Saturday night was the turn of Rayo Vallecano, second bottom of the league, to play the mighty Barça at the Nou Camp. The first goal came inside two minutes with Adriando showing how Barcelona continued to go on, and although they dominated possession Rayo also had a couple of opportunities that looked dangerous.
The Barcelona attack was relentless though and with the ball hitting the posts time and time again it only looked a matter of time for the second goal from the hosts. Eventually it came when Messi chipped the ball over the head of the Rayo keeper and into the net and the first half ended 2-0.
Back on after the break Barça continued the attack and just a few minutes in Alexis scored their third of the night. Minutes later they made it 4-0 when Pedro scored after a fantastic move from Iniesta and Cesc. Despite the match being well under control, Barcelona maintained the pressure and Messi scored his second of the night.
Finally, just a couple of minutes before the full time whistle, Neymar, playing for last 20 minutes after a six week injury layoff, made it six for Barça. All in all a great confidence booster ahead of their Champions League clash against Manchester City on Tuesday.
1-0 Adriano (min 1)
2-0 Messi (min 35)
3-0 Alexis (min 52)
4-0 Pedro (min 55)
5-0 Messi (min 67)
6-0 Neymar (min 88)
Last night Levante visited the Nou Camp for the return leg of the Copa del Rey quarter finals, the first leg of which Barça had won convincingly last week and looked certain to go through. The match was played in the pouring rain and I have never seen the stadium look so empty; bad weather and the near certainty of Barcelona’s qualification put locals off and just 25,000 people attended the match and those who did were mainly huddled at the back of the stands in the shelter.
The visitors went a goal up in the eighth minute thanks to a mistake by Sergi Roberto put the ball into his own net, but with possession high allowing the Catalans to control the match it was certain that they would soon score. The first goal for Barça came in the 27th minute, scored by Adriano, followed by Puyol two minutes before the break.
The second half produced a real show for the few people who attended the match. Alexis scored in the 49th minute to a huge celebration from the players; he then scored again a couple of minutes later, starting to make the match look like a training session. The players were relaxed despite the rain, while the visitors looked miserable and the goal keeper clearly just wanted to pack up, get warm and dry and go home. The last goal came from Cesc Fabregas to make the final score 5-1 and ensuring Barça’s place in the semi finals again this year.
It isn’t much fun at the Nou Camp when it is raining heavily and the new plans for redevelopment should at least sort out that aspect of it as it will be fully sheltered. I remember attending a Champions League match several years ago; we were running late and the match had started, but as we approached the stadium the heavens just opened up and drenched everything. Standing in a doorway to shelter from the deluge we made a run for the stadium but once inside found we couldn’t move as the doorways were packed with people trying to stay dry. With no way to see the match we just decided to get a taxi home and watched the second half on TV!
0-1 Sergi Roberto (min 8)
1-1 Adriano (min 27)
2-1 Puyol (min 43)
3-1 Alexis (min 49)
4-1 Alexis (min 51)
5-1 Fábregas (min 67)
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 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)
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)
For a horrible moment on Sunday night at the Nou Camp it looked as if things were going wrong, when Falcao scored at the half hour mark for Atletico Madrid, currently lying in second place in the Spanish league. However, four goals from FC Barcelona meant that the result was turned around and the gap at the top of the table opened up.
The visitors were creating all the chances at the start of the match, with the Catalans creating no real threat. However, once Falcao scored the opener the home team seemed to gain the focus required and it was just five minutes later that Adriano scored the equalizer, followed soon after by Busquets to put Barcelona in the lead.
Back on after the break Atletico had lost their early form, and as soon as Barça had the opportunity to attack they made it 3-1 thanks to a goal from Lionel Messi. However, that was not to be his last, with a goal two minutes before time, Messi’s ninetieth goal of 2012 and nine points clear of Atletico at the top of the table.
0-1 Falcao (min 30)
1-1 Adriano (min 35)
2-1 Busquets (min 44)
3-1 Messi (min 57)
4-1 Messi (min 88)
Once again Barcelona showed what incredible talent they possess in a 5-1 win against Athletic Bilbao at a cold Nou Camp on Saturday. The win was the thirteenth out of fourteen matches and means that Barça have made the best start to the season by any Spanish team ever.
Gerard Pique opened the scoring, with a goal after 20 minutes, with Messi scoring just minutes later. With the Catalans attacking the Bilbao goal mouth at every opportunity it looked like they would soon score again, and just before the hald time whistle Adriano made it 3-0.
Cesc Fabregas scored Barça’s fourth in the 56th minute, with Ibai Gómez scoring the only goal for the visitors in minute 64. However, just five minutes later Leo Messi scored his second goal to make it 5-1, and came close to scoring a hat trick before the final whistle blew.
