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Match report

El Messiah flattens The Gunners

April 7th, 2010

After the 2-2 scoreline against Arsenal last week there was little room for complacency when The Gunners came to the Nou Camp last night. And with Puyol and Pique each serving a suspension, Barça was forced to field a severely depleted defence.

But after Arsenal’s first goal in the 18th minute it all went Barcelona’s way – or more correctly Lionel Messi’s – when the Argentinian scored a staggering four goals for a 4-1 victory taking Barça through to the Champions League semi-finals against Inter Milan later this month.

Click here for tickets for the Champions League semi-final between FC Barcelona and Inter Milan

In some ways the match was a complete reversal of the first leg, with most of the really decisive action happening in the first half. Although Barcelona started off with high possession as usual, Arsenal kept breaking the flow of the game, and the result was a rather scrappy match to watch.

And then disaster struck in the 18th minute with a goal from Bendtner after some poor defence from the Catalans. However, just 2 minutes later Leo Messi equalised with a shot from the edge of the box.

Barcelona’s second goal came in the 36th minute from an Abidal pass in the area, showing the visitors who was in the driving seat. And a few minutes later, in the 41st minute, Messi ran forward with the ball and chipped it over the keeper and into the goal for his hat-trick.

With the match all but decided in the first half, the pace of the second half was much slower. However, Arsenal showed they had not given up and came close to scoring on two occasions. The first was in minute 72, when a Bendtner header struck the post – although even if it had gone in he was ruled offside. And in the 82nd minute Arsenal again came close, with a shot the struck the corner of the post.

With the game looking like it was won, Messi put in a final effort in an amazing display of football. He dummied the ball around the Arsenal defence almost like he was two different players; shot the ball towards the goal, which was deflected by the Arsenal keeper; lined the ball up again and… GOAL!!! It was the goal keepers worst nightmare, straight between his legs.

0-1 Bendtner (min 18)
1-1 Messi (min 20)
2-1 Messi (min 36)
3-1 Messi (min 41)
4-1 Messi (min 86)

FC Barcelona are looking like they’re right at the top of their game, which is good news for the forthcoming El Classic against Real Madrid on Saturday at the Bernabeu. And if they carry on like this they’ll be returning to the Bernabeu at the end of May for the Champions League final.


Barça in top form against Athletic

April 5th, 2010

Barcelona put on a real show of strength on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao, ahead of one of the most pivotal weeks of the season. On Tuesday they play Arsenal in the return leg of the Champions League quarter final; and on Saturday is the showdown with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

As usual Barça dominated possession, although there were chances created by both sides. Barça’s first goal came in the 26th minute, when Jeffren scored his first league goal of the season from an Abidal pass. And five minutes before the break came Barcelona’s second, with a goal from Bojan.

After last week’s match against Arsenal Barcelona no doubt we not entirely comfortable with a 2-0 advantage but Bojan made it 3 goals within a few minutes of the second half. And in the 67th minute Pedro, who was brought on to replace a now injured Jeffren, passed the ball to Messi who made it 4-0.

Although Athletic got back into the game enough to score a single goal in the 76th minute, Barcelona’s victory was more than comfortable and must have given a huge confidence boost ahead of their most important week of the season to date.

While Real Madrid remain top of the table following a 2-0 victory against Racing, both teams are now waiting for the other to stumble.

