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New start of season record for Barcelona

September 30th, 2013

Barcelona’s win against Almeria on Saturday created a new club record for the start of the season, winning all seven matches played so far. The Catalans started the match testing the Almeria defence, while the hosts did all they could to make sure they were able to do little with the high possession.

However, at the 20 minute mark Pedro passed to Messi at the edge of the box and put Barça in the lead. Although Messi might have hoped to do more though, as just a few minutes later Xavi came on to replace him with the Argentine suffering a thigh injury likely to keep him out of action for two to three weeks. And with Messi off, Almeria started to capitalise on Barcelona’s lost focus, forcing Valdes into action at the end of the first half.

Back on after the break Barcelona regained their composure and, back in control, started to slow things down. 10 minutes into the second half Adriano put the ball into the Almeria net for the final goal of the match.

0-1 Messi (min 20)
0-2 Adriano (min 56)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 6

September 25th, 2013

Barcelona remains at the head of the Spanish League table after their win against Real Sociedad last night. Not all matches have yet been played but the current table is shown below:

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Six out of six as Barça equals their best la liga start

September 25th, 2013

Barcelona made it six games out of six last night when they faced Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp, and in doing so equalled their best ever start to the league. Barça scored a barrage of goals early on, with Neymar opening the scoring in the fourth minute, followed by Messi just three minutes later and Busquets 22 minutes in.

Although Barça continued to dominate the first half ended 3-0. The Nou Camp was in a party mood thanks to the city wide celebrations for la Mercè, Barcelona’s patron saint, and also the anniversary of the inauguration of the stadium; every chance on the Real Sociedad goal was celebrated in the stands.

Back on after the break it took nearly 20 minutes for the visitors to make their mark on the evening when they took the scoreline to 3-1. However, it was too little and too late against the might of Barcelona, who scored one more 12 minutes later to end the match 4-1.

Barça heads to Almeria on Saturday for the next league match, followed by Celtic on Tuesday.

1-0 Neymar (min 4)
2-0 Messi (min 7)
3-0 Busquets (min 22)
3-1 De la Bella (min 64)
4-1 Bartra (min 76)


La liga 2013/14 – standing after week 5

September 23rd, 2013

Barcelona remain at the top of the Spanish League after their fifth win in succession. Atletico remain in the second spot, also on 15 points but with two fewer goals for and Real Madrid take the third spot on 13 points.

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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
TeamPWDLFAPts
Barcelona1100403
AC Milan1100203
Celtic1001020
Ajax1001040

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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