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Match report

Barça draws with Mallorca

October 4th, 2010

It’s looking to be a slow start to the season this year with a 1-1 draw against Mallorca last night meaning Barça has won just one home match in the league.

While that is hardly critical at this stage – league leaders Valencia are just three points ahead on 16 – Guardiola’s squad is a long way off what it was capable of last year and to add insult to injury, arch-rivals Real Madrid beat Deportivo 6-1!

With Xavi off due to injury and David Villa serving a one match suspension Pep Guardiola was forced to make some changes, but from the start it looked like the match could easily go the Catalans’ way. In the end though, Barcelona’s only goal was scored by Leo Messi, back to form after a short lay-off due to an ankle injury, set up by Alves and Pedro in a first half that was all Barça’s. However, despite opportunities they failed to capitalise on possession and toward the end of the first half Mallorca equalised.

Back after the break Barça were looking a little ragged and while they pressed on they failed to score. At the end of the match the team was looking tired, perhaps of a result of their Russian trip during the week. It’s still early days in the season and FC Barcelona’s fortunes can easily change in a couple of matches.

1-0, Messi (min 21)
1-1, Nsue (min 42)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
6
5
1
0
11
4
16
2
Villarreal
6
5
0
1
12
4
15
3
Real Madrid
6
4
2
0
12
2
14
4
Barcelona
6
4
1
1
10
5
13
5
Sevilla
6
3
2
1
10
6
11
6
Getafe
6
3
1
2
11
8
10
7
Atlético Madrid
6
3
1
2
10
7
10
8
Espanyol
6
3
0
3
5
9
9
9
Mallorca
6
2
2
2
5
6
8
10
Hércules
6
2
1
3
5
6
7
11
Athletic Bilbao
6
2
1
3
9
9
7
12
Real Sociedad
6
2
1
3
6
9
7
13
Málaga
6
2
1
3
12
12
7
14
Almería
6
1
3
2
5
5
6
15
Sporting Gijón
6
1
2
3
6
11
5
16
Osasuna
6
1
2
3
4
6
5
17
Levante
6
1
2
3
5
11
5
18
Racing Santander
6
1
1
4
3
8
4
19
Zaragoza
6
0
3
3
5
10
3
20
Deportivo
6
0
3
3
3
11
3

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Draw for Barça in Russia

September 30th, 2010

Barça once again failed to take all the points against Rubin Kazan after their trip to Russia for last night’s Champions League match. Barcelona also faced Rubin at the group stage last year, in which they took just one point from the Russians and Pep GHuadiola predicted this match would be equally tough.

The match saw Leo Messi return to the pitch, but only after David Villa had equalised from the penalty spot. FC Barcelona went a goal down just before the first half hour was marked after Dani Alves brought down of of Rubin Kazan’s strikers in the area.

1-0 Noboa (p)(min 29)
1-1 Villa (p) (min 60)


Barça rises to second place in the league

September 27th, 2010

Barça finished the weekend second place in the league after beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 away in miserable conditions thanks to torrential rain.

As usual the hosts played hard and by the end of the match both teams were down to 10 men. First off was Amorebieta after 35 minutes, although the replay looked like the referee was wrong; with a string of red cards to his name – he has one of the worst records in the Spanish league ever – perhaps his reputation meant the referee just didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt.

Keita meanwhile was working hard, and that work finally paid off in the 55th minute when the ball went home. Barcelona kept up the pressure and possession remained high throughout. Although several chances were wasted, eventually Xavi made it 2-0 in the 74th minute.

David Villa received a red card just 4 minutes before the end. It didn’t look like too much, but the reply clearly showed him throw his fist; what preceded that I’m not sure though.

And just when it looked like that was going to be it, Gabilondo scored for Athletic, suddenly putting the three points in danger. However, that threat was short-lived, with Busquets putting the ball home to make it 3-1 for the visitors.

