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La liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 7

October 8th, 2012

FC Barcelona remain 8 points ahead of Real Madrid after a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp last night. Meanwhile, the slip has allowed Atletico Madrid to draw on points, putting them in second place thanks to Barça’s goal tally. Madrid are now in fifth place on 11 points.

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Hard fought clasico ends in draw

October 8th, 2012

Barcelona went into the classico on Sunday night 8 points ahead of Real Madrid, having won all six of their previous league matches this season. The match saw them without Carles Puyol, after his horrific arm injury suffered during the Champions League during the week, and Gerard Pique.

There were a couple of apparent penalties that were not called by the ref and a spectacular shot that struck the bar in the closing minutes of the match that would have given all three points to Barcelona, but at the end of the day the Catalans walked away remaining eight points ahead.

The first goal came from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 22nd minute, with an uncomfortable amount of play in the Barça half. However, five minutes later Leo Messi scored for Barcelona to make it 1-1.

After the break Barcelona dominated and at the hour mark Messi scored from a free kick outside the box, putting Barça ahead. However, elation didn’t last long as Cristiano Ronaldo scored five minutes later to equalise.

At the end of the match Montoya shot from outside the box and it looked as it is if it was going to go in. However, but it struck bar and bounced out, leaving the score 2-2.

0-1 Ronaldo (min 22)
1-1 Messi (min 29)
2-1 Messi (min 60)
2-2 Ronaldo (min 65)

Barça beats Benefica – Puyol out for six weeks

October 3rd, 2012

FC Barcelona continued their winning streak under Tito Vilanova with a 2-0 victory over Benfica in the group stage of Champions League last night. The goals came from Alexis, in the fifth minute, and Cesc Fabregas in the 54th.

While that was all good news, the bad news was that Carles Puyol who had just returned from injury, dislocated his elbow after falling awkwardly. Streteched off, he was taken to hospital where initial reports say he will be out of action for six weeks. This will come as a blow to the defender, particulalrly ahead of the clasico on Sunday.

The win leaves Barcelona at the top of the group G on 6 points with Celtic on 4.

0-1 Alexis (min 5)
0-2 Fábregas (min 54)

Group G

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La liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 6

October 1st, 2012

Barcelona retained their unblemished record at the weekend with their sixth win in six matches, although they appeared close to coming unstuck after Sevilla went two goals up. Real Madrid won decisively agains Deportivo, but remain 8 points behind Barça. However, the first big showdown happens next weekend when Madrid travels to the Nou Camp. You can expect more than the normal fireworks with Madrid’s poor form at the start of the season, reportedly poor relations between the Spanish and Portuguese contingents inside the club, and the recent march in favour of Catalan independence bringing the two regions into direct confrontation politically.

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Barcelona claws back victory against Sevilla

October 1st, 2012

Barcelona clawed back a 2-0 deficit on Saturday night against Sevilla to win the match in injury time and hold on to their unbeaten run in the league this season. Although the Catalans appeared to be in control of the match early on and a couple of good chances for Pedro and Messi, it was Sevilla who opened the scoring in the 25th minute. The first half ended 1-0 to the home team, but soon Sevilla were 2-0 up thanks to Negredo.

However, the Barcelona squad kept their heads and Cesc Fabregas soon scored the first for Barcelona, and several chances being created but the goals just didn’t come. Finally with a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, Cesc scored his second to level the score. The icing on the cake though was David Villa’s goal in the 92nd minute to give Barcelona the lead and an unbroken run of six matches won.

Next Sunday sees Real Madrid visit the Nou Camp in what is likely to be another highly charged match.

1-0 Trochowski (min 25)
2-0 Negredo (min 47)
2-1 Fabregas (min 52)
2-2 Fabregas (min 88)
2-3 Villa (min 92)

La liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 5

September 25th, 2012

Barcelona remains 8 points ahead of Real Madrid after a weekend that saw Madrid’s match against Rayon postponed due to suspected sabotage of the floodlighting at the host stadium. Barcelona struggled in their match against Granada, although eventually winning 2-0, while Madrid won their second league match of the season.

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Barcelona struggles to defeat Granada

September 23rd, 2012

FC Barcelona won their fifth consecutive league match last night against Granada, although they struggled to score at all. Granada went out of their way to break the flowing style of Barça, who struggled to get close to the visitors goal. In fact there were just two opportunities in the first half, neither of which went home.

