FC Barcelona News
After a week in which it was being asked in the Catalan and Spanish media if Messi had lost his touch after a lack of goals following his injury layoff, or whether Barça’s glory days were behind them under Tata Martino, the squad sent out a clear message in their match against Milan last night.
Barcelona dominated from the start, while Milan opted for highly defensive play making it difficult to get through. In the end Neymar was brought down in Milan’s area and a penalty awarded to the Catalans; Messi ended his goal drought by putting Barça ahead. Busquets also scored minutes after Messi’s first goal, while the Italians’ only goal came towards the end of the first half when Pique deflected Kaka’s shot into his own goal.
During the second half Milan looked to drop their focus on pure defence and started to look at attacking the Barcelona goal. However, with their defence now opened up Messi delivered his second goal 10 minutes from time assisted by Cesc to seal their victory and a place in the last 16.
1-0 Messi (min 29)
2-0 Busquets (min 38)
2-1 Piqué (min 44)
3-1 Messi (min 82)
The result means that Barcelona are now guaranteed to be through to the next round whatever now happens in the group stages, five points ahead of second place Milan. Not bad for a team that some said was in crisis.
Last night’s Champions League group stage match against AC Milan ended in a draw after first half goals from Robinho and Messi, leaving Barcelona at the top of the table for Group H.
Milan came out clearly focused on scoring early only to have their first goal ruled offside. However, a couple of minutes later their determintaion payed off, with Robinho putting the ball into the back of the Barça net. The Italians’ energy soon waned though and Barcelona picked up, demonstrating their usual high possession rate and when the time came, 20 minutes into the game, with Busquets and Iniesta setting up the goal for Leo Messi.
Despite controlling high possession the Catalans were unable to score again, despite some good opportunities. Neymar saw a volley just go wide at one stage but in the end the teams were forced to share the points.
1-0 Robinho (min 8)
1-1 Messi (min 22)
Barcelona’s next Champions League fixture is against Milan on 6th November. Before that we have the Nou Camp “clasico” on Saturday and the Barcelona derby on 1st November.
Barcelona’s win against Almeria on Saturday created a new club record for the start of the season, winning all seven matches played so far. The Catalans started the match testing the Almeria defence, while the hosts did all they could to make sure they were able to do little with the high possession.
However, at the 20 minute mark Pedro passed to Messi at the edge of the box and put Barça in the lead. Although Messi might have hoped to do more though, as just a few minutes later Xavi came on to replace him with the Argentine suffering a thigh injury likely to keep him out of action for two to three weeks. And with Messi off, Almeria started to capitalise on Barcelona’s lost focus, forcing Valdes into action at the end of the first half.
Back on after the break Barcelona regained their composure and, back in control, started to slow things down. 10 minutes into the second half Adriano put the ball into the Almeria net for the final goal of the match.
0-1 Messi (min 20)
0-2 Adriano (min 56)
Barcelona made it six games out of six last night when they faced Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp, and in doing so equalled their best ever start to the league. Barça scored a barrage of goals early on, with Neymar opening the scoring in the fourth minute, followed by Messi just three minutes later and Busquets 22 minutes in.
Although Barça continued to dominate the first half ended 3-0. The Nou Camp was in a party mood thanks to the city wide celebrations for la Mercè, Barcelona’s patron saint, and also the anniversary of the inauguration of the stadium; every chance on the Real Sociedad goal was celebrated in the stands.
Back on after the break it took nearly 20 minutes for the visitors to make their mark on the evening when they took the scoreline to 3-1. However, it was too little and too late against the might of Barcelona, who scored one more 12 minutes later to end the match 4-1.
Barça heads to Almeria on Saturday for the next league match, followed by Celtic on Tuesday.
1-0 Neymar (min 4)
2-0 Messi (min 7)
3-0 Busquets (min 22)
3-1 De la Bella (min 64)
4-1 Bartra (min 76)
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’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 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)
Levante must have wondered what had hit them last night at the Nou Camp, when Barcelona ended the first half with six goals already. It must have been quite a relief in the second half for just one more to be scored, to end the match on 7-0, and a clear demonstration of how dominant Barça is likely to be this season.
Just as a reminder, this was the second home match with Tata Martino as coach – the first was the Gamper Trophy at the beginning of the month – and in those two matches his squad has scored 15 goals.
Alexis scored the first of the evening within two minutes, with Messi scoring goal number two at the 11 minute mark. However, when Dani Alves effectively sealed the victory for Barcelona after 23 minutes and Pedro making it 4 just two minutes after that.
Even at 4-0 it wasn’t over for the first half though, with Messi scoring his second and Xavi ending the first half 6-0. I can’t even imagine the moral in Levante’s dressing room during the break, but fortunately for their self esteem there was only one more goal, scored by Pedro in the 72nd minute.
Barcelona is clearly looking solid under the new manager, who has brought with him a new style of play that may well outsmart the best clubs in Europe this season. It’s early days, but there are strong indications that the 2013/14 season is going to be one to remember!
1-0 Alexis (min 2)
2-0 Messi (min 11)
3-0 Dani Alves (min 23)
4-0 Pedro (min 25)
5-0 Messi (min 41)
6-0 Xavi (min 44)
7-0 Pedro (min 72)
Barcelona played Thailand earlier today in the first match of their short Far East tour. Net mar opened the scoring, his first for his new club, with Pedro scoring a hat track and Messi scoring two. The remaining goal for Barça was scored by Alexis.
0-1 Neymar (min 11)
0-2 Messi (min 13)
0-3 Pedro (min 19)
0-4 Messi (min 25)
0-5 Pedro (min 35)
1-5 Teerasil (min 42)
1-6 Pedro (min 47)
1-7 Alexis lr (min 49)
Last night Barcelona played their first match of the 2013-2014 pre-season in front of a new crowd, marking the debut of both Tata Martino and Neymar at the Nou Camp. With the new team being introduced prior to the match, the Nou Camp was in full celebratory mood, while commemorating legendary Barça goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets, who died on Tuesday.
This year Brazilian club Santos was invited to play in the Gamper trophy, the club from which Neymar has just been signed and so the Gamper played farewell to him as much as it did an introduction to the new.
Barcelona came on brimming with energy and from the early moments it looked like they might score. It took just seven minutes for Lionel Messi to score, followed by an own goal from Santos a few minutes later. It took 10 more minutes before Alexis made it 3-0, but even that wasn’t enough and by the time of the break Pedro had made it 4-0.
There can’t have been a good feeling in the changing room of one of Brazil’s premier clubs, but after the break play continued as before. Martino made a number of changes in the second half, including the hugely anticipated debut of Neymar, who for the first time played alongside Leo Messi to roars of approval from the crowd.
Cesc scored two within the first 25 minutes to make it 6-0 and while it was clear that the squad was trying to set up Neymar to score his first goal for the Catalans, it didn’t quite happen. However, Adriano scored a seventh goal for Barcelona and Dongou made it 8-0.
All in all a good display of football and a good result. While some doubted whether Messi and Neymar could coexist in the same team, the first demonstration seems to show that both are mature enough to get on with the job. based on this match it looks like it will be a fantastic season ahead.
1-0 Messi (min 7)
2-0 Léo (min 10)
3-0 Alexis (min 20)
4-0 Pedro (min 28)
5-0 Fábregas (min 51)
6-0 Fábregas (min 66)
7-0 Adriano (min 73)
8-0 Dongou (min 81)