0-1 Keita (min 55)
0-2 Xavi (min 74)
1-2 Gabilondo (min 89)
1-3 Busquets (min 92)

The squad is heading of to Kazan today for their Champions League match on Wednesday against Rubin Kazan. They faced them last year in freezing temperatures, but this year the away leg is six weeks earlier than last year and so the temperature expected to be in the double digits (that’s Celsius for our American readers!).

The great news is the Lionel Messi has been included in the squad after making a much faster than expected recovery from his ankle injury. Whether or not he plays is a different matter, but it does show that he’s coming back to strength FAST.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
5
4
1
0
9
3
13
2
Barcelona
5
4
0
1
9
4
12
3
Real Madrid
5
3
2
0
6
1
11
4
Atlético Madrid
5
3
1
1
9
4
10
5
Villarreal
4
3
0
1
7
2
9
6
Espanyol
5
3
0
2
5
8
9
7
Sevilla
5
2
2
1
7
5
8
8
Hércules
5
2
1
2
5
3
7
9
Athletic Bilbao
5
2
1
2
8
7
7
10
Getafe
5
2
1
2
8
8
7
11
Mallorca
5
2
1
2
4
5
7
12
Málaga
4
2
0
2
9
8
6
13
Almería
5
1
2
2
4
4
5
14
Osasuna
5
1
1
3
3
5
4
15
Racing Santander
5
1
1
3
3
6
4
16
Real Sociedad
5
1
1
3
5
9
4
17
Sporting Gijón
5
1
1
3
4
9
4
18
Levante
5
1
1
3
4
10
4
19
Deportivo
5
0
3
2
2
5
3
20
Zaragoza
5
0
2
3
3
8
2

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Three points for uninspired Barça

September 23rd, 2010

David Villa scored the only goal of the match last night in an uninspiring game against Sport de Gijon, with the Catalans seeming to miss Messi, who is off with an ankle injury.

Although Barça dominated the first half, Sporting shoped that they weren’t there to be walked over either. After half an hour Guardiola changed the team’s formation to try and push things Barcelona’s way, but it wasn’t until the second half that David Villa broke through and scored the game’s single goal.

At least that puts Barçain a more familiar position in the league standings. They are now third, after Real Madrid and Valencia, who made their first slip of the season with a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid.

1-0 Villa (min 49)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
4
3
1
0
6
1
10
2
Valencia
4
3
1
0
7
3
10
3
Barcelona
4
3
0
1
6
3
9
4
Atlético Madrid
4
2
1
1
8
4
7
5
Sevilla
3
2
1
0
6
2
7
6
Athletic Bilbao
4
2
1
1
7
4
7
7
Villarreal
3
2
0
1
6
2
6
8
Espanyol
4
2
0
2
4
8
6
9
Getafe
3
1
1
1
7
6
4
10
Hércules
4
1
1
2
3
3
4
11
Osasuna
4
1
1
2
3
4
4
12
Real Sociedad
4
1
1
2
5
7
4
13
Sporting Gijón
4
1
1
2
4
7
4
14
Mallorca
4
1
1
2
2
5
4
15
Deportivo
3
0
3
0
2
2
3
16
Málaga
3
1
0
2
7
8
3
17
Racing Santander
3
1
0
2
2
4
3
18
Levante
4
1
0
3
4
10
3
19
Almería
4
0
2
2
2
4
2
20
Zaragoza
4
0
2
2
3
7
2

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Messi injured in win against Atletico Madrid

September 20th, 2010

Barcelona put last weekend’s embarrassing defeat by Hercules behind them last night when they took their first victory in three years at Atletico’s Vicent Calderon stadium.

However, the win was marred by the sight of Lionel Messi being stretchered off in clear pain and the later news that Ujfalusi’s vicious tackle had caused ligament damage to his ankle. A statement released by Barça’s medical staff last night stated that it’s not thought that he has broken any bone, but further tests would be carried out on Monday.

