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Match report

Neymar debut against Lechia Gdansk ends in draw

July 31st, 2013
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Barcelona yesterday travelled to Poland in the last of a series of three friendlies before the Gamper Trophy on Friday. The starting lineup against Lechia Gdansk was almost exactly the same as that which played in the previous two matches, with key players still missing from the Spanish and Brazilian selections, with one exception; that of Neymar, who made his debut for Barça in the last 15 minutes of the game.

If Barcelona thought the match would go their way then they were sorely mistaken, with the hosts controlling the game from the start and scoring at the quarter hour mark. The Catalans clawed back a goal from Sergi Roberto ten minutes later, but when the half time whistle blew the scores were level.

Back on after the break Lechia came on fighting still and scored in the first five minutes to once again put themselves ahead but a few short minutes after Leo Messi equalised again for the Catalans. With the majority of the squad now made up of B team players after a mass substitution, Messi and Alexis were also brought off. On went Neymar, playing his first match for Barcelona and who instantly became the target by the home side.

Although not able to show what he is capable of in that situation, he will surely play of Friday against Santos when the squad makes its first appearance of the new season at the Nou Camp.

1-0 Bieniuk (Min 14)
1-1 Sergi Roberto (min 25)
2-1 Grzelczak (min 49)
2-2 Messi (min 56)

Barcelona dominates in second pre-season match

July 28th, 2013

Barcelona last night won the first match in there pre-season tour, when they visited Oslo to play Valerenga.

The squad was missing a number of key players once again, giving the chance for a number of B team players to show what they could do. Very quickly the Catalans showed what they are made of, with three goals inside 12 minutes giving an early boost.

By the break they were four goals ahead, and with two goals early in the second half, both scored by Dongou, all that was needed was a goal six minutes from the final whistle to put FC Barcelona on 7-0.

0-1 Alexis (min 3)
0-2 Tello (min 5)
0-3 Messi (min 12)
0-4 Jonathan dos Santos (min 41)
0-5 Dongou (min 49)
0-6 Dongou (min 53)
0-7 Joan Román lr (min 84)

Barça opens pre-season against Bayern Munich

July 25th, 2013

FC Barcelona played their first pre-season friendly yesterday evening when they travelled to Munich to play against Pep Guardiola’s new club.

The match was the first in which they showed off their new away strip, in the red and yellow colours of the Catalan flag, and while during the first half a number of familiar faces made the lineup including Leo Messi, the second half saw the Catalans fielding their B team.

In the end it was the Germans who won the match but given the number of B team players acquitted themselves well against the European champions. Goals came in minutes 13 and 85, but as a first match it wasn’t a bad result.

1-0 Lahm (min 13)
2-0 Mandzukic (min 85)

Barcelona beats Malaga to end season in 100 points

June 3rd, 2013

Barcelona was looking to end the season on a high note by finishing on 100 points and they certainly went out with that aim in mind. Quickly the Catalans established the pace when David Villa scored in the second minute, assisted by Iniesta and Pedro.

Iniesta also helped set up the second goal for Cesc Fabregas in the 13th minute, with Montoya making it 3-0 just two minutes later and just about settling the result of the match; Malaga gained some focus but were unable to score.

Back on after the break Iniesta scored Barcelona’s fourth goal of the night; 115 goals in the season is a new record for the club, beating the previous record of 114 set just last year. Malaga staged a small comeback just minutes later to score their only goal of the match, but all the glory went to Barcelona.

It’s the end of another season that has gone well in many ways, but the Champions League was not to be again and neither was the Copa del Rey; Tito Vilanova suffered a reoccurrence of his cancer and was absent for a few weeks while undergoing treatment; and the familiar face of Eric Abidal, who went through his own battle with cancer and underwent a liver transplant, will no longer be seen in the Nou Camp although he has apparently been offered a staff job once his career as a player has finished.

The draw for the 2013-2014 Spanish League will take place in July and as soon as we have details they will be posted on Simply Barcelona Tickets; to receive email notification please join our mailing list.

1-0 Villa (min 2)
2-0 Cesc (min 13)
3-0 Montoya (min 15)
4-0 Iniesta (min 50)
4-1 Morales (min 54)

Barcelona wins Copa Catalunya on penalty shootout

May 30th, 2013

FC Barcelona beat Espanyol last night in the final of the Copa Catalunya, played in Lleida.

Barcelona fielded a squad full of B-team players and found it difficult to overcome Espanyol, who they played in the league on Sunday, and it was Espanyol who scored the opener.

In fact, it looked until the end that Espanyol would take the title, with Cesc Fabregas only scoring for Barça in the 89th minute. When the match went to a penalty shootout Barcelona dominated, scoring 4 times to Espanyol’s 2.