1-0 Pique (min 21)
2-0 Messi (min 24)
3-0 Adriano (min 45)
4-0 Cesc (min 56)
4-1 Ibai Gómez (min 64)
5-1 Messi (min 69)
Barcelona made it through to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey last night after beating Alaves 3-1 in a match that saw the visitors score first.
Alaves scored the opener at the quarter hour mark, with the Catalans not up to their usual form at the start. However, the goal made them step up to the challenge and eventually Adriano scored just after the half hour mark to end the first half with one goal to each team.
Following the break it was David Villa’s chance to shine, in his first full match since returning from injury – he broke his leg during the Club’s World Cup, almost a year ago. Villa scored Barcelona’s second and third goals just after the start of the second half to give the home team a 3-1 win and to go through to the next round 6-1 on aggregate.
Barça’s next Copa del Rey challenge will be against Cordoba on December 12th at the Nou Camp.
0-1 Viguera (min 15)
1-1 Adriano (min 34)
2-1 Villa (min 55)
3-1 Villa (min 58)
Saturday night saw a new record created by FC Barcelona after they won their ninth match in 10 games when they played Celta at the Nou Camp.
The Catalans came on looking strong, dominating possession and looking like they meant business. Back in defence there was no Abidal or Piqué, while Puyol is going to be off for some time still after his horrific elbow dislocation.
The first goal came in the 20th minute from Adriano, set up by Pedro. However, soon after Mario Bermejo soon equalised for Celta. Barcelona quickly struck back though, when David Villa scored in the 25th minute to make it 2-1.
In the second half Villanova brought on Bartra in place of Cesc Fabregas to bolster Barça’s defence. Equally, Celta’s defence seemed difficult to break and it was only in the 60th minute when David Villa and Jordi Alba broke through to score. In the final half-hour the home team controled the balll with little sign of trouble, ending the game 3-1.
Barça’s new record was not the only cause for celebration. On Friday it was widely reported that Lionel Messi became a father for the first time.
1-0 Adriano (min 20)
1-1 Mario Bermejo (min 23)
2-1 Villa (min 25)
3-1 Jordi Alba (min 60)
FC Barcelona were in fine form on Saturday evening as they beat Getafe 4-1 in Madrid. It was a complete performance by Barça – lively in attack and defensively very sound. The goals came from Messi, who got two, Adriano and David Villa. Pablo Sarabia got a consolation for the home side, who barely had a sniff of the Barcelona goal all match.
Assistant coach Jordi Roura took Tito Vilanova’s place on the touchline, as the main man served out the second game of his suspension.
High in the stand at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Vilanova will have been pleased with the first half display, in a fixture that saw Pep Guardiola’s side slip to defeat last season. Barcelona found their touch quickly and started combining to great effect, even without mainstays like the injured Dani Alves and Messi, who was on the bench.
Tello had a chance four minutes in, when he used his lightning pace to rush past the Getafe backline, but saw his shot saved low by Moya. A little later Thiago controlled the ball deep in the Getafe half, strode forward and produced a rasping shot that crashed off the crossbar. Xavi then went close with an effort of his own
The pressure was building now, and it culminated with a goal – Cesc did well to get past two Getafe defenders before laying it off for Adriano, who tucked it home. Thiago might have made it two when he chested down a pinpoint pass by Tello, but Moya was alert and made a nearpost save.
Getafe hadn’t posed much of a threat, but forced Valdés into action just before half-time, when the Barça ‘keeper scrambled away a Pedro León free-kick.
The second half was much of the same from the visitors. Barcelona controlled possession and hardly looked troubled at the back. Tello had a couple of chances, the first of which was curled wide and the second well saved by Moya. Messi, on for Thiago, was denied what looked like a penalty when Miguel Torres brought him down but appeared to make no contact with the ball.
The referee had no choice but to point to the spot later when Pedro cut inside Valera and was caught by the defender. Messi scored, via Moya’s palm.
The onslaught continued into the final stages of the match – Montoya broke down the right, and his low cross was deflected into Messi’s path, who made no mistake from six yards out.
With just over 10 minutes to go, Getafe pulled a goal back to make it 3-1, when a shot by Sarabia took a wild deflection off Mascherano and left Valdés with no chance. But it had been a thoroughly professional performance by Barcelona, and this was underlined in injury time, when David Villa scored from a delightful Xavi pass. The Asturian forward strode into the area and placed his shot in between Moya’s legs to end the match at 4-1 to Barcelona.
1-0 Adriano (min 32)
2-0 Messi (min 72)
3-0 Messi (min 76)
3-1 Mascherano (min 77)
4-1 Villa (min 89)