Until the full extent of his injury is known we can only guess at how long he will be out of action; he will certainly miss the matches against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, Athletic Bilbao on Saturday and Copenhagen next week and almost certainly longer.

0-1, Messi (min 13)
1-1, Raúl García (min 25)
1-2, Piqué (min 32)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
3
3
0
0
6
2
9
2
Sevilla
3
2
1
0
6
2
7
3
Real Madrid
3
2
1
0
3
1
7
4
Atlético Madrid
3
2
0
1
7
3
6
5
Villarreal
3
2
0
1
6
2
6
6
Barcelona
3
2
0
1
5
3
6
7
Espanyol
3
2
0
1
4
5
6
8
Athletic Bilbao
3
1
1
1
4
4
4
9
Real Sociedad
3
1
1
1
4
4
4
10
Mallorca
3
1
1
1
2
2
4
11
Sporting Gijón
3
1
1
1
4
6
4
12
Getafe
2
1
0
1
5
4
3
13
Hércules
3
1
0
2
3
3
3
14
Málaga
3
1
0
2
7
8
3
15
Racing Santander
3
1
0
2
2
4
3
16
Deportivo
2
0
2
0
0
0
2
17
Almería
3
0
2
1
2
3
2
18
Osasuna
3
0
1
2
0
3
1
19
Zaragoza
3
0
1
2
3
7
1
20
Levante
3
0
0
3
3
10
0

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Barça recovery shows how it should be done

September 16th, 2010

It looked as if it might all go wrong for Barça on Tuesday night when Panathinaikos from Greece scored the first goal of the match, causing the crowd to wonder for a moment whether it would be a repeat of Saturday night’s disaster against Hercules.

However, Messi set things right just a minute later to level the score. And once the goals started they didn’t stop, with more from Villa and Messi again; a lull in the second half and then two more goals from Pedro and Alves. And it could have been more, had Messi not missed a penalty,so all in all a great result that proves Barça should not be written off, especially at such an early stage in the season.

0-1, Govou (min 20)
1-1, Messi (min 21)
2-1, Villa (min 33)
3-1, Messi (min 45)
4-1, Pedro (min 77)
5-1, Alves (min 93)


Gamper 2010 – Barça keeps trophy at the Nou Camp

August 26th, 2010

Ronaldinho was warmly received at the Nou Camp last night when AC Milan came to participate in the invitation Gamper Trophy. The match marked the official introduction of the new look squad, with David Villa scoring Barça’s only goal of the night to leave the full time score 1-1.

The hero of the night, therefore, was reserve goal keeper Pinto, who saved two penalties to hand the hosts the trophy for 2010. The league starts next weekend, with the first home match of the new league season being played the weekend of 11/12 September against Hercules.


First trophy for Rosell

August 22nd, 2010

FC Barcelona beat Sevilla 4-0 last night in the second leg of the Spanish Supercup, after a 3-1 defeat last weekend. The aggregate score means Barça took the trophy, the first under Sandro Rosell’s presidency.

Leo Messi scorred a hattrick, with the other goal being a Sevilla own goal. Last Saturday’s match saw a severely depleted Barça thanks to the Spanish Selection members being called up to play a friendly in Mexico.

Last night was David Villa’s first match in front of the Nou Camp faithful and although he played just a few minutes his efforts were well appreciated.


Pep Guardiola celebrates second La Liga title

May 17th, 2010

FC Barcelona took the Spanish league title last night in a 4-0 win against Valladolid, while Real Madrid’s hopes evaporated in a 1-1 draw against Malaga. Both Valladolid and Malaga were fighting relegation and had as much to play for as the arch-rivals at the top of the league, but in the event it was Malaga who saved their own skin.

The game started with Barça playing rather nervously and it wasn’t until the 26th minute that the first game came when Prieto put the ball in his own net after deflecting a shot from Pedro; two more minutes and Pedro put the ball in the net for Barcelona’s second goal.