1-0, Jeffren (min 26)
2-0, Bojan (min 40)
3-0, Bojan (min 58)
4-0, Messi (min 67)
4-1, Susaeta (min 76)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
30
25
2
3
83
25
77
2
Barcelona
30
24
5
1
75
19
77
3
Valencia
30
16
8
6
48
30
56
4
Sevilla
30
14
6
10
43
35
48
5
Mallorca
30
14
6
10
46
34
48
6
Athletic Bilbao
30
13
6
11
41
41
45
7
Villarreal
30
12
7
11
45
41
43
8
Deportivo
30
12
6
12
32
38
42
9
Getafe
30
12
5
13
42
40
41
10
Atlético Madrid
30
11
7
12
47
45
40
11
Sporting Gijón
30
9
10
11
33
38
37
12
Almería
30
9
10
11
32
39
37
13
Osasuna
30
9
7
14
26
35
34
14
Espanyol
30
8
10
12
22
37
34
15
Zaragoza
30
8
8
14
37
53
32
16
Málaga
30
7
10
13
34
38
31
17
Racing Santander
30
7
10
13
30
44
31
18
Tenerife
30
6
7
17
29
61
25
19
Valladolid
30
4
12
14
30
53
24
20
Xerez
30
5
8
18
26
52
23

For more information on FC Barcelona tickets see our homepage.


Barça outplays Arsenal to 2-2 draw

April 1st, 2010

Barcelona looked like they were going to be a hard act to beat last night at the Emirates stadium in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals against Arsenal. Within the space of 2 minutes Barcelona had been relentless in their search of the goal and it is a miracle that they didn’t score. In fact Arsenal only seemed to get into the match towards the end of the first half.

The visitors completely dominated, with Arsenal seeming to struggle to know how to respond, but the first half ended goalless all the same.

When the teams came on after the break the match was far more balanced with Barça’s strategy of scoring early having failed. However, Barcelona’s first goal came within a few minutes of the restart, with a goal from Ibrahimovic. And in the 58th minute Ibra scored again, seemingly tying up the result for the Catalans.

However, football doesn’t always work that way and just three minutes later it was Arsenal’s turn to score. Still looking like Barcelona would take the victory back to the Nou Camp, the 83rd minute saw a red card to Puyol and a penalty awarded to Arsenal – a mistake on the ref’s behalf from what I’ve seen.

That gave Arsenal the chance they wanted and immediately equalised to 2-2. Barcelona’s job was now to make sure the held on to that draw for the advantage going into the home leg, but without Puyol and Pique – the latter received another yellow card and will be forced to sit the match out – Barça’s defense will be weak.

All in all a good match to watch, but based on the first few minutes, an unexpected result.


Barcelona scrape victory against Mallorca

March 29th, 2010

FC barcelona retained their second place in the league with Real Madrid after a 1-0 win over Mallorca thanks to an Ibrahimovic goal in the 63rd minute on Saturday. Meanwhile Real Madrid played Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby, where they retained three more points, beating Atletico 3-2-

Barcelona face Arsenal on Wednesday in the away leg of the Champions League tie, and rested Messi ahead of this important match.

0-1 Ibrahimovic (min 63)


Barça beats Osasuna

March 25th, 2010

Two second half goals from Ibrahimovic and Bojan secured a comfortable 2-0 victory for FC Barcelona last night at the Nou Camp.

When Barça couldn’t break the visitor’s defence, Guardiola started to change tactics. However, that had little effect until the second half, when on came Pedro and the Osasuna defence was pushed back.

That leaves Barça – temporarily at least – at the top of the table, with Real Madrid playing their match tonight.

1-0 Ibrahimovic (min 72)
2-0 Bojan (min 87)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
28
22
5
1
70
18
71
2
Real Madrid
27
22
2
3
74
21
68
3
Valencia
28
15
8
5
45
27
53
4
Mallorca
28
14
5
9
45
32
47
5
Sevilla
28
13
6
9
40
32
45
6
Athletic Bilbao
27
12
6
9
36
32
42
7
Deportivo
28
12
6
10
31
32
42
8
Getafe
27
11
4
12
36
34
37
9
Villarreal
28
10
7
11
40
41
37
10
Almería
28
9
9
10
31
37
36
11
Sporting Gijón
28
9
8
11
31
36
35
12
Atlético Madrid
27
9
7
11
40
42
34
13
Espanyol
28
8
8
12
21
36
32
14
Osasuna
28
8
7
13
25
32
31
15
Racing Santander
28
7
10
11
27
38
31
16
Málaga
28
7
9
12
33
35
30
17
Zaragoza
28
6
8
14
32
53
26
18
Valladolid
28
4
12
12
30
48
24
19
Tenerife
28
6
6
16
28
57
24
20
Xerez
28
4
7
18
21
50
19

