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Match report

Pedro hat trick seals 5th win for Barça

September 23rd, 2013

Barcelona won their fifth match of the season on Saturday night thanks to an on form Victor Valdes, a hat trick from Pedro and a goal from Cesc. The Catalans were visiting Rayo Vallecano, who came close to going ahead early in the first half but were prevented from scoring by Valdes.

Barça also had some early chances, but were unable to capitalise on them, with Messi and Neymar threatening the host’s goal. And a disaster was narrowly averted when Montoya came close to scoring an own goal when he unexpectedly back passed to Valdes. However, the first goal finally came when Messi set up Pedro who kicked the ball home. 10 minutes later Rayo was awarded a penalty, after Adriano crashed into Trashorras, but Victor Valdes kept his head and stopped the ball.

Back on after the break Pedro scored his second of the night to give Barcelona a more comfortable advantage, after which both Messi and Neymar both came close to adding to the goal tally and it was the latter who set up Pedro for his hat trick in the 72nd minute. The final goal of the match came shortly after, when Xavi set up Cesc to make it 4-0 to Barça.

0-1 Pedro (min 32)
0-2 Pedro (min 47)
0-3 Pedro (min 72)
0-4 Fábregas (min 79)


Messi hat trick opens Barça’s European campaign

September 19th, 2013

Barcelona kicked off their Champions League campaign last night with a 4-0 win against Dutch side Ajax. The goals came from a Messi hat trick, plus a header from Gerard Pique, with all but one of the goals coming in the second half.

The lead up to this match saw a war of words between Barça president Sandro Rosell and soccer legend Johan Cruyff, who has played and managed both Barça and Ajax and recently said he would never step inside the Nou Camp while Rosell remains president.

Although in some ways the match was rather lacklustre, Victor Valdes put on a strong performance, twice preventing Ajax from equalising when Barça had gone one goal up and then later stopping a penalty. The end result leaves Barcelona top of the table in Group H, ahead of AC Milan thanks to goals for.

1-0 Messi (min 21)
2-0 Messi (min 54)
3-0 Piqué (min 68)
4-0 Messi (min 74)

Group H
Team P W D L F A Pts
Barcelona 1 1 0 0 4 0 3
AC Milan 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Celtic 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Ajax 1 0 0 1 0 4 0

Alexis saves the day with last minute goal against Sevilla

September 16th, 2013

Barcelona’s fourth match of the season was against Sevilla at the Nou Camp on Saturday, and while going ahead 2 goals, Sevilla equalised in a 10 minute period leading up to the end of the match. It was only a goal in injury time by Alexis that saved the result for the Catalans.

Sevilla is never a walkover and another in a string of tough opponents at the start of this season. Although Barça piled on the pressure from the start, with Neymar and Tello in particular looking to threaten the Sevilla goal, the visitor’s defence didn’t allow much opportunity either. In the end Dani Alves opened the scoring after 34 minutes with a header off an Adriano cross and the first half ended with Barcelona one goal up.

Back on after the break Sevilla looked like they were going to make a go at it and upped the pressure on the Barça goal. However, with Cesc gaining the ball, Neymar then set up Messi for goal number two in the 74th minute. However, Sevilla were not yet done and just minutes later they had narrowed the advantage to a single goal, and then right at the last minute equalised.

With three minutes of injury time awarded by the referee it was looking like Barça would lose their first points of the season. However, the crowd was delighted when Messi set up Alexis to score the winning goal putting the Catalans equal first in the league table.

1-0 Dani Alves (min 35)
2-0 Messi (min 74)
2-1 Rakitic (min 79)
2-2 Coke(min 89)
3-2 Alexis(min 93)


Messi hat trick sees Valencia off at Mestalla

September 2nd, 2013

A hat trick from Lionel Messi put Barcelona three goals ahead of Valencia last night at the Mestalla stadium, helping the Catalans to win the match and overcome their first real test of the new season. However, the home team fought back to score two goals before the break and offered a serious threat to Barça’s early lead.

Leo Messi opened the scoring after 10 minutes after being set up by Cesc, and for the next 30 minutes Barcelona continued to dominate, with Messi scoring at the 38 minute mark and then two minutes later. However, just when it looked like the visitors had everything under control, Valencia scored two goals just before the break while the clock was counting down injury time and closing the early advantage down to a single goal.

Back on after the break Barcelona was unable to produce the same kind of magic that created that Messi hat trick, but with Valdes and the defence holding up, they conceded no more goals either. Valencia is always a tough competitor, and the Barça squad must be glad to have this match out the way with a positive result.

0-1 Messi (min 10)
0-2 Messi (min 38)
0-3 Messi (min 40)
1-3 Hélder Postiga (min 44)
2-3 Hélder Postiga (min 47)


Barça wins Spanish Supercup against Atletico

August 29th, 2013

Fc Barcelona last night won the Spanish Supercup on away goals after a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp.

