Real Madrid 1 – Barcelona 1

getty images

Sorry to get the report up very late people.  I’m having internet problems at home, so I had to go to a friends house this morning, and now I have forgotten my match notes.  So a bit of a mess.

Anyway, I’m not going to go through the game minute by minute, as we all should have watched this game by now.

The first half was decently contested I thought.  Madrid however made their sit back and counter tactics very clear and honestly my reaction is, WOW, so innovative Mourinho.  But, it seems Madrid and the fans are happy with it, anything not to lose.  As a result we dominated possession all game long and they had a few good chances on the counter and set pieces.  Messi had the first really good chance of the game after Xavi put him through nicely.  Lio did all the hard part but then tried to chip Casillas rather than slot in past him low.  This is the 3rd game in a row Messi has unsuccessfully tried to chip a goalie.  We also had the clearest of clear penalties turned down. The ball was free in the box, Villa and Casillas went for it and David Villa CLEARLY touched the ball left and Casillas clearly took Villa’s feet from under him.  I even celebrated the penalty immediately and was dumbfounded when it was not called.  Then I remembered we were in the Bernabeu.  Messi nearly got a goal late on with some awesome 1-2 play with two different players before putting in a decent shot that Casillas managed to save.  That’s the first half chances off the top of my head.  Madrid had a few breakaways that our defense managed to put in last-ditch tackles and we also cleared the ball off the line just before half time.  But honestly, I was feeling quite comfy abouy our play and the lack of theirs.  The ref was having a very odd game.  He was sometimes getting the decision spot on and so often completely bottling in.  But he would get much worse in the 2nd half and really be quite Madrid bias.

Early in the 2nd half CR struck the post with one of his trademark dipping freekicks.  However the free kick was total nonsense.  It was either the one where Iniesta very clearly stole it or when CR just went down for no reason after backing into Adriano.  At this point I had lost all faith in the ref.

We scored pretty soon after that.  Villa finally beat the offside trap after again Xavi put him clean through.  Albiol then wrestled him down in the box and it was a clear penalty and sending off.  Both were called and Messi slotted the penalty in.  After the red were totally dominated.  We passed them to death and really should have put the game away.  Xavi hit the bar and Villa fluffed a few really scoreable chances usually set up by Messi.

Then the ref had another moment in the spot light when he incorrectly called a penalty on an Alves tackle with Marcelo.  Dani clearly made contact with the ball, basically no contact with Marcelo, but that little idiot conned the ref into giving it.  CR stepped up and scored.

Both teams then tried to get all 3 points.  Villa again could have scored a chance set up by Xavi, but Madrid had their chances to with a Khedira shot.  But Villa really should have clinched it late on.  Again Xavi split the defense, Villa made a perfect run, but inexplicably completely mis-controlled the ball with acres of space and only Casillas to beat.  I was so disappointed by this lack of composure and confidence.

It therefore finished 1-1.  The Madrid press is taking it as some sort of victory, bu I do not see that at all.  Madrid again acknowledged our superiority by sacrificing possession and focusing on defending and counter attack.  It may work and all, but it’s how small sides play big sides.  Mathematically, I would have taken a point pre game and therefore am at peace with it now.  Keeping an 8 point lead with just 6 games left is a solid lead especially considering our last games versus Madrid’s.  But, I feel totally safe in saying we could have easily won and I take comfort from that.  I also feel our defense did an awesome job today in handling their few attacks forward.  The return of Puyol was awesome news and he did a pretty tidy job before coming off with a thigh strain.  The reports are it was precautionary and not serious.  The Barça players share my sentiments, none more so than Xavi.  This was his post match comment.

“In no case is Madrid strengthened by this match.  We have been superior, faithful to our style, and we leav ewith positive feelings in spite of not winning all 3 points”.

That’s pretty much how I felt as well.  Player wise I think the only one that disappointed at times was Villa.  His overall play was much better than matches before, for example his touches and runs were very good, but his finishing is screaming of lack of confidence right now.  Otherwise I’d give 7.5 to 8s throughout.  Adriano had his best game for me ever, Pique was solid, Xavi was making killer pass after killer pass, and Messi was owning defenders on his runs.