Messi scores hat trick once again

March 22nd, 2010

Lionel Messi showed once again why he is so great, with another hat trick scored against Zaragoza on Sunday night. He had been in doubt for the match thanks to a tooth abscess, but gave Barça an early lead in the 4th minute.

Although they dominated the first half the visitors were unable to put away another goal and it was only after the break that Messi scored number 2, in minute 65. Messi didn’t want to stop at two goals though and a few minutes later it looked like that was going to be it, with a 3-0 score for Barcelona.

However, Zaragoza decided otherwise when Colunga put away a goal just 6 minutes from the end. And clearly that wasn’t enough as 5 minutes later he scored another. Just when that looked like it was going to be the end result, a penalty was awarded to Barcelona for a tackle of Messi; Ibrahimovic scored from the spot in the 90th minute, an exciting end to the night.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
27
22
2
3
74
21
68
2
Barcelona
27
21
5
1
68
18
68
3
Valencia
27
14
8
5
44
27
50
4
Mallorca
27
14
4
9
45
32
46
5
Sevilla
27
13
5
9
39
31
44
6
Athletic Bilbao
27
12
6
9
36
32
42
7
Deportivo
27
12
6
9
30
30
42
8
Getafe
27
11
4
12
36
34
37
9
Villarreal
27
10
6
11
38
39
36
10
Atlético Madrid
27
9
7
11
40
42
34
11
Almería
27
8
9
10
30
37
33
12
Sporting Gijón
27
8
8
11
29
35
32
13
Osasuna
27
8
7
12
25
30
31
14
Espanyol
27
8
7
12
21
36
31
15
Málaga
27
7
9
11
33
34
30
16
Racing Santander
27
7
9
11
27
38
30
17
Zaragoza
27
6
8
13
32
52
26
18
Valladolid
27
4
11
12
30
48
23
19
Tenerife
27
6
5
16
26
55
23
20
Xerez
27
4
6
18
20
49
18

0-1, Messi (min 4)
0-2, Messi (min 65)
0-3, Messi (min 77)
1-3, Colunga (min 84)
2-3, Colunga (min 89)
2-4, Ibrahimovic (pen, min 90)

For current prices and availability of Barcelona tickets see our homepage.


Barça shows Stuttgart why they’re Champions

March 18th, 2010

Pep Guardiola said that his team would be looking for goals, and last night he was as good as his word; FC Barcelona’s decisive 4-0 win over Stuttgart clearly sent out a message that the Catalans intend to be there at the Madrid final on Saturday 22nd May 2010 and Barça’s fans were chanting as much last night.

Barça’s dominated possession throughout in front of a packed Nou Camp and the first goal wasn’t long in coming – in the 12th minute Leo Messi ran forward into the Stuttgart area and shot the ball over the keeper, looking almost like it wouldn’t go in. Immediately Stuttgart staged a counter attack, but it fizzled out against Barcelona’s defence.

Barça kept up the attack, which paid off again in minute 22 when an extended attack on the Stuttgart goal went rewarded with a goal from Pedro.

Barcelona continued to control the game through the rest of the first half and while there were more opportunities, nothing went home. Back on after the break, Messi continued to threaten the Germans and in the 59th minute Alves passed the ball back to Messi on the edge of the box, who put the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

Not content with what was almost certainly going to be a clear victory, Barça kept up the pressure. And when Bojan came on in place of Iniesta he was able to put his talent to good use, scoring in the 89th minute.

