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Barça takes top spot in Group D

October 21st, 2010
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Once again Leo Messi was the hero of the night with the only two goals of the match being scored by him. The three points gained takes Barça to the top of Group D in a match where the ball found the back of the net plenty of times, only to be disallowed.

The Catalans struggled to dominate the Danish team, and the points were hard fought for. FC Barcelona vists Copenhagen in two weeks for the return leg.

1-0, Messi (min 19)
2-0, Messi (min 92)

P W D L F A GD PTS
1 FC Barcelona 3 2 1 0 8 2 6 7
2 FC Copenhagen 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
3 Rubin Kazan 3 0 2 1 1 2 -1 2
4 Panathinaikos 3 0 1 2 1 7 -6 1

FC Barcelona beats league leaders Valencia

October 18th, 2010

FC Barcelona took advantage of the break in the league while some of Barça’s top stars were away on international duty by replacing the turf, which had been looking somewhat less than optimal over the last match or two.

Facing league leaders Valencia was never going to be a walkover, and for the first half an hour or so Barça didn’t really get going. It was a different matter for Valencia though when Pablo put the ball past Victor Valdes in the 37th minute.

It looked like the visitors might go two goals up almost immediatly after, but this time Valdes saved the day. Barça bounced back from that threat with Messi coming close to scoring twice within the area. That comeback was cut short though, when the half time whistle went.

Back on the pitch after the break, the Catalans went straight to work, with Xavi setting up a goal for Iniesta in minute 46. Barça upped the pace and looked as if they were really playing to win. David Villa – who moved from Valencia this summer – came close to scoring from a header, but it was Carles Puyol who scored the second and final goal for Barcelona.

A great result for Barça, which leaves them in second place in the league. However, Real Madrid are in the number one spot; with sixteen goals to their name and just three goals against, they are looking really strong at the moment.

0-1 Pablo (min 37)
1-1 Iniesta (min 46)
2-1 Puyol (min 62)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
7
5
2
0
16
3
17
2
Barcelona
7
5
1
1
12
6
16
3
Valencia
7
5
1
1
12
6
16
4
Villarreal
6
5
0
1
12
4
15
5
Atlético Madrid
7
4
1
2
12
7
13
6
Espanyol
7
4
0
3
6
9
12
7
Sevilla
7
3
2
2
10
8
11
8
Athletic Bilbao
7
3
1
3
11
10
10
9
Getafe
7
3
1
3
11
10
10
10
Mallorca
7
2
2
3
5
7
8
11
Sporting Gijón
7
2
2
3
8
11
8
12
Levante
7
2
2
3
7
12
8
13
Hércules
6
2
1
3
5
6
7
14
Málaga
7
2
1
4
13
16
7
15
Real Sociedad
7
2
1
4
7
11
7
16
Racing Santander
7
2
1
4
4
8
7
17
Almería
7
1
3
3
5
6
6
18
Osasuna
7
1
3
3
4
6
6
19
Deportivo
7
0
4
3
3
11
4
20
Zaragoza
7
0
3
4
6
12
3

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Barça draws with Mallorca

October 4th, 2010

It’s looking to be a slow start to the season this year with a 1-1 draw against Mallorca last night meaning Barça has won just one home match in the league.

While that is hardly critical at this stage – league leaders Valencia are just three points ahead on 16 – Guardiola’s squad is a long way off what it was capable of last year and to add insult to injury, arch-rivals Real Madrid beat Deportivo 6-1!

With Xavi off due to injury and David Villa serving a one match suspension Pep Guardiola was forced to make some changes, but from the start it looked like the match could easily go the Catalans’ way. In the end though, Barcelona’s only goal was scored by Leo Messi, back to form after a short lay-off due to an ankle injury, set up by Alves and Pedro in a first half that was all Barça’s. However, despite opportunities they failed to capitalise on possession and toward the end of the first half Mallorca equalised.