So 1-1, no harm, no foul.  How this game impacts Wednesday I have no idea.  Strangely I think Madrid feel buoyed by this win, but I think we will take more out of it.  Looking forward to round 2, a much more important round as well as the first piece of silverware is up for grabs.

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16 Responses to Real Madrid 1 – Barcelona 1

  1. barcacentralnic says:

    I think Madrid deserve more credit, no it wasn’t a penalty on Marcelo and we should have had another in the first half, but the fact that they fought back with ten men is reason for them to take heart. Pepe’s role was very important to Madrid and he robbed the ball a lot in midfield though he was helped a bit by the ref’s leniency. There were two periods, one in the first half and one in the second when for ten or fifteen minutes we seemed to be totally controlling the game and basically running rings around them but each time they came back and they ended both halves looking more dangerous. However much you may hate Mourinho you cannot take away that the guy has some tactical ideas which made for a fascinating game. Barça are undoubtedly the better team and I would take us to beat Madrid six or seven times out of ten, however, we now play a one-off final followed by a two-leg tie where anything can still happen.
    Also curious how both Messi (vs Mourinho) and Cronaldo (vs Barça) broke their ducks in the same game and both from penalties.

  2. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    Greetings Nic, I know that all fans should be okay with this result. I know that we can’t win all the games we play…..but am i the only one here that feels KEITA is not cut out to be in Barcelona? I certainly feel that Keita should only start against lower teams…today, and back at the Emirates, we seem to loose our balance as soon as Keita gets in.. and for some reason, he always seems uncertain whenever he is brought on…..i felt like we played with 10 men when Keita was brought on ……this is very alarming!!! i hope someone else notices this as well….i watched the game 2wice now and 6 times from the part where Keita comes in. Keita was so unsure about his control, he lost the ball 3 times and got rattled thereafter. He suppose to be offering us some amount of ‘experience’ at his age, sadly all i see in him is rubbish!! At a top level KEITA just don’t cut it. I’d rather Dos Santos, or Thiago as a midfielder. And since Keita came in for captain Puyol, i’d dare say that Millito would have been a better choice.

    It’s so fu##in disappointing to see Pep kept preferring this Keita guy over everyone else as a sub…..its almost a certainty that Keita is gonna come in at some point….its like his natural instincts…i’m so fu#kin annoyed still!! KEITA may be a nice chap, but he don’t cut it to play with our colors !!! HE DID IT AT THE EMIRATES, HE DID IT LAST NIGHT, AND HE’LL DO IT AGAIN !!!!

  3. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    GUYS3 watch with eyes wide open pls!!! BBOY….PLEASE!!! Villa was okay…atleast he contributed the penalty…..atleast his workrate was good. OMG…..pls watch KEITA!! Why does this dude always get away with MURDER?????? WHYYYYYY??? Is it because he’s the only black guy…..so its okay to suck ? BARSA have been KEITA’d from 3 points last night and got KEITA’d at the Emirates not too long ago !!!

  4. wikd14 says:

    Thanks for your effort Bboy 🙂

    I share the same sentiment with you and Nic. We could have won but still Madrid did put a great fight. Also, funny thing how “both Messi and Ronaldo broke their ducks in the same game and both from penalties.”

    The game gives me confidence about the upcoming encounters. However, I have this believe whoever gets wins the next game (Copa Del Rey) will win it all. It is the turning point of for both teams. I strongly believe that if Pedro and Villa play at up to their standard in the coming three matches we will beat them easily.

    Pedro, played well for someone that came back from injury but he wasn’t a constant threat but he did some amazing runs.

    Villa, well Bboy said more than enough.

    Vesca Barca!

  5. bc9jaCulé says:

    We played a decent game overall. A draw @ the Bernabeu aint a bad result, not in the least.

    Well, permit me to say that Moucinco displayed some effective tactical lineup because Pepe did a good job as the DM although he should have gotten a YC for one of those tackles that a Kung Fu master would have been proud of and surprisingly, Carvalo played well too without havin’ to play rough.

