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Match report

Draw for Barça in Champions League

November 3rd, 2010

Barça played the away leg of the Champions League group stage against Copenhagen last night in front of a capacity crowd. With a full strength squad, as opposed to the squad fielding plenty of B team players as in the home leg, they could have been expected to take the hosts apart, as they did with Sevilla on Saturday.

However, it wasn’t to be and despite going for goal on several occasions the ball just didn’t want to go in. Leo Messi got Barça’s only goal of the match in the 31st minute. However, they held onto their lead for virtually a minute until Copenhagen scored an equaliser.

A disappointing result, but Barça are at the top of the table.

0-1, Messi (min 31)
1-1, Claudemir (min 32)

PWDLFAGDPTS
1FC Barcelona42209368
2FC Copenhagen42114317
3Rubin Kazan403112-13
4Panathinaikos402217-62

Barça annihilates Sevilla

November 2nd, 2010

After wondering if Barça was really up to taking the league again this season, they pull a 5-0 win out of the hat, and it wasn’t against a minor team. FC Barcelona’s complete domination of Sevilla shows what they can do when they all pull together, with two goals from Messi and Villa and another from Dani Alves.

Barça are now second place in the league after Villarreal dropped points and remain just one point behind Real Madrid. With “el classic” at the end of the month there is still time for either team to drop points, but it is certainly going to be an exciting race until then – provided Barça can perform like they did against Sevilla.

Of course, it is still early days. Anything could happen between now and the end of the season that could tip the balance for or against FC Barcelona.

1-0, Messi (min 4)
2-0, Villa (min 24)
3-0, Alves (min 52)
4-0, Messi (min 63)
5-0, Villa (min 90)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Real Madrid
9
7
2
0
25
5
23
2
Barcelona
9
7
1
1
19
6
22
3
Villarreal
9
6
2
1
17
7
20
4
Valencia
9
5
2
2
14
9
17
5
Espanyol
9
5
0
4
8
13
15
6
Atlético Madrid
9
4
2
3
13
10
14
7
Mallorca
9
4
2
3
9
9
14
8
Sevilla
9
4
2
3
14
16
14
9
Athletic Bilbao
9
4
1
4
17
14
13
10
Getafe
9
4
1
4
14
13
13
11
Real Sociedad
9
4
1
4
12
12
13
12
Racing Santander
9
3
1
5
9
15
10
13
Osasuna
9
2
3
4
8
10
9
14
Hércules
9
2
3
4
9
12
9
15
Sporting Gijón
9
2
3
4
9
15
9
16
Almería
9
1
5
3
7
8
8
17
Levante
9
2
2
5
9
16
8
18
Málaga
9
2
1
6
14
21
7
19
Deportivo
9
1
4
4
6
14
7
20
Zaragoza
9
0
4
5
7
15
4

Barça beats AD Ceuta in Copa del Rey

October 27th, 2010

Maxwell and Pedro were the stars last night as FC Barcelona beat lowly AD Ceuta 2-0 in the Copa del Rey. Barça’s lineup was very much a B team, with most big name players absent.

0-1 Maxwell (min 15)
0-2 Pedro (min 25)


Barça win shows they are good – but are they good enough?

October 25th, 2010

While Barcelona has made a reasonable start to the 2010/11 season, currently in third place behind Real Madrid and Villarreal, they surely should have had a better result than 2-0 against Zaragoza on Saturday. Xavi was missing from the lineup and Zaragoza are currently bottom of the league; if that were not enough of an advantage for the Catalans, the home side played the second half with just 10 men.

Contrast this with Real Madrid. They beat Racing Santander 6-1, the kind of total annihilation that Barça just doesn’t seem capable of at the moment. While Barça beat Racing 3-0 a few weeks ago, Madrid is currently playing at a different level.

According to FCB four wins out of four away games this season is a club record. While that is all well and good, that doesn’t necessarily translate into anything meaningful. Four out of four is good, but what is going to happen when Madrid visit the Nou Camp in November – that is the real test.

Of course, Barça is sometimes slow it getting going at the start of a season and no doubt the disproportionate representation of Barça in the Spanish national squad takes its toll with those players selected for international duty having to play more matches.

It’s a long slog to the end of the season, but FC Barcelona needs to get down to serious business soon.

0-1 Messi (min 41)
0-2 Messi (min 66)

TeamPWDLFAPts
1
Real Madrid
8
6
2
0
22
4
20
2
Villarreal
8
6
1
1
16
6
19
3
Barcelona
8
6
1
1
14
6
19
4
Valencia
8
5
1
2
13
8
16
5
Espanyol
8
5
0
3
8
10
15
6
Sevilla
8
4
2
2
14
11
14
7
Getafe
8
4
1
3
14
10
13
8
Atlético Madrid
8
4
1
3
12
9
13
9
Mallorca
8
3
2
3
7
8
11
10
Athletic Bilbao
8
3
1
4
14
14
10
11
Osasuna
8
2
3
3
7
6
9
12
Hércules
8
2
3
3
8
9
9
13
Levante
8
2
2
4
8
14
8
14
Sporting Gijón
8
2
2
4
8
14
8
15
Almería
8
1
4
3
6
7
7
16
Real Sociedad
7
2
1
4
7
11
7
17
Málaga
8
2
1
5
13
19
7
18
Racing Santander
8
2
1
5
5
14
7
19
Deportivo
7
0
4
3
3
11
4
20
Zaragoza
8
0
3
5
6
14
3

Barça takes top spot in Group D

October 21st, 2010

Once again Leo Messi was the hero of the night with the only two goals of the match being scored by him. The three points gained takes Barça to the top of Group D in a match where the ball found the back of the net plenty of times, only to be disallowed.

The Catalans struggled to dominate the Danish team, and the points were hard fought for. FC Barcelona vists Copenhagen in two weeks for the return leg.

1-0, Messi (min 19)
2-0, Messi (min 92)

PWDLFAGDPTS
1FC Barcelona32108267
2FC Copenhagen32013216
3Rubin Kazan302112-12
4Panathinaikos301217-61

FC Barcelona beats league leaders Valencia

October 18th, 2010

FC Barcelona took advantage of the break in the league while some of Barça’s top stars were away on international duty by replacing the turf, which had been looking somewhat less than optimal over the last match or two.

Facing league leaders Valencia was never going to be a walkover, and for the first half an hour or so Barça didn’t really get going. It was a different matter for Valencia though when Pablo put the ball past Victor Valdes in the 37th minute.

It looked like the visitors might go two goals up almost immediatly after, but this time Valdes saved the day. Barça bounced back from that threat with Messi coming close to scoring twice within the area. That comeback was cut short though, when the half time whistle went.

Back on the pitch after the break, the Catalans went straight to work, with Xavi setting up a goal for Iniesta in minute 46. Barça upped the pace and looked as if they were really playing to win. David Villa – who moved from Valencia this summer – came close to scoring from a header, but it was Carles Puyol who scored the second and final goal for Barcelona.

A great result for Barça, which leaves them in second place in the league. However, Real Madrid are in the number one spot; with sixteen goals to their name and just three goals against, they are looking really strong at the moment.

0-1 Pablo (min 37)
1-1 Iniesta (min 46)
2-1 Puyol (min 62)

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

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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)

TeamPWDLFAPts
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.

TeamPWDLFAPts
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)

TeamPWDLFAPts
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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