Back after the break Barça were looking a little ragged and while they pressed on they failed to score. At the end of the match the team was looking tired, perhaps of a result of their Russian trip during the week. It’s still early days in the season and FC Barcelona’s fortunes can easily change in a couple of matches.

1-0, Messi (min 21)
1-1, Nsue (min 42)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
6
5
1
0
11
4
16
2
Villarreal
6
5
0
1
12
4
15
3
Real Madrid
6
4
2
0
12
2
14
4
Barcelona
6
4
1
1
10
5
13
5
Sevilla
6
3
2
1
10
6
11
6
Getafe
6
3
1
2
11
8
10
7
Atlético Madrid
6
3
1
2
10
7
10
8
Espanyol
6
3
0
3
5
9
9
9
Mallorca
6
2
2
2
5
6
8
10
Hércules
6
2
1
3
5
6
7
11
Athletic Bilbao
6
2
1
3
9
9
7
12
Real Sociedad
6
2
1
3
6
9
7
13
Málaga
6
2
1
3
12
12
7
14
Almería
6
1
3
2
5
5
6
15
Sporting Gijón
6
1
2
3
6
11
5
16
Osasuna
6
1
2
3
4
6
5
17
Levante
6
1
2
3
5
11
5
18
Racing Santander
6
1
1
4
3
8
4
19
Zaragoza
6
0
3
3
5
10
3
20
Deportivo
6
0
3
3
3
11
3

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Draw for Barça in Russia

September 30th, 2010

Barça once again failed to take all the points against Rubin Kazan after their trip to Russia for last night’s Champions League match. Barcelona also faced Rubin at the group stage last year, in which they took just one point from the Russians and Pep GHuadiola predicted this match would be equally tough.

The match saw Leo Messi return to the pitch, but only after David Villa had equalised from the penalty spot. FC Barcelona went a goal down just before the first half hour was marked after Dani Alves brought down of of Rubin Kazan’s strikers in the area.

1-0 Noboa (p)(min 29)
1-1 Villa (p) (min 60)

Barça rises to second place in the league

September 27th, 2010

Barça finished the weekend second place in the league after beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1 away in miserable conditions thanks to torrential rain.

As usual the hosts played hard and by the end of the match both teams were down to 10 men. First off was Amorebieta after 35 minutes, although the replay looked like the referee was wrong; with a string of red cards to his name – he has one of the worst records in the Spanish league ever – perhaps his reputation meant the referee just didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt.

Keita meanwhile was working hard, and that work finally paid off in the 55th minute when the ball went home. Barcelona kept up the pressure and possession remained high throughout. Although several chances were wasted, eventually Xavi made it 2-0 in the 74th minute.

David Villa received a red card just 4 minutes before the end. It didn’t look like too much, but the reply clearly showed him throw his fist; what preceded that I’m not sure though.

And just when it looked like that was going to be it, Gabilondo scored for Athletic, suddenly putting the three points in danger. However, that threat was short-lived, with Busquets putting the ball home to make it 3-1 for the visitors.

0-1 Keita (min 55)
0-2 Xavi (min 74)
1-2 Gabilondo (min 89)
1-3 Busquets (min 92)

The squad is heading of to Kazan today for their Champions League match on Wednesday against Rubin Kazan. They faced them last year in freezing temperatures, but this year the away leg is six weeks earlier than last year and so the temperature expected to be in the double digits (that’s Celsius for our American readers!).

The great news is the Lionel Messi has been included in the squad after making a much faster than expected recovery from his ankle injury. Whether or not he plays is a different matter, but it does show that he’s coming back to strength FAST.