1-0 Messi (min 12)
2-0 Pedro (min 22)
3-0 Messi (min 59)
4-0 Bojan (min 89)

The draw for the quater finals takes place on Friday. Apart from FC Barcelona, the following teams remain in the Champions League:

Bordeaux
Inter Milan
Bayern Munich
CSKA Moscow
Lyon
Arsenal
Manchester United

We will have tickets for the home leg of the quarter finals (30/31 March and 6/7 April) although supply will be subject to UEFA ticketing regulations. For current availability of Barcelona Tickets see the home page.


Messi hat-trick gives Barça three points

March 15th, 2010

Leo Messi was the star of Sunday night’s match against Valencia at the Nou Camp, where the 3-0 result against third placed Valencia showed why he is considered the best player in the world.

Despite a goalless first half in which Valencia often gained the advantage from Barça and with a number of missing players on both sides – Ibrahimovic, Puyol, Keita, and Abidal were all absent from the Barcelona line-up – it was never going to be an easy victory, but with the introduction of Henry in the second half things started to gel for Barça.

FC Barcelona’s first goal came from Messi in the 55th minute, when he beat three players to put the ball in the net. Valencia responded by bringing on Zigic, who went all out to equalise; luckily Valdes made a great save. And when Maduro brought down Messi and received his second yellow card of the night the balance was tipped firmly in Barcelona’s favour.

Messi went on to score his second goal in minute 80, assisted by Henry; and just two minutes later scored his forth hat trick for Barça and a standing ovation.

FC Barcelona’s next match is on Wednesday, when they place Stuttgart in Champions League. After a 1-1 draw in the away leg, they’ll be looking for a clear victory to take them to the next stage of the championship.

1-0, Messi (min 55)
2-0, Messi (min 80)
3-0, Messi (min 82)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
26
21
2
3
71
20
65
2
Barcelona
26
20
5
1
64
16
65
3
Valencia
26
13
8
5
42
27
47
4
Sevilla
26
13
5
8
39
29
44
5
Mallorca
26
13
4
9
41
31
43
6
Deportivo
26
12
6
8
30
28
42
7
Athletic Bilbao
26
12
5
9
34
30
41
8
Getafe
26
11
3
12
34
32
36
9
Villarreal
26
10
6
10
38
37
36
10
Almería
26
8
9
9
30
35
33
11
Sporting Gijón
26
8
8
10
28
32
32
12
Atlético Madrid
25
8
7
10
38
38
31
13
Osasuna
25
8
7
10
24
26
31
14
Espanyol
26
7
7
12
19
36
28
15
Málaga
26
6
9
11
31
34
27
16
Racing Santander
26
6
9
11
24
37
27
17
Zaragoza
26
6
8
12
30
48
26
18
Tenerife
26
6
5
15
25
53
23
19
Valladolid
26
3
11
12
28
48
20
20
Xerez
26
3
6
18
18
48
15

See the homepage for more information on Barcelona Tickets for the remainder of the 2009/2010 season.


Barça loses top spot to Madrid

March 8th, 2010

While it looked like Barcelona should have won easily against Almeria on Saturday night, a 2-2 draw meant that Real Madrid ended the weekend at the top of the Spanish League.

With 62 points apiece, it is Real Madrid that sits in the top position after keep their 100% home record in an exciting match against Sevilla – the final score was 3-2.

Things got off to a bad but not insurmountable start when Cisma scored for Almeria  in minute 11. With Barcelona dominating possession it came as little surprise when Leo Messi scored at the end of the first half off a free kick.

However, after the break came disaster; Puyol challenged an attack from Almeria and sent the ball into his own net, not something he’ll be happy with. And then a few minutes later Ibrahimovic received his marching orders from the ref after contact with Cisma.

With one man down, the odds were now against Barcelona. However, some luck was with them as Leo Messi scored his second equaliser of the night, although he was unable to make it a hat trick and keep Barcelona at the top of the table.

