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Match report

Barça beats Rayo 5-0

October 29th, 2012

FC Barcelona’s 5-0 win against Rayo Vallecano means Tito Vilanova has equalled the club’s record for the start of a season of 8 wins and a draw set by Louis van Gaal in the 1997/98 season. In the same match Lionel Messi became equal tenth highest scoring player in la liga.

The hosts started out with Rayo looking like they were going all out and came close to scoring in the first 15 minutes. However, in the 20th minute Cesc found David Villa who scored the opener and after that Barcelona settled into the match, dominating possession.

However, it wasn’t until the start of the second half that things really started to go Barça’s way, with Messi scoring the second goal just two minutes in. Rayo did continue trying but with Barça continuing to dominate possession their efforts just ran out of steam and the match ended with goals from Xavi, Cesc and Messi to end 5-0.

0-1 Villa (min 20)
0-2 Messi (min 47)
0-3 Xavi (min 78)
0-4 Fábregas (min 79)
0-5 Messi (min 88)

Barcelona beats Celtic by a whisker

October 24th, 2012

Jordi Alba scored an 11th hour goal to hand Barcelona victory against Celtic last night at the Nou Camp. The Catalans dominated possession, with Celtic barely touching the ball. However, each time Barça tried a move it was intercepted.

Celtic went a goal up in the 17th minute, after which they went out of their way to defend and prevent Barcelona from scoring at all. This largely paid off until the end of the first half when Iniesta scored.

Back after the break it was more of the same, Celtic highly defensive and some scrappy play from the hosts, with Messi never really getting into the match. Villa came on 15 minutes from the end and looked lime he might break the deadlock. But just when it seemed like they would have to share two points with Celtic Jordi Alba put the ball into the net with an Adriano assist.

The result leaves Barcelona at the top of group G on 9 points and an unbeaten record.

0-1 Samaras (min 17)
1-1 Iniesta (min 44)
2-1 Alba (min 94)

Goals galore as Barça beats Deportivo

October 21st, 2012

Barcelona came on in storming fashion on Saturday night, with three goals in the first 17 minutes looking like they would easily walk away with three points. However, Deportivo had a different idea, and fought back to take the score to 2-3 by the 37th minute; meanwhile Messi scored his second minutes before the half time whistle to take the score to 2-4.

Back on after the break, Pizzi scored his second for the home team to close up the gap. The Catalans then went down to 10 men when Mascherano got his second yellow card. Although continuing the attack, Barcelona failed to put the ball home until Messi scored his hat trick in the 76th minute to make it 3-5. Two minutes later and Jordi Alba scored his second goal of the night; unfortunately an own goal to leave the scoreline 4-5 by the time the final whistle went.

FC Barcelona now has 22 points at the top of the table, having won every game but their draw in the clasico; Real Madrid trail by 8 points.

0-1 Jordi Alba (min 1)
0-2 Tello (min 7)
0-3 Messi (min 17)
1-3 Pizzi (min 25)
2-3 Álex Bergantiños (min 37)
2-4 Messi (min 42)
3-4 Pizzi (min 46)
3-5 Messi (min 76)
4-5 Jordi Alba (own goal min 78)

Hard fought clasico ends in draw

October 8th, 2012

Barcelona went into the classico on Sunday night 8 points ahead of Real Madrid, having won all six of their previous league matches this season. The match saw them without Carles Puyol, after his horrific arm injury suffered during the Champions League during the week, and Gerard Pique.

There were a couple of apparent penalties that were not called by the ref and a spectacular shot that struck the bar in the closing minutes of the match that would have given all three points to Barcelona, but at the end of the day the Catalans walked away remaining eight points ahead.

The first goal came from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 22nd minute, with an uncomfortable amount of play in the Barça half. However, five minutes later Leo Messi scored for Barcelona to make it 1-1.

After the break Barcelona dominated and at the hour mark Messi scored from a free kick outside the box, putting Barça ahead. However, elation didn’t last long as Cristiano Ronaldo scored five minutes later to equalise.

At the end of the match Montoya shot from outside the box and it looked as it is if it was going to go in. However, but it struck bar and bounced out, leaving the score 2-2.

