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Match report

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)


Barça thrashes Santos in 2013 Gamper Trophy

August 3rd, 2013

Last night Barcelona played their first match of the 2013-2014 pre-season in front of a new crowd, marking the debut of both Tata Martino and Neymar at the Nou Camp. With the new team being introduced prior to the match, the Nou Camp was in full celebratory mood, while commemorating legendary Barça goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets, who died on Tuesday.

This year Brazilian club Santos was invited to play in the Gamper trophy, the club from which Neymar has just been signed and so the Gamper played farewell to him as much as it did an introduction to the new.

Barcelona came on brimming with energy and from the early moments it looked like they might score. It took just seven minutes for Lionel Messi to score, followed by an own goal from Santos a few minutes later. It took 10 more minutes before Alexis made it 3-0, but even that wasn’t enough and by the time of the break Pedro had made it 4-0.

There can’t have been a good feeling in the changing room of one of Brazil’s premier clubs, but after the break play continued as before. Martino made a number of changes in the second half, including the hugely anticipated debut of Neymar, who for the first time played alongside Leo Messi to roars of approval from the crowd.

Cesc scored two within the first 25 minutes to make it 6-0 and while it was clear that the squad was trying to set up Neymar to score his first goal for the Catalans, it didn’t quite happen. However, Adriano scored a seventh goal for Barcelona and Dongou made it 8-0.

All in all a good display of football and a good result. While some doubted whether Messi and Neymar could coexist in the same team, the first demonstration seems to show that both are mature enough to get on with the job. based on this match it looks like it will be a fantastic season ahead.

1-0 Messi (min 7)
2-0 Léo (min 10)
3-0 Alexis (min 20)
4-0 Pedro (min 28)
5-0 Fábregas (min 51)
6-0 Fábregas (min 66)
7-0 Adriano (min 73)
8-0 Dongou (min 81)


Neymar debut against Lechia Gdansk ends in draw

July 31st, 2013

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)


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