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
5
4
1
0
9
3
13
2
Barcelona
5
4
0
1
9
4
12
3
Real Madrid
5
3
2
0
6
1
11
4
Atlético Madrid
5
3
1
1
9
4
10
5
Villarreal
4
3
0
1
7
2
9
6
Espanyol
5
3
0
2
5
8
9
7
Sevilla
5
2
2
1
7
5
8
8
Hércules
5
2
1
2
5
3
7
9
Athletic Bilbao
5
2
1
2
8
7
7
10
Getafe
5
2
1
2
8
8
7
11
Mallorca
5
2
1
2
4
5
7
12
Málaga
4
2
0
2
9
8
6
13
Almería
5
1
2
2
4
4
5
14
Osasuna
5
1
1
3
3
5
4
15
Racing Santander
5
1
1
3
3
6
4
16
Real Sociedad
5
1
1
3
5
9
4
17
Sporting Gijón
5
1
1
3
4
9
4
18
Levante
5
1
1
3
4
10
4
19
Deportivo
5
0
3
2
2
5
3
20
Zaragoza
5
0
2
3
3
8
2

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Three points for uninspired Barça

September 23rd, 2010

David Villa scored the only goal of the match last night in an uninspiring game against Sport de Gijon, with the Catalans seeming to miss Messi, who is off with an ankle injury.

Although Barça dominated the first half, Sporting shoped that they weren’t there to be walked over either. After half an hour Guardiola changed the team’s formation to try and push things Barcelona’s way, but it wasn’t until the second half that David Villa broke through and scored the game’s single goal.

At least that puts Barçain a more familiar position in the league standings. They are now third, after Real Madrid and Valencia, who made their first slip of the season with a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid.

1-0 Villa (min 49)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
4
3
1
0
6
1
10
2
Valencia
4
3
1
0
7
3
10
3
Barcelona
4
3
0
1
6
3
9
4
Atlético Madrid
4
2
1
1
8
4
7
5
Sevilla
3
2
1
0
6
2
7
6
Athletic Bilbao
4
2
1
1
7
4
7
7
Villarreal
3
2
0
1
6
2
6
8
Espanyol
4
2
0
2
4
8
6
9
Getafe
3
1
1
1
7
6
4
10
Hércules
4
1
1
2
3
3
4
11
Osasuna
4
1
1
2
3
4
4
12
Real Sociedad
4
1
1
2
5
7
4
13
Sporting Gijón
4
1
1
2
4
7
4
14
Mallorca
4
1
1
2
2
5
4
15
Deportivo
3
0
3
0
2
2
3
16
Málaga
3
1
0
2
7
8
3
17
Racing Santander
3
1
0
2
2
4
3
18
Levante
4
1
0
3
4
10
3
19
Almería
4
0
2
2
2
4
2
20
Zaragoza
4
0
2
2
3
7
2

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Messi injured in win against Atletico Madrid

September 20th, 2010

Barcelona put last weekend’s embarrassing defeat by Hercules behind them last night when they took their first victory in three years at Atletico’s Vicent Calderon stadium.

However, the win was marred by the sight of Lionel Messi being stretchered off in clear pain and the later news that Ujfalusi’s vicious tackle had caused ligament damage to his ankle. A statement released by Barça’s medical staff last night stated that it’s not thought that he has broken any bone, but further tests would be carried out on Monday.

Until the full extent of his injury is known we can only guess at how long he will be out of action; he will certainly miss the matches against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, Athletic Bilbao on Saturday and Copenhagen next week and almost certainly longer.

0-1, Messi (min 13)
1-1, Raúl García (min 25)
1-2, Piqué (min 32)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Valencia
3
3
0
0
6
2
9
2
Sevilla
3
2
1
0
6
2
7
3
Real Madrid
3
2
1
0
3
1
7
4
Atlético Madrid
3
2
0
1
7
3
6
5
Villarreal
3
2
0
1
6
2
6
6
Barcelona
3
2
0
1
5
3
6
7
Espanyol
3
2
0
1
4
5
6
8
Athletic Bilbao
3
1
1
1
4
4
4
9
Real Sociedad
3
1
1
1
4
4
4
10
Mallorca
3
1
1
1
2
2
4
11
Sporting Gijón
3
1
1
1
4
6
4
12
Getafe
2
1
0
1
5
4
3
13
Hércules
3
1
0
2
3
3
3
14
Málaga
3
1
0
2
7
8
3
15
Racing Santander
3
1
0
2
2
4
3
16
Deportivo
2
0
2
0
0
0
2
17
Almería
3
0
2
1
2
3
2
18
Osasuna
3
0
1
2
0
3
1
19
Zaragoza
3
0
1
2
3
7
1
20
Levante
3
0
0
3
3
10
0

Check the homepage for Barcelona tickets at the Nou Camp.