0-1 Ronaldo (min 22)
1-1 Messi (min 29)
2-1 Messi (min 60)
2-2 Ronaldo (min 65)

Barça beats Benefica – Puyol out for six weeks

October 3rd, 2012

FC Barcelona continued their winning streak under Tito Vilanova with a 2-0 victory over Benfica in the group stage of Champions League last night. The goals came from Alexis, in the fifth minute, and Cesc Fabregas in the 54th.

While that was all good news, the bad news was that Carles Puyol who had just returned from injury, dislocated his elbow after falling awkwardly. Streteched off, he was taken to hospital where initial reports say he will be out of action for six weeks. This will come as a blow to the defender, particulalrly ahead of the clasico on Sunday.

The win leaves Barcelona at the top of the group G on 6 points with Celtic on 4.

0-1 Alexis (min 5)
0-2 Fábregas (min 54)

Group G

    P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Barcelona 2 2 0 0 5 2 3 6
2 Celtic 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4
3 Benfica 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
4 Spartak Moscow 2 0 0 2 4 6 -2 0

Barcelona claws back victory against Sevilla

October 1st, 2012

Barcelona clawed back a 2-0 deficit on Saturday night against Sevilla to win the match in injury time and hold on to their unbeaten run in the league this season. Although the Catalans appeared to be in control of the match early on and a couple of good chances for Pedro and Messi, it was Sevilla who opened the scoring in the 25th minute. The first half ended 1-0 to the home team, but soon Sevilla were 2-0 up thanks to Negredo.

However, the Barcelona squad kept their heads and Cesc Fabregas soon scored the first for Barcelona, and several chances being created but the goals just didn’t come. Finally with a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, Cesc scored his second to level the score. The icing on the cake though was David Villa’s goal in the 92nd minute to give Barcelona the lead and an unbroken run of six matches won.

Next Sunday sees Real Madrid visit the Nou Camp in what is likely to be another highly charged match.

1-0 Trochowski (min 25)
2-0 Negredo (min 47)
2-1 Fabregas (min 52)
2-2 Fabregas (min 88)
2-3 Villa (min 92)

Barcelona struggles to defeat Granada

September 23rd, 2012

FC Barcelona won their fifth consecutive league match last night against Granada, although they struggled to score at all. Granada went out of their way to break the flowing style of Barça, who struggled to get close to the visitors goal. In fact there were just two opportunities in the first half, neither of which went home.

Back on after the break Barça started to find their form, while their opponent struggled in defence. Barcelona started to pile on the pressure, although Granada wouldn’t yield. And suddenly they went on the counter-attack, with Victor Valdes making a great save.

Finally it was only in the 86th minute that Xavi scored off the crossbar. Minutes later Messi’s shot was deflected by Borja into his own net to make it 2-0 Barcelona.

1-0 Xavi (min 86)
2-0 Borja (min 91)

Barça win hard fought match against Spartak

September 20th, 2012

FC Barcelona won their first clash in their new Champions League campaign last night at the Nou Camp against Spartak Moscow in a hard fought match. Barça went 1-0l up in the 13th minute thanks to Tello but Spartak fought back scoring their first thanks to an own goal from Dani Alves and then Romulo put the visitors in the lead in the 58th minute.

On came Alexis in places of Alvis and Barcelona started to look like they were making some progress. Finally Messi equalised in the 72nd minute. With Villa on the pitch the Spartak area was really under attack and Finally Leo Messi scored the winner in the 80th minute, with the home team managing to hang on to their advantage for the last 10 minutes for the final whistle.

The bad news is that Gerard Pique was injured early in the match, with Alex Song coming on to replace him. Pique is likely to be out for two to three weeks with a foot injury.

1-0 Tello (min 13)
1-1 Alves (min 28)
1-2 Romulo (min 58)
2-2 Messi (min 72)
3-2 Messi (min 80)

Dominant Barcelona Take the Points at Getafe

September 17th, 2012

FC Barcelona were in fine form on Saturday evening as they beat Getafe 4-1 in Madrid. It was a complete performance by Barça – lively in attack and defensively very sound. The goals came from Messi, who got two, Adriano and David Villa. Pablo Sarabia got a consolation for the home side, who barely had a sniff of the Barcelona goal all match.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura took Tito Vilanova’s place on the touchline, as the main man served out the second game of his suspension.

High in the stand at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Vilanova will have been pleased with the first half display, in a fixture that saw Pep Guardiola’s side slip to defeat last season. Barcelona found their touch quickly and started combining to great effect, even without mainstays like the injured Dani Alves and Messi, who was on the bench.

