Goals from Alexis and Pedro took FC Barcelona a step closer to their aim of finishing the season on 100 points after meeting Espanyol on Sunday evening.
Espanyol were no walkover from the start but after 13 minutes of play saw Alexis open the scoring after a Villa assist. However, despite Barça’s relentless play only two other real chances came in the first half from Cesc and Iniesta.
Back on after the break Barcelona continued to dominate possession and on one occasion things were looking like they might happen, but Villa shot wide. It was only after Espanyol went down to ten men that Pedro put the ball into the Espanyol net from Xavi to end the night 2-0.
0-1 Alexis (min 13)
0-2 Pedro (min 86)
It was a big night at the Nou Camp on Sunday being the first home game since taking the league title last weekend and the chance to celebrate on home turf. The entire weekend saw heavy rain and Sunday night proved no exception, but even that failed to dent the celebrations.
After a bit of a slow start from the hosts Pedro scored the first goal for Barça in the 20th minute thanks to Xavi, as the team aims to end the season on 100 points. After this Barcelona upped the pace but despite their best efforts were unable to follow through to put the ball home. In the end Marc Valiente failed to clear the ball from the Valladolid goalmouth after a corner and put the ball in his own net.
After the break Barcelona looked like they were going for broke to score a third, but in the end it didn’t happen. Instead Valladolid scored from the penalty spot three minutes from the end after Manucho was brought down by Montoya in the box.
Following the match were the customary celebrations for the league title, with coach and players individually thanking the crowd and fireworks to celebrate the fourth league title in five years for Barça.
1-0 Pedro (min 20)
2-0 Marc Valiente (min 41)
2-1 Víctor Pérez (min 87)
Barcelona went into the match against Atletico Madrid last night knowing that they had already clinched the league title after Real Madrid drew against Espanyol on Saturday, the fourth time in five years that the Catalans had won the Spanish title.
With nothing to play for by either team – Atletico have secured third place behind Real Madrid – nothing really happened at the beginning of the match and only towards the end of the first half did the action warm up, although Alves went off with a back strain. Back on after the break Falcao scored for the hosts, while Barcelona brought on Villa and Busquets, but minutes later the Catalans went down to ten men after Leo Messi was forced to retire.
In the end Alexis equalised for Barça in the 71st minute and David Villa’s shot rebounded off Gabi into the net to put Barcelona ahead.
1-0 Falcao (min 50)
1-1 Alexis (min 71)
1-2 Gabi (min 79)
After the disappointment of their devastating defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich, Barcelona bounced back on Sunday in their Spanish League draw against Betis at the Nou Camp.
Although an error by the Barça defence meant that Betis opened the scoring in the second minute, Alexis scored for the Catalans in the 8th minute to equalise and afterwards Barcelona had several more good opportunities to score but were just unable to put the ball home. Betis hadn’t finished though and after a second goal three minutes from the break, the visitors ended the first half in the lead.
Back on after the break it took a few minutes before David Villa scored to put the score level again. Villa was then substituted for Lionel Messi, who quickly scored to put Barça in the lead for the first time in the match. The Argentine was not yet finished though and scored his second in the 70th minute to seal the win for Barça.
0-1 Dorlan Pabón (min 1)
1-1 Alexis (min 8)
1-2 Rubén Pérez (min 42)
2-2 Villa (min 54)
3-2 Messi (min 59)
4-2 Messi (min 70)
FC Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League last night after a 3-0 loss against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp. Barcelona had an uphill struggle in this return leg after a 4-0 loss in Germany last week. However, few were expecting the complete annihilation they suffered and against Bayern, with not even a single goal from the Catalans in either leg.
The squad was without Leonel Messi, who was injured, and as is often the case it makes a huge difference to the team. No team should be down to just one single player, but it’s often how it feels without him.
While the first half ended goalless, the visitors soon put an end to the slight hope of Barça making a come back when they scored early in the second half; that meant that Barcelona would need to score six goals to win the game.
An own goal from Gerard Pique and third from Müller meant that all seven goals in the two legs went to the Germans. They have shown what a good team they are, and that Pep Guardiola will need few changes when he moves there next season as coach.
This was the sick sixth successive year that Barcelona made the semifinals of Champions League, fingers crossed that next year the make it through to the final again.
0-1 Robben (min 47)
0-2 Piqué (min 71)
0-3 Müller (min 74)
Barcelona travelled to Bilbao to play Athletic with the league title close to being in the bag. Mathematically it would have been possible to claim the title this weekend, but it wasn’t to be.
