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Pedro hat trick seals 5th win for Barça

September 23rd, 2013
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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

La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 4

September 16th, 2013

Barcelona ended the weekend equal top of the Spanish league table with Atletico Madrid equal on points, as well as goals for and against. Barcelona’s next league match is against Rayo Vallecano next weekend, while they face Ajax in Champions League on Wednesday.

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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)

Camp Nou to take part in Catalan pro-independence rally

September 6th, 2013

A human chain that is planned to extend 400 kilometres from the top to the bottom of Catalonia in support of Catalan independence will pass through the Nou Camp next Wednesday.

The event takes place on 11th September, celebrated in the region as the “diada de Catalunya” or Catalonia Day. Catalonia is among the richest regions in Spain, but is widely despised by much of the rest of Spain, and currently has grievances with the Madrid government over funding.

During the Franco era the Catalan language and culture was banned, and while these days things are much freer, there are many in Spain who would happily do away with the language. All these things taken together have seen a surge in support for independence, with 11th September last year seeing 1.5 to 2 million people taking part in a march in Barcelona that made headlines worldwide.

The chain will be allowed to enter through one entrance, along the terraces and out another, but will not be allowed onto the turf. However, having FC Barcelona as a high profile sponsor of the rally is likely to help publicise it across the globe.

La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 3

September 2nd, 2013

Barcelona remain at the top of the Spanish league table thanks to their goals for, which narowly pushes Atletico Madrid into second place, with Villarreal and Real Madrid behind in the third and fourth spots. However, that advantage is illusionary as the first of those top four teams to lose points will actually fall behind. There is now a break in the league for international duties, with the next match against Sevilla. Although they are lying in 15th place in the table they are unlikely to be a walkover.

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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)

FC Barcelona’s group stage Champions League fixtures for 2013

August 30th, 2013

With the draw for Champions League having taken place yesterday afternoon, Simply Barcelona Tickets now has prices for the Nou Camp matches. Barcelona has been drawn against Ajax, AC Milan and Celtic, with the group stage home matches taking place on 18th September, 6th November and 9th December.

For full details and pricing see our Champions League page here.

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.

La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 2

August 26th, 2013

Barcelona remain at the top of the table after 2 matches, with Atletico Madrid, who they play in the second leg of the Spanish Supercup on Wednesday, in second place. Real Madrid plays Granada tonight, so depending on how many goals they score the top positions may change slightly. 

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