Although Barcelona dominated possession for much of the match, they were unable to break the Atletico defence and the closest they came to scoring was from the penalty spot; however, Lionel Messi’s shot ricocheted off the inside of the crossbar and failed to go in.

However, Victor Valdes made two good saves and in doing so almost certainly won the cup for the Catalans.


1-0 win against Malaga

August 26th, 2013

Barcelona travelled down to play Malaga on Sunday, the second match of the new season. Playing without Leo Messi, suffering from a slight injury sustained against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Tata Martino emphasized prior to the match that the team’s result could not be affected by one player.

The Catalans maintained their usual high possession and while they were able to test the Malaga defences, much of their effort seemed to go to waste.

In the end Adriano scored the only goal of the match at the end of the first half, while Victor Valdes ensured Barça took the three points with fantastic save just before the final whistle.

0-1 Adriano (min 43)


First leg of Supercup 2013 ends in draw

August 22nd, 2013

Barça debuted their away strip in Madrid last night, the red and yellow stripes of the Catalan flag provocatively worn in Spain’s capital as they faced Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup.

The match kicked off late to allow for the August heat, with reports of it being 32 degrees C even at that time, which obviously takes its toll on players. There was to be no rerun of the huge goal tallies Barça has been getting used to in pre-season and in the first match of the league with the hosts showing that they meant business and creating moments of danger, particularly on the counter attack.

Atletico scored early, David Villa putting his new team ahead of his former team mates, while Barcelona just couldn’t make it happen, despite high possession. After the break Messi didn’t restart due to a minor injury, while new boy Neymar came on a few minutes later.

In the end Neymar scored for the Catalans 20 minutes into the second half and left it to the second leg to decide the trophy. The Nou Camp leg takes place next Wednesday.

1-0 Villa (min 11)
1-1 Neymar (min 66)


Barça opens season with Levante demolition

August 19th, 2013

Levante must have wondered what had hit them last night at the Nou Camp, when Barcelona ended the first half with six goals already. It must have been quite a relief in the second half for just one more to be scored, to end the match on 7-0, and a clear demonstration of how dominant Barça is likely to be this season.

Just as a reminder, this was the second home match with Tata Martino as coach – the first was the Gamper Trophy at the beginning of the month – and in those two matches his squad has scored 15 goals.

Alexis scored the first of the evening within two minutes, with Messi scoring goal number two at the 11 minute mark. However, when Dani Alves effectively sealed the victory for Barcelona after 23 minutes and Pedro making it 4 just two minutes after that.

Even at 4-0 it wasn’t over for the first half though, with Messi scoring his second and Xavi ending the first half 6-0. I can’t even imagine the moral in Levante’s dressing room during the break, but fortunately for their self esteem there was only one more goal, scored by Pedro in the 72nd minute.

Barcelona is clearly looking solid under the new manager, who has brought with him a new style of play that may well outsmart the best clubs in Europe this season. It’s early days, but there are strong indications that the 2013/14 season is going to be one to remember!

1-0 Alexis (min 2)
2-0 Messi (min 11)
3-0 Dani Alves (min 23)
4-0 Pedro (min 25)
5-0 Messi (min 41)
6-0 Xavi (min 44)
7-0 Pedro (min 72)


Asian Tour ends with victory for Barça in Malaysia

August 11th, 2013

Barcelona played their last match of the short Asian Tour yesterday, when they played the Malaysia XI selection in Kuala Lumpa. Leo Messi was forced to withdraw prior to the match due to a small injury, with Cesc Fabregas injuring his ankle, which has been confirmed as a sprain,

Barça went a goal up thanks to Cesc just after the half hour mark, with Malaysia XI equalising a few minutes later. However, the Catalans ended the first half ahead after a goal, rom Neymar. The only goal of the second half was scored by Gerard Piqué, 25 minutes into the second half and ensuring a 3-1 win for the visitors.

The squad is reportedly back in Barcelona and although Spain plays a friendly on Wednesday, the focus for the majority of the players is next Sunday, when they face Levante in the first match of the league.

0-1 Fábregas (min 31)
1-1 Amri Yahyah (min 39)
1-2 Neymar (min 42)
1-3 Piqué (min 74)


Barcelona demonstrate strength against Thailand

August 7th, 2013

Barcelona played Thailand earlier today in the first match of their short Far East tour. Net mar opened the scoring, his first for his new club, with Pedro scoring a hat track and Messi scoring two. The remaining goal for Barça was scored by Alexis.

0-1 Neymar (min 11)
0-2 Messi (min 13)
0-3 Pedro (min 19)
0-4 Messi (min 25)
0-5 Pedro (min 35)
1-5 Teerasil (min 42)
1-6 Pedro (min 47)
1-7 Alexis lr (min 49)


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