    BUT(!!!), I’ll like to PARTICULARLY highlight the fact that; we would have won the match if not for Guardiola’s early sub of Pedro and unnecessary sub of Adriano. Afellay comin’ in was pretty much okay but ill–timed. Pedro might not have been exactly too involved in the buildup of our attack but his intimidatin’ and menacin’ presence on the pitch glued Marcelo to his role as a LB and immediately the man he so much dreaded was called off (our second goal @ Camp Nou comes to mind here — the one Pedro outran him to score), he (Marcelo) abruptly gained the audacity to surge forward and get involved in RM’s attackin’ play (somethin’ he dared not prior to the substitution of Pedro) and BOOM(!!!), he eventually got an ILL–CALLED penalty. In all manner of honesty, Maxwell had no business whatsoever in the match in my strict opinion because it was after Adriano’s leave that I began to see the influence of Ozil in the match as he then started exploitin’ and paradin’ Maxwell’s inefficiencies and incompetencies because he (Ozil) had been pretty much silent since he came on in the second half while Adriano was still on. Nonetheless, Villa should have scored too but didn’t.

    Personally, I think Barça ran much less last night and played @ half–throttle and I opine that they meant to give Moucinco false hope by not pressin’ ruthlessly. I guess they are reservin’ the spankin’ for the cup final and the CL ties. Bring on the cup final.

    Visca Barça!!!
    Força Barça!!!

  6. blaugranaboy says:

    hey hardcore, why dont u read a bit closer. i said villa had his overall play, runs and touches were better, and yes i could have included workrate. all i said was disappointing was his finish and composure in front of goal. that cannot be argued.

    im not endulging this keita debate past this. of course he is not up to the level of xavi, iniesta, busquets, but he comes in off the bench, no complaining and does an adequate job. he isnt going to marvel u with his attacking creativity, but he doesnt make huge errors and in a few games this season he has come up with big performance. he is a squad player. they are extremely important necessary parts of every team. a guy willing to take the back seat but when called upon, however infrequently or for just a few minutes a game, he goes in no complaints, 100% commitment, puts a good tackles, and doesnt make huge errors.

    and bringing up race is really quite stupid man. there is no place for that nonsense.

  7. blaugranaboy says:

    @nic:

    many people did see it in a more positive light for madrid. i do agree on pepe though, he was very good yesterday and his role was important. but still, mou’s underlying tactics are always defensive. yesterday there were 3 center backs and 2 defensive midfielders in the line up. i dont think its that genius to play with many defenders when u want to play defensive. you dead right though on that 7/10. thats how ive been telling people about it for weeks. we are better, we showed that in both games this year, but they just need two good games at important times. wednesday is going to be super interesting

  8. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    Are you certain that Keita was not to be blamed for last night? what was Keita’s contribution to defense and attack against Madrid? ……he played exactly 7 passes back to the passer that passed him the ball in the first place, lost the ball 3 times exactly…..and did little in closing down even with fresher legs. I hate to sound racist….but seriously Keita is not our sub for big games seriously……and b boy…i’d agree that he does decent in smaller games….but certainly not games like Madrid , Arsenal, Man United….certainly a BIG NO

  9. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    i gave him a chance at the Emirates…i never complained after that match….but after this one….its almost certain that Keita makes our team unstable. I’d wish we have Yaya instead of Keita at this point.

    Speaking about defence, we need to sign a replacement for Puyol…or perhaps give our young boys from the youth team more chances in easier games to fill in the CB spot. It is now that we have a chance to do that…we have to solve this sooner rather than later.

  10. Edward says:

    hardcoreBARCELONEAN, I would hate to think that you are basing your opinion of Keita on two matches, this one and the one at the Emirates. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him week-in and week-out since he arrived 3.5 years ago. What you might not be appreciating is his pressuring, balance, and defensive positioning. He’s a very intelligent and experienced player and you need to have the same characteristics as a fan in order to appreciate him.

    Regarding last night you do have a point, however Keita was used in an unfamiliar defensive midfield position. He typically plays on the left side of the inverted midfield triangle and last night he was subbed in at the base when Busquets slid back for Puyol. Keita has been tried here before, but always struggles. Perhaps Pep should have opted to keep Busquets in DM and sub in an actual defender. Also, Iniesta effectively played in the DM role at times before Pep and maybe that would have been a better option leaving Keita in his natural position.