The hosts came on strong and opened the scoring in the 26th minute, with a goal from Susaeta, and came close to scoring a second time in the first half. Barcelona slowly began to control the game, but when Lionel Messi came on just after the break the game appeared to turn around completely for Barça; immediately the Argentinian player scored the equaliser and then two minutes later he helped Alexis score to but Barcelona in the lead.
Just when it was looking like another win for FC Barcelona their luck changed. At the last minute Ander got through to the Barça goalmouth ensuring the two teams shared the points.
1-0 Susaeta (min 26)
1-1 Messi (min 66)
1-2 Alexis (min 68)
2-2 Ander (min 89)
Barcelona were considered the underdogs going into the Champions League semi-finals but few would have expected their complete and utter defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last night. April 23rd is celebrated in Catalonia as the diada de Sant Jordi – St George’s Day – but few would have felt there much much to celebrate last night.
With Lionel Messi back in the squad there at least seemed a chance that the Catalans could walk away with a chance. However, despite high possession throughout the match, Bayern showed their own class and simply outplayed the visitors. Soon after kickoff it became clear that parts of the pitch were completely sodden with water. It was also made clear that Bayern meant business when Victor Valdes was called into action within the first couple of minutes and the visitors were also lucky not to concede a couple of penalties for hand ball, first by Gerard Pique and later by Alexis.
In the end it took Bayern 24 minutes to score the first of the night, with Barcelona having made no serious attempt at the German’s goal. However, after the break came the real onslaught; Bayern’s second goal came in the 47th minute, the third in the 71st and the final goal of the night in the 80th. The second goal looked like it may have been offside and the third followed an unnoticed foul against Barça, but given that the two handballs earlier hadn’t been seen either Barça has little to complain about.
The only hope for Barça towards the end was to score an away goal hoping to overpower the Germans in the home leg, but that was not to be. It will be a difficult task ahead in a week’s time and the chances of Barcelona now qualifying for the final look slight.
1-0 Müller (min 24)
2-0 Mario Gómez (min 47)
3-0 Robben (min 71)
4-0 Müller (min 80)
Saturday night saw Levante visit the Nou Camp ahead of the Champions League clash on Tuesday against Bayern Munich. Theoretically a straightforward match, Levante ensured that they did everything to stop the Catalans getting through despite controlling possession as normal.
Lionel Messi is still off while recovering from his injury, but up front Tito Vilanova played Cesc Fabregas and David Villa. However, the game was slow and Levante’s defence stopped them getting through for any real chances and when Thiago had a chance the Levante keeper made a good save; soon after Iniesta was brought down inside the box, but the resulting penalty by Villa was deflected and a follow up from Cesc stopped too.
After the break Xavi came on in place of Iniesta and the pace picked up a little. However, only after Alexis came on that he came close to setting up Villa, but finally in the 82nd minute it was Alexis that set up Cesc to score the only goal of the match.
1-0 Fábregas (min 82)
Barcelona finished the weekend with another three points in the bag after a 3-0 away win against Zaragoza on Sunday evening. Despite some of the big names missing from the squad, including Messi and Iniesta, Barça dominated possession in their normal manner.
However, as is too often the case, the Catalans were frustrated in converting the high possession into goals early in the match, until finally Thiago opened the scoring in the 19th minute. However, Tello ensured Barça finished the first half two goals ahead with a goal in the 38th minute set up by Thiago and Alexis.
Back on for the second half, it looked only a matter of time before Barcelona scored again. Tello scored his second of the match in minute 53, firmly sealing victory for FC Barcelona.
0-1 Thiago (min 19)
0-2 Tello (min 38)
0-3 Tello (min 53)
The first leg of the Champions League quarter final proved to be rather controversial, with FC Barcelona making a formal complaint against the referee for a number of technical errors on his part that disadvantaged the Catalans, while Paris Saint-Germain’s first goal was clearly offside and added to that was an injury sustained by Lionel Messi making his appearance in the home leg doubtful; in the end he started on the bench.
PSG came on fighting and it was clear from the start that there were not going to be intimidated simply because the match was at the Nou Camp and it looked for a long time as if it would be they, rather than Barcelona who might go through to the next round. While the first half ended goalless, after the break it took just a few minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock with a goal by Pastore. However, it didn’t really change the balance of the game as Barça still needed just a single goal to clinch their place in the semi-final.
However, once Messi came on at the hour mark the whole dynamic of the match seemed to change. While perhaps not at his best, Messi seemed to be everywhere and it was he who set up the equaliser, assisted by Villa and put into the net by Pedro. In last 20 minutes PSG knew they needed to score again, while Barcelona had to prevent them from doing so as they’d then need to score 2 more to qualify.
In the end the match ended 1-1 to put Barcelona through to the semi-finals for the sixth successive season, a record.
0-1 Pastore (min 49)
1-1 Pedro (min 70)