One team that can often be relied on to put up a fight is Valencia, and so it was on Sunday evening when FC Barcelona made the trip down to play at the Mestalla.
The hosts prevented Barça from their trademark control of the ball and neither team seemed able to make a serious attempt on the goal early on but just after the half hour mark Valencia opened the scoring. Their lead was not to last long though, with Lionel Messi equalising just a few minutes later from the penalty spot after Pedro was brought down in the box.
Cesc came close to putting Barça in the lead at the start of the second half, just putting the ball wide, and when David Villa came on he came close to scoring. In the end Victor Valdes was put to work as he made a last minute save as Soldado came close to scoring.
1-0 Banega (min 32)
1-1 Messi (min 38)
The first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals ended in a draw last night as FC Barcelona visited the Bernabeu to play Real Madrid. Cesc Fabregas opened the scoring five minutes into the second half, with the host’s equaliser coming 10 minutes before the full time whistle.
While the Catalans were perhaps a little unlucky in not scoring again, the result does at least mean that they go into the home leg with the advantage.
The return leg is set for Wednesday 27th February at 22:00.
0-1 Cesc (Min 49)
1-1 Varane (Min 80)
After suffering their first league defeat of the season last weekend Barcelona were back on form at the Nou Camp on Sunday when they played host to Osasuna. Jordi Roure was again in charge while Tito Vilanova undergoes treatment for cancer.
On particular form was Leo Messi, who opened the scoring in the 10th minute. While Loe equalised in minute 23 for the visitors, it was the world’s number one player who put Barça back in front. Three minutes later Arribas received his second yellow card for handling the ball inside the area and the visitors were down to 10 men, tipping the balance of the match completely; Messi scored from the penalty spot.
Pedro scored Barcelona’s third towards the end of the first half, and after the break, with a rejigged lineup for Osasuna, Messi scored the two goals of the second half 10 minutes in and then two minutes later.
1-0 Messi (min 10)
1-1 Raoul Loe (min 23)
2-1 Messi (min 27)
3-1 Pedro (min 39)
4-1 Messi (min 55)
5-1 Messi (min 57)
FC Barcelona went through to the next round of the Copa del Rey last night after beating Malaga 4-2. Pedro scored the opener for the Catalans, but the home team soon equalised. Pique then put the visitors ahead again early in the second half, only to have Malaga equalise again 20 minutes later.
Finally it was up to Iniesta and Messi to score two more goals for Barcelona to end Malagas hopes completely.
In the next round Barça faces arch-rival Real Madrid.
0-1 Pedro (min 7)
1-1 Joaquin (min 11)
1-2 Pique (min 49)
2-2 Santa Cruz (min 68)
2-3 Iniesta (min 76)
2-4 Messi (min 80)
Barcelona’s lead at the top of the table narrowed slightly, after Atletico Madrid won their match. However, the Catalans remain 8 points ahead of Atletico and 15 ahead of Real Madrid, who decisively won their match against Valencia last night, scoring five goals at the Mestalla.
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Well, it had to happen eventually. Barcelona played Real Sociedad on Saturday night and came away with their first league defeat of the season.
It started as business as usually with goals from Messi and Pedro in the sixth and 24th minutes, but towards the end of the first half Castro scored the hosts’ first goal and put the score level fifteen minutes into the second half. However, the clincher for Real Sociedad came right at the end of the match when Agirretxe scored their winning goal in injury time.
Of course, it didn’t help that the Catalans went down to 10 men after Pique received his second yellow card at the hour mark.
0-1 Messi (min 6)
0-2 Pedro (min 24)
1-2 Castro (min 39)
2-2 Castro (min 61)
3-2 Agirretxe (min 90)
Barcelona were forced to accept a draw last night at the Nou Camp when they played Malaga for the second time running, this time in the Copa del Rey.
The visitors opened the scoring with a goal in the 24th minute from Iturra. Minutes later Messi equalised, immediately followed by a goal Carles Puyol to put Barça in the lead.
However, despite Malaga being a man down for the last 15 minutes after Monreal was sent off, a late goal from Ignacio Camacho ended the match a draw. The quarter final will therefore be decided next week when the Catalans visit Malaga.
0-1 Iturra (min 24)
1-1 Messi (min 28)
2-1 Puyol (min 29)
2-2 Ignacio Camacho (min 88)
Barça continued ploughing their way through the rest of the league on Sunday night when they won their eighteenth league match of he season.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 26th minute after some sloppy play by the Malaga defence and the first half ended with a single goal. However, after the break it took just five minutes for Cesc Fabregas to score.
With 18 minutes to go Cesc came off to be replaced by Thiago, who added Barcelona’s third goal of the night in the 80th minute. With the result sealed it was Malaga’s turn to score off a free kick by Buonanotte in the closing minutes to end the night 3-1 to Barça.
0-1 Messi (min 26)
0-2 Fábregas (min 48)
0-3 Thiago (min 80)
1-3 Buonanotte (min 87)
FC Barcelona easily qualified for the Copa del Rey quarter finals last night after a 5-0 win against Cordoba, for an aggregate of 7-0. Goals came from Thiago just after the quarter hour mark, and two each from Villa and Alexis.
With Tito Vilanova in New York seeking a second opinion on the treatment for his salivary gland tumour, Jordi Roura was once agan in charge. While the result was good, Barça suffered two injuries; Sergi Roberto was replaced just after the second half started, while David Villa came off 12 minutes before the end with a thigh strain.
Barça will face Malaga in the quarter finals. The first leg will be played at home on January 16th, with the away leg on the 23rd.
1-0 Thiago (min 16)
2-0 Villa (min 20)
3-0 Villa (min 25)
4-0 Alexis (min 54)
5-0 Alexis (min 84)
Barcelona’s first match of the New Year was marked by the Barcelona Derby, with city rivals Espanyol visiting the Nou Camp. Tito Vilanova was back in charge after the operation to remove a tumour on his salivary gland just before Christmas and his squad rewarded him well.
After Xavi opened the scoring in the ninth minute off Iniesta, but then Pedro scored two goals and finally Lionel Messi scored his first goal of 2013 in the 28th minute. Having reached four goals inside half an hour, the home side felt they had the game under control and eased back a little. While it looked as if they might increase their lead, Espanyol broke up the flow in the second half and Pedro, looking as if he would make his hat trick, had two goals ruled offside.
1-0 Xavi (min 9)
2-0 Pedro (min 14)
3-0 Pedro (min 26)
4-0 Messi (min 28)