  11. Jfan101 says:

    @Edward…. Right on with your analysis of keita he was out of position and wa prob the closest player to fill that gap considering that mach was suspended. I think keita is a great utility player he can defend attack man mark well and has never complained about sitting the bench at all. I would say the over all game was great we didn’t loose points away witch is huge. I thought Pedro had goo runs but also needed to be more involved in the game. I think having masch back for the copa will be great and I’m almos positve that pepe will be back in dm so pep will train to work around him no big deal the tactician knows what needs to be done especially when it involves defensive midfield players even more so then any other position. The copa 3-1 barca

  12. caleb says:

    hardcoreBARCELONEAN,

    are you a Real fan in disguise, just trying to get people arguing on the Barca blog?

    this game was alright, but obviously somewhat frustrating. However, I must say it is great to be a Barca fan at a time when Real count a 1-1 draw at home, thanks to a dodgy penalty call, a good result. haha

  13. FCB-Parbo says:

    We dominated the game and should have won. Villa frustrated me and for now Messi should stop chipping the ball. It doesn’t work so please just slot it past the goalie kid. Pep should tell him that, otherwise it will cost us titels.

    Our boys get kicked several times and the ref did nothing. It’s safe to say that Mou has somehow influenced the refs. decision with his complaining.

    A draw at the Bernabeu isn’t bad, but once again we should have won. If that’s all that RM can give than then we will prevail. I’m confident that we didn’t gave all with that pressing and taking back the ball, but we will do so in come wednesday and in the CL.

    Beside, the Mestella was the home of our Dvid Villa, so the crowd will sure cheer for him.

  14. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    First off, i don’t mean to stir some chaos in here, but i ain’t your regular dude who comes around here crying like a kiddo when all is lost and gone.

    Our FC Barcelona has a shot in makin’ history. We have a chance to be the first in history to win the treble for the 2nd time in 3 years. Xavi in particular has a chance to be among the top ten of all time in History(considering his age, this might be his last shot). We have a talented tactician, the squad, the luck (considering not many boys are injured), and the quality to win at all fronts as we move on to our final push towards glory.

    I know that this Real Madrid 1-1 draw may seem to be a fair result to many in here. Everyone is entitled to their opinion surely. As a diehard fan of Barsa since 1997 (when i was 12 yrs old), i stick to my point of view that we by all means could have taken all three points had we been more decisive in all fronts on this night.

    Now when is say ‘decisive’, i’m not just pointing out Pep’s decision to bring on S. Keita, but also on the attitude and approach of some of our players. The will power and seriousness to take all three points was a little lacking among a few players. When Messi tries that fancy chip, when the squad seem to pressure much2 lesser in many moments of this match…i get a feeling that some of our boys were a tiny bit overconfident on this night.

    These tiny decisions could change a football match. When we end with just La Liga in our hands and worst of all, when we watch Mourinho guide REAL to the double, let’s see who’s gonna be the one starting the chaos here instead.

    WE NEED TO FINISH OF OUR OPPONENTS WHEN WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO. WE NEED TO BE AS CLINICAL AS EVER. WE NEED TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS. WE SHOULD NEVER UNDERESTIMATE OUR OPPONENTS !!

    Playing Keita in that position for me was a needless decision…if Pep wanted to take a gamble, he could have went all out by handing Batra, Millito, or even Muniesa a chance to shine…well, atleast the experience would be invaluable to these young lads…Keita could come of decent against the entire La Liga, but certainly not Real Madrid, and not Man United(we might meet them if we proceed to the final of CL) either.

    I have hopes that we will win the treble again…hopefully if we don’t get silly and luck remains neutral …we will surely grab the treble =)

    With this, i shall end my KEITAness.

  15. hardcoreFCBARCELONEAN says:

    sorry young ones in Batra and Muniesa….Millito would have been my choice instead

  16. FCB-Parbo says:

    Nice article from one of the great. Only positive things about THIS BARCA TEAM. Hell yeah, he got that right.

    http://thesumpplug.blogspot.com/2011/04/whats-real-madrid-all-about-alfie.html

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