Messi also played a starring role, with his first goal in the 62nd minute off Touré Yaya; he also set up Messi’s second goal in the 76th minute.

With the final whistle blown the crowd and team celebrated in style, while elsewhere across the city fireworks and horns celebrated the success of FC Barcelona; the city; and Catalonia.

1-0 Luis Prieto (min 26)
2-0 Pedro (min 28)
3-0 Messi (min 62)
4-0 Messi (min 76)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
38
31
6
1
98
24
99
2
Real Madrid
38
31
3
4
102
34
96
3
Valencia
38
21
8
9
59
38
71
4
Sevilla
38
19
6
13
65
49
63
5
Mallorca
38
18
8
12
59
44
62
6
Getafe
38
17
7
14
58
48
58
7
Villarreal
38
16
8
14
58
57
56
8
Athletic Bilbao
38
15
9
14
50
53
54
9
Atlético Madrid
38
13
8
17
57
61
47
10
Deportivo
38
13
8
17
35
49
47
11
Espanyol
38
11
11
16
29
46
44
12
Osasuna
38
11
10
17
37
46
43
13
Almería
38
10
12
16
43
55
42
14
Zaragoza
38
10
11
17
46
64
41
15
Sporting Gijón
38
9
13
16
36
51
40
16
Racing Santander
38
9
12
17
42
59
39
17
Málaga
38
7
16
15
42
48
37
18
Valladolid
38
7
15
16
37
62
36
19
Tenerife
38
9
9
20
40
74
36
20
Xerez
38
8
10
21
38
66
34

The title will be Joan Laporta’s last as president of Barça; the next few months will see club elections and a new era will thus begin; who knows if it will be anywhere near as successful as the Laporta era, which has seen a real renaissance in the fortunes of the club.


Last match of the season to decide La Liga title

May 10th, 2010

Saturday night’s match was the penultimate of the season, and with a single point between Barcelona and Real Madrid and could have been decisive.

To ensure no team had any kind of advantage from knowing the result of another match, the Spanish league therefore decided all matches should be played at the same time; therefore at 21:00 across Spain on Saturday, Spanish fans were glued to their own game as well as their rivals. That meant that across Catalonia fans of FC Barcelona were keeping up to date with the Real Madrid match. And while it looked for a while like they were struggling, in the end they scored a decisive 5-1 win against Athletic Bilbao.

Meanwhile Barça were in Sevilla; and while much of the match looked like it was all going their way with goals from Messi, Bojan and Pedro, the last 20 minutes gave them a scare; two goals in the 69th and 71st minute from Sevilla meant that three points started to look far from certain.

The end result was a win from both Barça and Madrid, which means the final match of the league decide the league.

0-1, Messi (min 5)
0-2, Bojan (min 28)
0-3, Pedro (min 61)
1-3, Kanouté (min 69)
2-3, Luis Fabiano (min 71)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
37
30
6
1
94
24
96
2
Real Madrid
37
31
2
4
101
33
95
3
Valencia
37
20
8
9
58
38
68
4
Sevilla
37
18
6
13
62
47
60
5
Mallorca
37
17
8
12
57
44
59
6
Getafe
37
16
7
14
55
48
55
7
Villarreal
37
16
7
14
55
54
55
8
Athletic Bilbao
37
14
9
14
48
53
51
9
Atlético Madrid
37
13
8
16
57
58
47
10
Deportivo
37
13
8
16
35
47
47
11
Osasuna
37
11
9
17
36
45
42
12
Almería
37
10
12
15
41
52
42
13
Espanyol
37
11
11
15
29
44
44
14
Zaragoza
37
10
10
17
43
61
40
15
Sporting Gijón
37
9
13
15
36
49
40
16
Valladolid
37
7
15
15
37
58
36
17
Racing Santander
37
8
12
17
40
59
36
18
Málaga
37
7
15
15
41
47
36
19
Tenerife
37
9
9
19
40
73
36
20
Xerez
37
8
9
21
37
65
33

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