FC Barcelona News
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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FC Barcelona’s second pre-season friendly against Moroccan side Raja Club Athletic took place in Tangier last night, with a nine familiar faces side by side with B-team players.
Possession was more than 60% throughout the match, a figure that doesn’t seem particularly high, and the Catalans have sometimes had higher possession without the kind of result of last night; a hat trick from Messi, two from Alexis and one each from Dani Alves, Sergi Gomez and Gerard Deulofeu.
However, these matches aren’t so much about winning as providing entertainment and expanding the club’s support. The result should see a few more Barça shirts sold in Morocco, and a successful trip into North Africa.
Earlier today FC Barcelona announced that they would field their B-team against Espanyol in the Catalan Supercup on July 31st and the response of the Catalan football association has been to suspend the match.
We have therefore removed tickets from sale and unless a solution is found and the match goes ahead as planned, all clients will receive a full refund.