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Sampdoria Lift Gamper Trophy

August 21st, 2012

A team of young Barça B players and first-team stars making their comebacks from injury slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Serie A club Sampdoria in the Gamper on Monday night. The visitors took an early lead through Roberto Soriano, and despite probing for 90 minutes , Barça were unable to find a way back.

There was barely a minute on the clock when Sampdoria stole a surprise lead. The Italian side worked the ball down the left wing for Obiang to swing in a right-footed cross from deep. Midfielder Roberto Soriano evaded his marker and stooped to head home to the right of Pinto in the Barcelona goal.

The home team needed some time to settle, given its slightly unfamiliar mix of players, and for the next half an hour achieved plenty of possession but not much by way of chances.

Barcelona probed via Afellay, Villa and Deulofeu, but Sampdoria were organised and determined. Villa fired a free-kick over from 25 yards and Sergi Roberto was just unable to make contact with a powerful Espinosa cross from the left.

As the half wore on, spaces began to open up, but not before Pinto was forced into a fine save when Maxi López got free in the Barcelona area. Afellay went close with a long-range drive, and moments later the Dutchman sent Deulofeu through down the left, but Samp ‘keeper Romero was alert to the danger and gathered the ball from the young winger’s feet.

Deulofeu had been quietly impressive all half, and almost scored the equaliser, when he turned the Sampdoria defence inside out down the right wing, but could only sting the palms of Romero with his shot from a tight angle.

Barcelona began the second half at a far higher tempo, and produced a number of eye-catching attacking moves. The pick involved Sergi Roberto and Deulofeu. The former slipped a measured through-ball forward for Deulofeu, but the young winger was once again closed down by Romero.

Deulofeu continued to pose a threat, and raised the crowd’s spirits with his pace and close control, although he occasionally tried to take on a little too much and ran into traffic. Sampdoria on the other hand weres sitting ever deeper, but still managed to create chances on the break.

First Tissone fired over on the half volley as Barcelona tried to clear their lines, and then Pozzi was presented with fantastic opportunity when he raced clear of the Barça defence. He had plenty of time to choose a corner, but Pinto came out quickly and Pozzi’s shot only ricocheted off the base of the post and out for a goal kick.

A raft of substitutions followed, and the Nou Camp faithful got a glimpse of some of the next generation of young stars to be produced by the famous youth system. Among them was Jean Marie Dongou, but the 17-year-old forward only had seven minutes to impress, and by that point the game was starting peter out.

0-1 Soriano (min 1)


La liga 2012/2013 – standing after week 1

August 21st, 2012

The first match of the 2012-2013 Spanish League kicked off this weekend with Barcelona playing Real Sociedad on Sunday. Some matches were left for Monday, when Barça was playing the Gamper. However, the first week’s league table now stands as below.

Read the rest of this entry »


New Era Begins with Goal Glut

August 20th, 2012

New manager Tito Vilanova got off to an impressive start, as Barcelona cruised past Real Sociedad with a 5-1 win, and David Villa marked his return to fitness by scoring a late goal. Messi got on the score-sheet with two, and he was also joined by Pedro and Puyol in the first half.

It was a match remarkable for its landmarks – the first competitive game for Vilanova as manager, while Jordi Alba marked his first league start at left-back. The transition was as seamless as anyone could have hoped, with Barcelona displaying their famous attacking finesse and putting Real Sociedad to the sword.

The first half was a real goal-fest, as Barcelona settled quickly into their possession game, producing lightning-quick combinations and carving the visitors open time and again. Real Sociedad were swamped, but managed to build a couple of isolated attacks on the break.

There were two goals in the first ten minutes alone. First Puyol rose to head in a Xavi corner, getting the better of Ansotegi who vainly claimed a foul by Barça’s captain.

But less than three minutes after going behind, Real Sociedad responsed with a swift attack. Illarramendi received the ball from Xabi Prieto, and spread it to Chory Castro, whose emphatic finish beat Valdes high at the near post.

At this point, Messi entered the game. And with just 11 minutes on the board, the little Argentine grabbed the lead. Pedro squared a short pass for him, and he let it run across his body, bustled past a marker and dispatched a great effort into the top-left corner.

But he wasn’t done there – five minutes later Cristian Tello strode down the left side and although his cross was a little scuffed, Messi responded faster than anyone and fired the ball home with little fuss.

After four goals in less than 20 minutes the game settled into a pattern of Barcelona attacking with a little more patience, waiting for chances rather than forcing them.

The next big one fell to Messi again, after he was set free by a delightful reverse pass by Cesc. This time Bravo saved with his legs. But then, just before the break, Pedro put Barcelona 4-1 up when he coolly tucked Tello’s accurate cross into the bottom left corner first-time after a stylish passage of touch football.