Next Saturday’s match will be important for Barça; third place Valencia visits the Nou Camp in a match that could easily see Barcelona drop more points.

1-0 Cisma (min 11)
1-1 Messi (min 42)
2-1 Puyol (min 56, own goal)
2-2 Messi (min 66)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
25
20
2
3
67
19
62
2
Barcelona
25
19
5
1
61
16
62
3
Valencia
24
13
7
4
42
24
46
4
Sevilla
25
13
4
8
38
28
43
5
Mallorca
25
13
4
8
41
28
43
6
Deportivo
25
12
5
8
29
27
41
7
Athletic Bilbao
25
12
4
9
34
30
40
8
Villarreal
25
9
6
10
36
37
33
9
Getafe
25
10
3
12
31
32
33
10
Atlético Madrid
25
8
7
10
38
38
31
11
Osasuna
25
8
7
10
24
26
31
12
Sporting Gijón
25
8
7
10
28
32
31
13
Almería
25
7
9
9
29
35
30
14
Espanyol
25
7
7
11
18
32
28
15
Málaga
25
6
9
10
31
33
27
16
Racing Santander
24
6
7
11
24
37
25
17
Zaragoza
25
6
7
12
30
48
25
18
Valladolid
25
3
11
11
27
44
20
19
Tenerife
25
5
5
15
21
52
20
20
Xerez
25
3
6
17
18
46
15

For prices and availability for Barcelona Tickets see the home page.

1-0 Cisma (min 11)
1-1 Messi (min 42)
2-1 Puyol en p.p. (min 56)
2-2 Messi (min 66)

Barça hangs on to 2 point lead

March 1st, 2010

Barcelona retained their 2 point lead over real Madrid on Saturday night as both teams won their respective matches. Madrid paid a visit to Tenerife who they thrashed 5-1, while Barça played hosts to Malaga for an entertaining match which wasn’t won quite so convincingly.

It was good to see Dani Alves back in the starting lineup after being off thanks to injury but while Barcelona dominated possession of the ball they found it difficult to actually do anything with it and time and time again throughout the match the ball went wide.

Although the first half was goalless it was at least exciting, but the 0-0 result at the break was hardly deserved. After the break though, Barcelona’s fortunes changed, with a goal from Pedro in the 68th minute. Malaga still had fight in them and continued to cause problems for Barça; and so it was in the 80th minute that Valdo put the equaliser  into the net for the visitors.

Barça’s downturn in fortune didn’t last long though. Just three minutes later Messi scored for Barcelona, thereby sealing three important points for FC Barcelona. It appeared that Ibra scored afterwards to make it 3-1, but the goal was denied, although it is hard to see why.

1-0, Pedro (min 68)
1-1, Valdo (min 80)
2-1, Messi (min 83)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
24
19
4
1
59
14
61
2
Real Madrid
24
19
2
3
64
17
59
3
Valencia
24
13
7
4
42
24
46
4
Sevilla
24
13
4
7
36
25
43
5
Mallorca
24
12
4
8
38
28
40
6
Deportivo
24
11
5
8
26
26
38
7
Athletic Bilbao
24
11
4
9
32
30
37
8
Villarreal
24
9
5
10
36
37
32
9
Getafe
24
10
2
12
31
32
32
10
Sporting Gijón
24
8
7
9
28
29
31
11
Atlético Madrid
24
8
6
10
37
37
30
12
Osasuna
24
8
6
10
24
26
30
13
Almería
24
7
8
9
27
33
29
14
Málaga
24
6
9
9
29
29
27
15
Espanyol
24
7
6
11
18
32
27
16
Racing Santander
24
6
7
11
24
37
25
17
Zaragoza
24
6
6
12
29
47
24
18
Valladolid
24
3
11
10
27
42
20
19
Tenerife
24
5
5
14
20
49
20
20
Xerez
24
2
6
17
14
44
12

Check out the homepage for Barcelona tickets at the Nou Camp in 2010!


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