FC Barcelona News
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)
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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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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
Barcelona travelled down to play Malaga on Sunday, the second match of the new season. Playing without Leo Messi, suffering from a slight injury sustained against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, Tata Martino emphasized prior to the match that the team’s result could not be affected by one player.
The Catalans maintained their usual high possession and while they were able to test the Malaga defences, much of their effort seemed to go to waste.
In the end Adriano scored the only goal of the match at the end of the first half, while Victor Valdes ensured Barça took the three points with fantastic save just before the final whistle.
0-1 Adriano (min 43)