Simao (min 19)
Fàbregas (min 89)

Barcelona inches closer to the 100 point target against Espanyol

May 27th, 2013

Goals from Alexis and Pedro took FC Barcelona a step closer to their aim of finishing the season on 100 points after meeting Espanyol on Sunday evening.

Espanyol were no walkover from the start but after 13 minutes of play saw Alexis open the scoring after a Villa assist. However, despite Barça’s relentless play only two other real chances came in the first half from Cesc and Iniesta.

Back on after the break Barcelona continued to dominate possession and on one occasion things were looking like they might happen, but Villa shot wide. It was only after Espanyol went down to ten men that Pedro put the ball into the Espanyol net from Xavi to end the night 2-0.

0-1 Alexis (min 13)
0-2 Pedro (min 86)

2-1 win against Valladolid sees Barça march towards 100 points

May 20th, 2013

It was a big night at the Nou Camp on Sunday being the first home game since taking the league title last weekend and the chance to celebrate on home turf. The entire weekend saw heavy rain and Sunday night proved no exception, but even that failed to dent the celebrations.

After a bit of a slow start from the hosts Pedro scored the first goal for Barça in the 20th minute thanks to Xavi, as the team aims to end the season on 100 points. After this Barcelona upped the pace but despite their best efforts were unable to follow through to put the ball home. In the end Marc Valiente failed to clear the ball from the Valladolid goalmouth after a corner and put the ball in his own net.

After the break Barcelona looked like they were going for broke to score a third, but in the end it didn’t happen. Instead Valladolid scored from the penalty spot three minutes from the end after Manucho was brought down by Montoya in the box.

Following the match were the customary celebrations for the league title, with coach and players individually thanking the crowd and fireworks to celebrate the fourth league title in five years for Barça.

1-0 Pedro (min 20)
2-0 Marc Valiente (min 41)
2-1 Víctor Pérez (min 87)

FC Barcelona clinches 2012/2013 league title

May 13th, 2013

Barcelona went into the match against Atletico Madrid last night knowing that they had already clinched the league title after Real Madrid drew against Espanyol on Saturday, the fourth time in five years that the Catalans had won the Spanish title.

With nothing to play for by either team – Atletico have secured third place behind Real Madrid – nothing really happened at the beginning of the match and only towards the end of the first half did the action warm up, although Alves went off with a back strain. Back on after the break Falcao scored for the hosts, while Barcelona brought on Villa and Busquets, but minutes later the Catalans went down to ten men after Leo Messi was forced to retire.

In the end Alexis equalised for Barça in the 71st minute and David Villa’s shot rebounded off Gabi into the net to put Barcelona ahead.

1-0 Falcao (min 50)
1-1 Alexis (min 71)
1-2 Gabi (min 79)

Barça win against Betis takes them a step closer to league title

May 6th, 2013

After the disappointment of their devastating defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich, Barcelona bounced back on Sunday in their Spanish League draw against Betis at the Nou Camp.

Although an error by the Barça defence meant that Betis opened the scoring in the second minute, Alexis scored for the Catalans in the 8th minute to equalise and afterwards Barcelona had several more good opportunities to score but were just unable to put the ball home. Betis hadn’t finished though and after a second goal three minutes from the break, the visitors ended the first half in the lead.

Back on after the break it took a few minutes before David Villa scored to put the score level again. Villa was then substituted for Lionel Messi, who quickly scored to put Barça in the lead for the first time in the match. The Argentine was not yet finished though and scored his second in the 70th minute to seal the win for Barça.

0-1 Dorlan Pabón (min 1)
1-1 Alexis (min 8)
1-2 Rubén Pérez (min 42)
2-2 Villa (min 54)
3-2 Messi (min 59)
4-2 Messi (min 70)

Barcelona crashes out of Champions League

May 2nd, 2013

FC Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League last night after a 3-0 loss against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp. Barcelona had an uphill struggle in this return leg after a 4-0 loss in Germany last week. However, few were expecting the complete annihilation they suffered and against Bayern, with not even a single goal from the Catalans in either leg.

The squad was without Leonel Messi, who was injured, and as is often the case it makes a huge difference to the team. No team should be down to just one single player, but it’s often how it feels without him.

While the first half ended goalless, the visitors soon put an end to the slight hope of Barça making a come back when they scored early in the second half; that meant that Barcelona would need to score six goals to win the game.

An own goal from Gerard Pique and third from Müller meant that all seven goals in the two legs went to the Germans. They have shown what a good team they are, and that Pep Guardiola will need few changes when he moves there next season as coach.

This was the sick sixth successive year that Barcelona made the semifinals of Champions League, fingers crossed that next year the make it through to the final again.

0-1 Robben (min 47)
0-2 Piqué (min 71)
0-3 Müller (min 74)

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