The second half was a more controlled performance from Barça, remarkable mainly for David Villa reintroduction to the team. He scored with five minutes to go when Iniesta dribbled his way to the byline to the left side of the goal and produced a deft cutback for the Asturian striker, who curled a left-footed shot in to the top-right corner.

Before this a stunning passage of one-touch interplay between Messi and Pedro produced a chance that Messi put just wide.

It was a satisfying night for Barcelona and Vilanova, with injuries to Puyol and Iniesta to dampen the mood at the Camp Nou.

1-0 Puyol (min 3)
1-1 Castro (min 8)
2-1 Messi (min 10)
3-1 Messi (min 15)
4-1 Pedro (min 40)
5-1 Villa (min 82)


Goals from Messi and Afellay see 2-0 win for Barça against Dinamo in Bucharest

August 12th, 2012

FC Barcelona won the last of the pre-season friendlies last night when they visited Bucharest to play Dinamo. The match saw goals from Messi and Afellay, and also the welcome return of David Villa after an eight month absence following the breaking of his leg while playing during the Clubs World Cup.

Lionel Messi’s goal came early on, in the fourth minute, after which Barcelona retained extremely high possession as they often do, but were unable to score. Afellay scored right at the end of the match, in the 91st minute, to leave the score line at 2-0 to Barça.


FC Barcelona v Manchester United video highlights

August 10th, 2012

If you missed the match the other day between Barça and Man Utd, or you just want a reminder of all the best moments, you can take a look at the match highlights video below. Running for 2.5 minutes, it covers the penalties and after match celebrations.


Pre-season friendly against Man Utd sees Barça win on penalties

August 9th, 2012

Barcelona beat Manchester United last night in Gothenburg on penalties after neither time had scored at the end of full time.

The teams faced each other in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, with Barça taking the title on both occasions. Manchester almost went ahead in the first half when a Rooney penalty was saved by Victor Valdes. The match also marked the debut of recent signing Jordi Alba.

Manchester missed their first penalty, with Pinto saving the second; Xavi and Pique both scored for Barcelona to give them the match.

Read more here


Barça to face Man Utd at Gothenburg tonight

August 8th, 2012

FC Barcelona faces Manchester United tonight in Gothenburg, in a rerun of the Champions League finals of 2009 and 2011. While Barça won both times, Wayne Rooney has been quoted by the FCB website as saying that the result wasn’t as important as enjoying the match and getting fir for the start of the new season.

The match kicks off at 20:00 tonight and will be shown by TV3 in Catalonia. Check out local television schedules to watch the match live.


Barça beats Paris-Saint Germain on penalties

August 5th, 2012

FC Barcelona won their second match under Tito Vilanova yesterday after the match ended 2-2 and going to penalties. The Catalans opened the scoring early on, with a goal from Rafinha, and Messi scored Barça’s second after being awarded a penalty. However, PSG recent signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored from the penalty spot at the hour mark and Zoumana Camara equalised nine minutes from the end.

With the match being decided on penalties, Barcelona put the ball home, which PSG failed to do for their first two shots to make the penalty tally 4-1 to FC Barcelona.


FC Barcelona fixtures: August 2012

August 1st, 2012

Barcelona has a number of friendly fixtures lined up for August prior to the football getting serious again. And when it does, it gets really serious; two matches against Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercup.

Below is listed all matches currently scheduled for August, bearing in mind that league match dates may not be confirmed until a week before they take place.

Tickets for any of the home matches below can be ordered from Simply Barcelona Tickets, as well as the away leg of the Spanish Supercup on 30th August.

4 Aug Paris Sant-Germain v Barcelona
8 Aug Manchester United v Barcelona
11 Aug Dinamo v Barcelona
18/19 Aug Barcelona v Real Sociedad
20 Aug Barcelona v Sampdoria
23 Aug Barcelona v Real Madrid
25/26 Aug Osasuna v Barcelona
30 Aug Real Madrid v Barcelona

For all other matches in the forthcoming season, please see the homepage.


FC Barcelona issues communique on Catalan Supercup

July 31st, 2012

Many fans of FC Barcelona were disappointed when the Catalan Supercup, due to be played this year between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, was suspended last Friday after FC Barcelona informed the  Catalan Football Federation of its intention to field Barça B. The federation proposed a new date, September 26th, which Barça has accepted. The Club also issed a communique on the Catalan Supercup, covering three points, which you can read on the official website.

Read “Communique on the Catalan Super Cup” at FC Barcelona

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