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Match report

Barça beats Alaves for last 16 of Copa del Rey

November 29th, 2012

Barcelona made it through to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey last night after beating Alaves 3-1 in a match that saw the visitors score first.

Alaves scored the opener at the quarter hour mark, with the Catalans not up to their usual form at the start. However, the goal made them step up to the challenge and eventually Adriano scored just after the half hour mark to end the first half with one goal to each team.

Following the break it was David Villa’s chance to shine, in his first full match since returning from injury – he broke his leg during the Club’s World Cup, almost a year ago. Villa scored Barcelona’s second and third goals just after the start of the second half to give the home team a 3-1 win and to go through to the next round 6-1 on aggregate.

Barça’s next Copa del Rey challenge will be against Cordoba on December 12th at the Nou Camp.

0-1 Viguera (min 15)
1-1 Adriano (min 34)
2-1 Villa (min 55)
3-1 Villa (min 58)

Win against Levante opens up gap with Madrid

November 26th, 2012

Barcelona gained a convincing win against Levante on Sunday night, allowing them to open the lead up over Real Madrid to 11 points, after their archrival lost against Betis the previous night.

While the first half ended without a goal, just two minutes after the break saw Barça’s first from Leo Messi after being set up by Iniesta. Five minutes later the Argentine made it 2-0, once again thanks to Iniesta, who was perhaps man of the night; minutes later he put the ball into the Levante net to make it 3-0 to the Catalans, and he helped create the fourth goal for Barça, scored by Cesc Fabregas.

All in all a useful win against Levente, who went into the match in the number four spot in the league. They have now dropped to six, but even so have made leaps and bounds in the last two seasons when they were considered one of the weakest teams in the league.

0-1 Messi (min 47)
0-2 Messi (min 52)
0-3 Iniesta (min 57)
0-4 Fabregas (min 63)

Barça secure place in Champions League knockout stage after 3-0 win against Spartak Moscow

November 21st, 2012

A goal from Dani Alves and two from Lionel Messi in the first half ensured that FC Barcelona qualified for the next round of Champions League last night in a cold night in Moscow.

After the setback in Glasgow, the Catalans came on with a real sense of purpose. The second half saw a couple more opportunities for Barcelona but they failed to capitalise on them and while the home team mounted a comeback it was short lived and they failed to dent Barcelona’s defence.

0-1 Alves (min 15)
0-2 Messi (min 26)
0-3 Messi (min 38)

Barcelona beats Zaragoza to make it 11 out of 12

November 19th, 2012

FC Barcelona won their eleventh league match of the season on Saturday night, in a game that saw the welcome return of Carles Puyol after his elbow dislocation; and with Gerard Pique back too, Barça’s defence was back up to full strength.

The Catalans stared off well, taking the lead at the quarter hour mark thanks to a goal from Leo Messi. The controlled the match completely, quickly retaking possession from Zaragoza whenever the visitors gained the ball. However, when Zaragoza did get the chance to attack the Barcelona goal they broke through and were able to equalise from the resulting corner. Five minutes later though, Alex Song scored his first goal for Barça after being set up by Messi.

While Zaragoza created some chances, after the break Barcelona once again reigned and in the 58th minute Messi scored from a Montoya cross. It was good to see Carles Puyol receive a standing ovation when he was substituted with Bartra, but the defence remained pretty much impenetrable. Cesc set Iniesta up twelve minutes from the end only for the shot to hit the post, and the score stood at 3-1 when the final whistle blew.

Out of a possible 36 points from the twelve league matches played, Barça has now taken 34, a truly remarkable record for Tito Vilanova in his debut season as coach.

1-0 Messi (min 15)
1-1 Paco Montañés (min 23)
2-1 Alex Song (min 27)
3-1 Messi (min 58)

Barça beats Mallorca as Messi passes Pele

November 12th, 2012

Barcelona continued their record breaking streak of 10 wins in 11 league matches after beating Mallorca 4-2 last night, while Lionel Messi passed Pele’s 1958 tally of 75 goals in a calendar year with his 75th and 76th goals. The record stands at 85, by Gerd Mueller in 1972.

Barça dominated the first half, and by the half time whistle were three goals ahead thanks to Xavi, Messi and Tello. However, after the break Mallorca came on fighting with Pereira scoring the first for the home team in minute 54. Three minutes later Barcelona’s lead was cut to a single goal after a penalty was awarded to Mallorca for hand ball, with Victor putting the ball into the back of the net.

However, the Catalans reacted well and when Alves crossed to Alexis, who controlled the ball, Messi was able to finish and the match was back under control again.

0-1 Xavi (min 27)
0-2 Messi (min 43)
0-3 Tello (min 44)
1-3 Pereira (min 54)
2-3 Víctor (min 57)
2-4 Messi (min 69)

Celtic deals blow to Barcelona in second defeat of season

November 8th, 2012

FC Barcelona won their second match of the season last night against Celtic in the group stages of Champions League. The Scottish club had few chances on the Barça goal, but those they did were capitalised on and the home team went two goal up thanks to Wanyama in the 20th minute and Watt in the 82nd.

Barcelona’s only goal was thanks to an injury time goal from Lionel Messi to end the scoreline 2-1 and had they won this match, the Catalans would have qualified for the next round already.

1-0 Wanyama (min 20)
2-0 Watt (min 82)
2-1 Messi (min 90)

Victory against Celta sees new record for Barça

November 5th, 2012

Saturday night saw a new record created by FC Barcelona after they won their ninth match in 10 games when they played Celta at the Nou Camp.

The Catalans came on looking strong, dominating possession and looking like they meant business. Back in defence there was no Abidal or Piqué, while Puyol is going to be off for some time still after his horrific elbow dislocation.

The first goal came in the 20th minute from Adriano, set up by Pedro. However, soon after Mario Bermejo soon equalised for Celta. Barcelona quickly struck back though, when David Villa scored in the 25th minute to make it 2-1.

In the second half Villanova brought on Bartra in place of Cesc Fabregas to bolster Barça’s defence. Equally, Celta’s defence seemed difficult to break and it was only in the 60th minute when David Villa and Jordi Alba broke through to score. In the final half-hour the home team controled the balll with little sign of trouble, ending the game 3-1.

Barça’s new record was not the only cause for celebration. On Friday it was widely reported that Lionel Messi became a father for the first time.

1-0 Adriano (min 20)
1-1 Mario Bermejo (min 23)
2-1 Villa (min 25)
3-1 Jordi Alba (min 60)

Barça win opening match of Copa del Rey campaign

October 31st, 2012

FC Barcelona opened their Copa del Rey campaign last night with a 3-0 victory against Alaves, relative minnows from division 2B. While several key players were rested, the Barça squad still boasted some regular players with just a single B team player in the squad.

The hosts were showing that they weren’t a walkover and attacked the Barcelona goal, while falling back to defend when the Catalans broke through. However, in the end it was the big guns who counted, with a goal from Villa at the end of the first half followed by Iniesta and Cesc scoring one each after the break.

0-1 Villa (min 39)
0-2 Iniesta (min 49)
0-3 Fabregas (min 86)

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)

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