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Match report

First leg of Copa del Rey quarterfinal ends in draw

January 17th, 2013

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 continues record breaking streak against Malaga

January 14th, 2013

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)

Barça decisively beats Cordoba for place in Copa del Rey Quarter final

January 11th, 2013

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)

Dominent Barça wins city derby in first match of 2013

January 7th, 2013

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)

Barcelona ends 2012 with 3-1 win against Valladolid

December 24th, 2012

Things have gone so well with FC Barcelona since Tito Vilanova took over as coach that it was inevitable that at some point something had to go wrong. Unfortunately has gone wrong is the return of Vilanova’s salivary gland cancer, requiring urgent surgery this week. He is due to undergo six weeks of chemo and radiotherapy after which he plans in returning to the job. We wish him a speedy recovery. Some good news regarding Eric Abidal, who prior to this bad news being announced was given the all clear by doctors after undergoing a liver transplant.

On Saturday night Barça played away at Valladolid with goals from Xavi, Messi and Tello, while Javi Guerra scored one for the home team. The last match of the season put Messi’s goal tally for 2012 at 91.

0-1 Xavi (min 42)
0-2 Messi (min 59)
1-2 Javi Guerra (min 89)
1-3 Tello (min 94)

Barça opens up lead after defeating Atletico

December 17th, 2012

For a horrible moment on Sunday night at the Nou Camp it looked as if things were going wrong, when Falcao scored at the half hour mark for Atletico Madrid, currently lying in second place in the Spanish league. However, four goals from FC Barcelona meant that the result was turned around and the gap at the top of the table opened up.

The visitors were creating all the chances at the start of the match, with the Catalans creating no real threat. However, once Falcao scored the opener the home team seemed to gain the focus required and it was just five minutes later that Adriano scored the equalizer, followed soon after by Busquets to put Barcelona in the lead.

Back on after the break Atletico had lost their early form, and as soon as Barça had the opportunity to attack they made it 3-1 thanks to a goal from Lionel Messi. However, that was not to be his last, with a goal two minutes before time, Messi’s ninetieth goal of 2012 and nine points clear of Atletico at the top of the table.

0-1 Falcao (min 30)
1-1 Adriano (min 35)
2-1 Busquets (min 44)
3-1 Messi (min 57)
4-1 Messi (min 88)

Barça beats Cordoba in Copa del Rey last 16 away leg

December 13th, 2012

Barcelona beat Cordoba last night thanks to two more goals from Lionel Messi, who has further extended his record for the number of goals scored in a single calendar year. The result means Barça goes into the home leg of this last 16 knockout stage of the Copa del Rey, to be played at the Nou Camp on January 10th, with a clear advantage and should secure their place in the quarterfinals.

0-1 Messi (min 10)
0-2 Messi (min 73)

New record for Messi as Barça beats Betis

December 10th, 2012

Lionel Messi scored the two goals required to beat Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a single calendar year. Messi has now scored 86 goals in 2012, breaking Muller’s 40 year old record, a feat that looked like it might be in doubt after his injury against Benfica on Tuesday; luckily it was not as serious as first feared and the Argentine scored both of Barça’s goals for the match.

Messi’s goals came at the quarter hour mark, and then just 10 minutes later to put the visitors 2 goals up. However, Betis were never going to make it easy for the Catalans and scored seven minutes before the break and looked like they might score again at the beginning of the second half when they came on looking to dominate.

However, neither team was to score again despite coming close and when the final whistle blew the scoreline was the same as at the end of the first half. The  result leaves Barça six points ahead of Atletico at the top of the table.

0-1 Messi (min 15)
0-2 Messi (min 24)
1-2  Ruben Castro (min 38)

Goalless draw against Benfica sees Messi stretchered off

December 6th, 2012

Barcelona’s draw againt Benfica ended in a 0-0 draw last night with a deisaster for Leo Messi when he was stretchered off with a knee injury. Despite already qualifying for the next round of Champions League, Messi came on in the second half to try and surpass Gerd Muller’s record for the most goals scored in a calendar year.

Despite Barça being full of youngsters they dominated possession early on, but Benfica had a few good chances at the Barcelona goal. While Messi was on the Catalans regained control and it looked like things might go their way. However, the injury happened in six minutes before time, a devastating blow to both Messi and FC Barcelona.

The Argentine player will reportedly miss two training sessions in order to get him back to match fitness as he lies just one goal behind Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year. He has four games remaining in 2012 to match or exceed the record.

La Liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 14

December 3rd, 2012

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid faced off on Saturday at the Bernabeu, with the home team winning 2-0. With Barcelona’s win against Athletic Bilbao it means they have opened the gap with Atletico to six points.

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