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Barcelona dominates Elche after slow start

January 9th, 2015

With Messi, Neymar and Suarez all starting last night’s match it looked like Luis Enrique was going in with all guns blazing with the aim, if the reports are true, of saving his managerial career at Barça.

However, despite fielding Barcelona’s heavyweights it took a long time for the Catalans to get into the game and for the first half an hour seemed it wouldn’t be going anywhere. This was Barcelona at their worst, with no real opportunities and uninteresting to watch. However, Neymar changed all that at the 34th minute, when suddenly the team stepped up a couple of notches and this first goal prompted more. Suarez scored five minutes after the Neymar opener, and then Messi from the penalty spot after Neymar was brought down to go into the break 3-0; just 15 minutes earlier it was looking like it was going to be deadlock.

Back on after the break Barcelona kept the pressure up and more goals came. First Messi set up Jordi Alba to score Barça’s fourth, and Neymar finished with Barcelona’s fifth goal of the night. Despite a poor start, Barcelona really got into the match and go into the return leg with the clear advantage.

1-0 Neymar (min 34)
2-0 Suárez (min 39)
3-0 Messi (min 45)
4-0 Jordi Alba (min 54)
5-0 Neymar (min 57)


FC Barcelona to hold presidential elections before end of season

January 8th, 2015

FC Barcelona club president Jose Maria Bartomeu yesterday appeared in front of the media following the sacking earlier this week of the Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta, the subsequent resignation of his deputy Carles Puyol and continued speculation that first team coach Luis Enrique is to be sacked afer a spectacular falling out with Leo Messi.

Messi and Enrique have reportedly almost come to blows and while Enrique is still in his job this week it is said he has two games to sort things out after Messi issued an ultimatum to the board of directors; me or him.

In the press conference yesterday afternoon, Bartomeu said he wanted to “lower the tension in the club” by holding elections before the end of the season and will contest the position that he inherited when Sandro Rosell resigned in 2014.

Former president Joan Laporta has said he will announce his candidacy “when the time is right” and would reportedly bring Pep Guardiola back to the club but in the role of Sporting Director.

 


Puyol quits Barça management role after Zubizarreta is sacked

January 7th, 2015

FC Barcelona’s director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked on Monday after he failed to overturn the club’s transfer ban imposed by FIFA during 2015.

The sacking of Zubizarreta prompted the resignation of his deputy Carles Puyol after just a few months in the job and speculation that Luis Enrique is also for the chop, ahead of Barça’s matach against Atletico Madrid. There are persistent rumours that Lionel Messi is unhappy with Enrique’s management style, causing him to suggest he may look to play elsewhere than the Catalan club and there was a further clash between the two on Monday when the Argentine star failed to show up for training due to illness.

A press conference has been called at 16:00 today (Wednesday) when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu will address the immediate future of the club. The press conference is to be followed by a meeting of the FC Barcelona board to discuss the FIFA ban.


La liga 2014/15 – standing after week 17

January 5th, 2015

With Real Madrid dropping three points against Valencia, FC Barcelona had a great opportunity to capitalise and take the top spot in La Liga, but were unable to recover from an own goal in the opening minutes of the match against Real Sociedad. Atletico Madrid, who Barça plays next weekend, won their match against Levante and now equal Barcelona’s 38 points. Real Madrid is one game behind due to their participation in the Club World Cup in December.

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Barça loses first match of 2015

January 5th, 2015

Barcelona’s first match of 2015 ended in a loss thanks to an own goal by Jordi Alba. After Real Madrid’s defeat at the hands of Valencia earlier in the afternoon, Barça was looking to take the top spot in the Spanish league but the only goal of the match against Real Sociedad, scored within the first two minutes, proved to be the decider.

Barcelona played their usual game of high possession, but on the rain-soaked pitch were unable to deliver and it was the hosts that came closest to scoring with the Catalans looking well under par.

Messi came on in the second half, with Neymar joining him soon after to really up the pressure on the Real Sociedad defence. However, despite much of the play being in the host’s half, Barcelona was unable to break through and make it count. Four minutes from the end Suarez came close, but in the end it was that early own goal that decided the match.

1-0 Jordi Alba (min 2)


La liga 2014/15 – standing after week 16

December 22nd, 2014

Barcelona closed in on Real Madrid this weekend after the league leaders did not play due to their participation in the Club’s World Cup. Atletico Madrid is three points behind Barça on 35, with Valencia in fourth place on 31. As we approach the halfway stage of the Spanish League it is still a very much open contest, but Barcelona needs to up their game to make the most of when Madrid inevitably stumbles.

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Barça scores five in final match of 2014

December 22nd, 2014

Barcelona’s last match of 2014 took place at the Nou Camp on Saturday and despite going ahead in the first minute thanks to a goal from Pedro, for much of the match Barça looked uninspired despite their normal high possession.

After Pedro’s opener, assisted by Rakitic, there were a number of chances for the hosts but despite that the first half ended with just that single goal.

Seven minutes into the second half and Suarez put Barça further in the lead with his first league goal for the Catalans. However, it was the closing minutes of the game that the match really got going with Pique scoring 11 minutes fromn the final whistle, followed by Messi justa couple of minutes later. The final goal of the match came during injury time, when Messi scored his second of the match and FC Barcelona ended winning 5-0.

1-0 Pedro (min 1)
2-0 Suárez (min 52)
3-0 Piqué (min 79)
4-0 Messi (min 81)
5-0 Messi (min 90)


Barça through to last 16 of Copa del Rey

December 17th, 2014

Barcelona last night firmly qualified for the last 16 of the Copa del Rey after beating Huesca 8-1 after beating them 4-0 in the first leg.

Pedro scored a hat-trick in the first half, opening the scoring nearly 20 minutes set up by Munir, with Sergi Roberto and Iniesta scoring one each to go into the break 5-0. The second half saw three more goals from Barça, scored by Adriano, Adama and Sandro, while the guest team scored one just minutes from the end.

As usual with the Copa del Rey some of Barça’s big names sat it out, but it was a good opportunity for some of the reserve players to show what they could do; Adama scored his first goal for the club, while Jordi Massip made his debut in goal.

1-0 Pedro (min 19)
2-0 Pedro (min 25)
3-0 Sergi Roberto (min 28)
4-0 Iniesta (min 38)
5-0 Pedro (min 42)
6-0 Adriano (min 66)
7-0 Adama Traoré (min 76)
8-0 Sandro Ramírez (min 81)
8-1 Gaspar Gálvez (min 84)


La liga 2014/15 – standing after week 15

December 15th, 2014

Barcelona slipped further behind Real Madrid after drawing against Getafe, although Atletico’s loss to Villarreal means they are three points behind Barça.

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Barça slips against Getafe

December 15th, 2014

Barcelona slipped in their campaign for the Spanish League title after a goalless draw at Getafe on Saturday in a match played without Neymar who is recovering from injury. The Catalans dominated possession throughout the match, but were unable to translate that possession into results in a match under cold rain.

The first half saw little real action, particularly in the first fifteen minutes, although when anything did look like it was going to happen Suarez seemed to be involved. And while Barça held on to the ball for three quarters of the time, it was Getafe who had the only real attempt at scoring throughout the first half, forcing Bravo into action for the save.

After the break saw more of the same, with a few chances created by Barça but unable to score. Messi had a couple of good opportunities, as did a number of other players, but they were just unable to do enough to get through the Getafe defence and make it count. Enrique bround on Munir and Iniesta in place of Rakitic and Pedro, but to no good effect. Iniesta had a chance but it was easily cleared and the match ended with neither team scoring.


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