale 10,000 NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, illustrating key moments in the Trump presidency. NFTs are certified digital images that can be bought and sold.
"TRUTH is coming..." congresswoman Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, tweeted Friday, in an allusion to the ominous "Winter is coming" catchphrase of television series "Game of Thrones."
She posted a screen grab of her message on Truth Beta, the test version of the new site, saying, "I'm so excited to be on TRUTH!"
And Donald Trump Jr. celebrated on Twitter, posting, "Time for some Truth!!!" and including what he said was his father's first post on Truth Social: "Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!"
TMTG, asked for comment by AFP, did not immediately respond.
The group reportedly has a US$1.25 billion treasure chest as it seeks a niche in a crowded conservative social-media marketplace, currently served by platforms such as Gettr, Parler and Gab.
Before being banned by Twitter, Trump had some 89 million followers there and used the platform constantly, both for presidential statements and to attack rivals.
Trump, who is 75, has hinted but never definitively said whether he will seek the presidency again.
He is currently under the shadow of multiple investigations and lawsuits, including over his tax filings and his efforts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election.