Barça recovery shows how it should be done

September 16th, 2010

It looked as if it might all go wrong for Barça on Tuesday night when Panathinaikos from Greece scored the first goal of the match, causing the crowd to wonder for a moment whether it would be a repeat of Saturday night’s disaster against Hercules.

However, Messi set things right just a minute later to level the score. And once the goals started they didn’t stop, with more from Villa and Messi again; a lull in the second half and then two more goals from Pedro and Alves. And it could have been more, had Messi not missed a penalty,so all in all a great result that proves Barça should not be written off, especially at such an early stage in the season.

0-1, Govou (min 20)
1-1, Messi (min 21)
2-1, Villa (min 33)
3-1, Messi (min 45)
4-1, Pedro (min 77)
5-1, Alves (min 93)

Catalonia’s national day leaves nothing to celebrate for Barça

September 13th, 2010

Catalonia’s national day is celebrated on September 11th every year to commemorate Barcelona’s defeat during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. Throughout the region the Catalan red and yellow flag is displayed everywhere and Barcelona in particular is in a party mood.

However, that was shattered on Saturday evening when Hercules faced FC Barcelona in Barça’s first home match of the new season. The La Liga newcomers weren’t going to lie down and hand the game to the Catalans, which was not expected at all.

Even with Villa, Messi and Bojan and the front they struggled to make any impact on the visitor’s defence and when the first goal of the match came, it was scored by Valdez for Hercules. That at least made Barça wake up a bit and redouble their efforts on the Hercules goal. Pique came close to scoring in the 34th minute but the ball failed to find its target.

Pep Guardiola brought on Xavi and Pedro at half time who went for the Hercules goal in the 47th minute, although the ball went over the cross bar. And when Valdez scored his second goal in the 58th minute it was all over for Barça, who looked ragged through desperation and tiredness.

0-1 Valdez (min 26)
0-2 Valdez (min 58)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Atlético Madrid
2
2
0
0
6
1
6
2
Valencia
2
2
0
0
4
1
6
3
Sevilla
2
1
1
0
4
1
4
4
Real Madrid
2
1
1
0
1
0
4
5
Villarreal
2
1
0
1
4
1
3
6
Getafe
2
1
0
1
5
4
3
7
Barcelona
2
1
0
1
3
2
3
8
Hércules
2
1
0
1
2
1
3
9
Real Sociedad
1
1
0
0
1
0
3
10
Málaga
2
1
0
1
6
6
3
11
Athletic Bilbao
2
1
0
1
2
2
3
12
Espanyol
2
1
0
1
3
5
3
13
Sporting Gijón
2
1
0
1
2
4
3
14
Deportivo
2
0
2
0
0
0
2
15
Almería
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
16
Osasuna
2
0
1
1
0
1
1
17
Zaragoza
2
0
1
1
3
5
1
18
Mallorca
2
0
1
1
0
2
1
19
Racing Santander
2
0
0
2
0
4
0
20
Levante
2
0
0
2
2
8
0

First match of 2010/11 season goes to Barça

August 30th, 2010

Barça took the first match of the new season last night with a 3-0 win against Racing Santander. Messi, Iniesta and new signing David Villa all scored in the away match, with the first hom game being played the weekend of 11/12 September against Hercules – check the homepage for details of Barcelona tickets for forthcoming home matches.

0-1 Messi (min 3)
0-2 Iniesta (min 32)
0-3 Villa (min 63)

Other news: the deadlock over Ibrahimovic has been solved by loaning  him out of AC Milan. The player and his manager have recently been critical of Pep Guardiola after it looked like Ibrahimovic would spend much of the season on the bench again.

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