Tello had a chance four minutes in, when he used his lightning pace to rush past the Getafe backline, but saw his shot saved low by Moya. A little later Thiago controlled the ball deep in the Getafe half, strode forward and produced a rasping shot that crashed off the crossbar. Xavi then went close with an effort of his own

The pressure was building now, and it culminated with a goal – Cesc did well to get past two Getafe defenders before laying it off for Adriano, who tucked it home. Thiago might have made it two when he chested down a pinpoint pass by Tello, but Moya was alert and made a nearpost save.

Getafe hadn’t posed much of a threat, but forced Valdés into action just before half-time, when the Barça ‘keeper scrambled away a Pedro León free-kick.

The second half was much of the same from the visitors. Barcelona controlled possession and hardly looked troubled at the back. Tello had a couple of chances, the first of which was curled wide and the second well saved by Moya. Messi, on for Thiago, was denied what looked like a penalty when Miguel Torres brought him down but appeared to make no contact with the ball.

The referee had no choice but to point to the spot later when Pedro cut inside Valera and was caught by the defender. Messi scored, via Moya’s palm.

The onslaught continued into the final stages of the match – Montoya broke down the right, and his low cross was deflected into Messi’s path, who made no mistake from six yards out.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Getafe pulled a goal back to make it 3-1, when a shot by Sarabia took a wild deflection off Mascherano and left Valdés with no chance. But it had been a thoroughly professional performance by Barcelona, and this was underlined in injury time, when David Villa scored from a delightful Xavi pass. The Asturian forward strode into the area and placed his shot in between Moya’s legs to end the match at 4-1 to Barcelona.

1-0 Adriano (min 32)
2-0 Messi (min 72)
3-0 Messi (min 76)
3-1 Mascherano (min 77)
4-1 Villa (min 89)

Barcelona Do Enough Against Valencia

September 3rd, 2012

Barcelona produced a workmanlike performance to see off a gritty Valencia team with a 1-0 victory at the Camp Nou on Sunday night. Chances were rare for both teams, and Barça had to withstand a late push by Valencia to get the win. The only goal of the night was a spectacular strike by Adriano.

In the first half Barcelona were handed the task of breaking down a Valencia team that was sitting deep and defending doggedly. Alex Song made his league debut, and took his place in Busquets’ role in front of the back four.

Barça needed a little time to size up their opposition, but were soon keeping the ball and beginning to find threatening positions. It was Valencia though that created the first real opportunity – Soldado trapped a long pass, cut inside Piqué and curled a dangerous-looking shot just past the right post from the edge of the area, with Valdés at full-stretch.

But for the remainder of the half Barcelona proceeded with relative comfort and were soon finding space. Messi had two headed opportunities, the first of which flew over the bar, but the second drew an acrobatic save from Diego Alves. The threat was growing, but when the opener did arrive, it came from an unlikely source.

Barcelona worked a short corner on the left, and the ball found its way to left-back Adriano, who trapped it on the angle of the area and curled a rasping shot into the top right-hand corner, leaving Diego Alves helpless.

The chances continued to flow – Xavi threaded a fantastic pass that Pedro met on the volley, but Alves got down to make the save. Minutes later Messi put Cesc through on goal with plenty of time, but the midfielder’s chipped effort grazed the outside of the post.

Barça conjured two good chances at the beginning of the second half, but slowly faded. The first was perhaps the best of the night. Alexis worked the ball cleverly to the by line on the right and cut back for Cesc who was in space seven yards out. The former Arsenal man took his shot first-time but managed to clear the cross-bar by a couple of yards.

Then, after a flowing passing move Adriano cut in from the right, where he was now positioned after an injury to Dani Alves, but his left-footed shot was hit straight at Valencia’s ‘keeper.

In the final half-hour the game stagnated. Barcelona lost some attacking cohesion, and Valencia’s confidence started to grow. They thought they had equalized when Víctor Ruíz turned the ball in at the back-post from a free-kick, but the defender was correctly ruled offside.

As the clock ticked down, it was Valencia who created the best chances, but they were little more than glimpses of goal. Víctor Ruíz headed a corner well over, with Valdes looking uncomfortable, and then Jonas hit a volley from 25-yards out on the right, which flew just over the bar.

1-0 Adriano (min 21)

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