Back on after the break Barça started to find their form, while their opponent struggled in defence. Barcelona started to pile on the pressure, although Granada wouldn’t yield. And suddenly they went on the counter-attack, with Victor Valdes making a great save.

Finally it was only in the 86th minute that Xavi scored off the crossbar. Minutes later Messi’s shot was deflected by Borja into his own net to make it 2-0 Barcelona.

1-0 Xavi (min 86)
2-0 Borja (min 91)

Barça win hard fought match against Spartak

September 20th, 2012

FC Barcelona won their first clash in their new Champions League campaign last night at the Nou Camp against Spartak Moscow in a hard fought match. Barça went 1-0l up in the 13th minute thanks to Tello but Spartak fought back scoring their first thanks to an own goal from Dani Alves and then Romulo put the visitors in the lead in the 58th minute.

On came Alexis in places of Alvis and Barcelona started to look like they were making some progress. Finally Messi equalised in the 72nd minute. With Villa on the pitch the Spartak area was really under attack and Finally Leo Messi scored the winner in the 80th minute, with the home team managing to hang on to their advantage for the last 10 minutes for the final whistle.

The bad news is that Gerard Pique was injured early in the match, with Alex Song coming on to replace him. Pique is likely to be out for two to three weeks with a foot injury.

1-0 Tello (min 13)
1-1 Alves (min 28)
1-2 Romulo (min 58)
2-2 Messi (min 72)
3-2 Messi (min 80)

La liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 4

September 17th, 2012

Barcelona remains unbeaten in the Spanish league with 12 points after four matches and is now 8 points ahead of current title holders Real Madrid. Barça’s arch-rivals have won just one of their matches so far and drawn another and, according to a Catalan news report, the first time in the history if the league that they have fallen 8 points behind the league leader. However, on the down side, it was confirmed yesterday that Carles Puyol has injured his left knee, a strain of the posterior cruciate ligament, and will be out of action for six weeks.

This week sees the start of Barcelona’s Champions League campaign, with their first match in the group stage against Spartak Moscow at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

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Dominant Barcelona Take the Points at Getafe

September 17th, 2012

FC Barcelona were in fine form on Saturday evening as they beat Getafe 4-1 in Madrid. It was a complete performance by Barça – lively in attack and defensively very sound. The goals came from Messi, who got two, Adriano and David Villa. Pablo Sarabia got a consolation for the home side, who barely had a sniff of the Barcelona goal all match.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura took Tito Vilanova’s place on the touchline, as the main man served out the second game of his suspension.

High in the stand at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Vilanova will have been pleased with the first half display, in a fixture that saw Pep Guardiola’s side slip to defeat last season. Barcelona found their touch quickly and started combining to great effect, even without mainstays like the injured Dani Alves and Messi, who was on the bench.

Tello had a chance four minutes in, when he used his lightning pace to rush past the Getafe backline, but saw his shot saved low by Moya. A little later Thiago controlled the ball deep in the Getafe half, strode forward and produced a rasping shot that crashed off the crossbar. Xavi then went close with an effort of his own

The pressure was building now, and it culminated with a goal – Cesc did well to get past two Getafe defenders before laying it off for Adriano, who tucked it home. Thiago might have made it two when he chested down a pinpoint pass by Tello, but Moya was alert and made a nearpost save.

Getafe hadn’t posed much of a threat, but forced Valdés into action just before half-time, when the Barça ‘keeper scrambled away a Pedro León free-kick.

The second half was much of the same from the visitors. Barcelona controlled possession and hardly looked troubled at the back. Tello had a couple of chances, the first of which was curled wide and the second well saved by Moya. Messi, on for Thiago, was denied what looked like a penalty when Miguel Torres brought him down but appeared to make no contact with the ball.

The referee had no choice but to point to the spot later when Pedro cut inside Valera and was caught by the defender. Messi scored, via Moya’s palm.

The onslaught continued into the final stages of the match – Montoya broke down the right, and his low cross was deflected into Messi’s path, who made no mistake from six yards out.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Getafe pulled a goal back to make it 3-1, when a shot by Sarabia took a wild deflection off Mascherano and left Valdés with no chance. But it had been a thoroughly professional performance by Barcelona, and this was underlined in injury time, when David Villa scored from a delightful Xavi pass. The Asturian forward strode into the area and placed his shot in between Moya’s legs to end the match at 4-1 to Barcelona.

1-0 Adriano (min 32)
2-0 Messi (min 72)
3-0 Messi (min 76)
3-1 Mascherano (min 77)
4-1 Villa (min 89)

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