Big week for Barça begins with Ajax

barcelona 4-0 ajax iniesta 2013

It is difficult not to think about Saturday’s clásico at the Bernabéu but first Barça face an important Champions League game against Ajax at Camp Nou (Tuesday 8.45 pm). Following defeat at Paris Saint Germain in the second round of matches in Group F, Barça need a victory against the Dutch team to keep PSG in sight, anything less and Barça’s qualification for the last 16 could be in danger. Continue reading

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Brilliant Messi too much for brave Eibar

Barça 3-0 Eibar Messi NeymarFor an hour SD Eibar bravely held Barça at bay on their first ever visit to Camp Nou, but class showed in the end with Xavi, Neymar and a brilliant Leo Messi scoring in a 3-0 victory for the Catalans. The win means Barça go into next Saturday’s Bernabéu clásico with a four-point advantage over Real Madrid while Messi’s latest golazo takes him to within a goal of equalling Telmo Zarra’s all-time record of 251 league goals. Claudio Bravo extended his record to eight games without conceding though Eibar had two clear chances before half-time with the score still at 0-0. Continue reading

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Eibar visit Camp Nou for the first time as Messi celebrates ten years since debut

Messi debut 2004On 16 October 2004 a fresh faced 17-year-old called Leo Messi made his debut appearance in Barça’s first team, coming on as a substitute for Deco against Espanyol at the Olympic Stadium on Montjuic. Ten years on and for those of us lucky enough to have witnessed Messi’s brilliant career there will never be any doubt about his extraordinary talent, for those who missed it, the huge list of trophies, individual awards and records speaks for itself. Continue reading

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Messi and Neymar double strike keeps Barça top

Rayo 0-2 Barça Messi Neymar 2014Two goals in the space of a minute from Leo Messi and Neymar Jr earned Barça a 0-2 win over Rayo Vallecano this evening which sees Luis Enrique’s men remain on top of La Liga going into the international break. Messi scored his 249th league goal for Barça ten minutres before half time which puts the Argentinian just two goals behind the legendary Telmo Zarra who has held the all-time Spanish league scoring record since the 1950s, and before Rayo could react to Messi’s strike, Neymar had fired in a second to wrap up the three points. Continue reading

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Bravo seeks Artola’s record in Vallecas

Claudio Bravo Barça 2014Barça travel to Madrid tomorrow to face Rayo Vallecano in the seventh round of La Liga 2014/15 (Saturday 6 pm). Luis Enrique’s men will be hoping to bounce back from Tuesday night’s Champions League defeat in Paris with three more points to stay on top of the table going into the next international break. There is also a chance for Claudio Bravo to break Pedro Maria Artola’s Spanish league record of 560 minutes without conceding a goal from the start of the season. Artola set his mark defending Barça’s goal in 1977 but Bravo will beat the record if he can remain unbeaten for the first 21 minutes tomorrow. Continue reading

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Barça toppled in Paris

PSG 3-2 Barça Verratti goal 2014Barça’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end tonight with a Champions League defeat at Paris Saint Germain. In a thrilling match, David Luiz fired PSG in front in the tenth minute but Leo Messi equalised soon after. The home team were back in the lead halfway through the first half when Marco Varretti headed in from a corner and Blaise Matuidi put the Parisiens further in front early in the second half. Neymar pulled a goal back for Barça and Munir El-Haddadi came close to saving a point when his 85th minute shot hit the outside of the post but PSG held on for a deserved 3-2 victory. Continue reading

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Barça bid to silence Paris big guns

psg 2-2 barcelona ibrahimovic piqueBarça travelled to Paris today with 20 players to prepare for tomorrow night’s Champions League Group F clash against Paris Saint Germain (Tuesday 8.45 pm). Luis Enrique initially gave a list for the game which included Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba and Douglas Pereira and left out Thomas Vermaelen and Martin Montoya from the squad used to beat Granada 6-0 on Saturday, but Douglas picked up a knock in training and Montoya has been called up in his place for the trip. The group arrived in Paris at 1 pm and the players will train this evening at Le Parc des Princes. Continue reading

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Barça hit Granada for six

Barça 6-0 Granada Neymar Messi 2014Luis Enrique’s Barça responded to the criticism received following the goalless draw at Malaga by destroying Granada 6-0 at Camp Nou this evening. Leo Messi led the way with a majestic performance, scoring twice and creating another three, and the Argentinian was ably supported by Neymar Jr who grabbed himself a hat-trick and new signings Ivan Rakitic who headed in the other goal and Jeremy Mathieu who gave a powerful performance at the back to contribute to maintaining the run of clean sheets which now stretches to seven games since the start of the season. Continue reading

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Barça host Granada with PSG in mind

Barça 4-0 Granada penalty on Iniesta 2013Barça take on Granada at Camp Nou tomorrow evening (Saturday 6 pm) in the sixth round of La Liga 2014/15 with the intention of regaining the top spot which was lost yesterday to Valencia on goals scored. Luis Enrique will want to put out a strong side to ensure the victory but he seems likely to reserve some players for the big Champions League clash at Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday night. Continue reading

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Douglas disappoints as Barça neutralized in Malaga

Ivan Rakitic 2014Barça’s winning run came to a halt with an uneventful 0-0 draw with Malaga at La Rosaleda tonight. Barça dominated possession but Malaga came closest to a goal when Claudio Bravo turned Luis Alberto’s free-kick against the post in the 70th minute. There was little inspiration from Barça in attack and it wasn’t until the 76th minute that Malaga keeper Carlos Kameni was called into action to save a header from Gerard Piqué. Barça have still not conceded a goal this season but the result means Sevilla draw level on points at the top of the table while Valencia can make it a three-way tie on 13 points if they beat Cordoba tomorrow night. Continue reading

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