Uefa Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg: Real Madrid 0 Barça 2

Leo Messi scored two late goals to give Barça a massive advantage going into next Tuesday’s second leg at Camp Nou. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid again played defensive tactics that were not worthy for a club with such a history but this time his tactics backfired as Pepe was sent off for an ugly studs-up challenge on Dani Alves in the 61st minute. Barça took advantage of the numerical superiority, Messi first stabbing home Afellay’s cross in the 76th minute before scoring a second of such beauty and class the likes of which the Bernabeu hasn’t seen since Ronaldinho’s double in 2005.

Mourinho was also sent off for protesting Pepe’s red card, or rather for giving the German ref Wolfgang Stark the thumbs up but with such an ugly curl of his bottom lip that I don’t think Uefa will be questioning Stark’s decision. He will no doubt complain about the ref but not many will feel much sympathy for him as today football came out on top. Madrid offered very little going forward and it seemed that they would be quite happy to settle for a goalless draw. Could Mourinho have been playing for penalties from the start of the first leg? Bizarre. Madrid sat so far back in the first half there were moments where Barça could just pass the ball in our own half without any pressing from Madrid’s forward. The tactics meant there were very few chances in the first half. After early long shots from Xavi and Ronaldo, Villa had the first good effort cutting in from the right where he played in the first half, before sending a low shot inches wide of Casillas’ far post. There had been plenty of talk about the referee but the first controversial decision went Madrid’s way when Ramos was not carded for handball in the 4th minute, though in the second half Busquets was also let off for a similar offence. Barça were playing with extreme patience and there were few risks pushing defenders forward and Alves was rarely seen going forward as he didn’t want to leave any room for Madrid’s possible counter attacks. Messi carved out a half chance for Xavi after 24 minutes which Casillas needed to dive low to save and that was about all we managed in the first half but Madrid were worse with the only tactic seemed to be for Di Maria to try and win free kicks but we were fortunate that Ronaldo had an awful day with his free kicks. However, just before half time Valdés failed to hold a Ronaldo long shot but his second save from Ozil turned out to be unnecessary as Ozil was offside. As the players left the pitch Pinto got involved in some pushing by the tunnel and earned himself a red card. I can’t say I saw it very clearly but he will now miss the 2nd leg.

Would Madrid try and do anything differently in the second half? It seemed that they tried to pick their moments to pressurize our defenders higher up the pitch, Adebayor replaced Ozil during the break and his aggression threatened to unsettle Piqué, Puyol and Busquets. In the 50th minute Busquets got caught in possession and Madrid had their only real moment of danger, Ronaldo got into the area but Puyol got back to block the shot. However, Madrid’s raised aggression had it’s consequences, first Ramos was booked for a foul on Messi which means he’ll miss the return at Camp Nou, and then in the 61st minute Pepe followed through as Alves cleared and he caught Alves’s shin with his foot raised and studs up. The ref had no hesitation in pulling out the red and thus ending Pepe’s part in the tie, and Mourinho also got sent to the stands.

There was one more free kick for Madrid and Alonso found Ronaldo’s head but Ronaldo’s head did not find the target, and from then on it was all Barça. It was a slow dismantling of Madrid, but we continued to stay patient and wait for the chance. We almost scored in the 68th minute when Villa, now on the left, cut in and Casillas did well to parry and then Pedro twisted sacrobatically in an attempt to head in the rebound but he couldn’t force the ball in. Guardiola then brought on Afellay for Pedro and the substitution turned out to be decisive. In the 76th minute Xavi opened play to Afellay on the right, Afellay found a great change of pace to get past Marcelo before crossing low for Messi to turn the ball past Casillas at the near post. We might have sat back on the victory but Messi had smelt blood. In the 87th minute he set off on a run from 45 yards out, his acceleration saw off Lass, he then skipped past Albiol and into the area, with Ramos and Marcelo in close proximity Messi kept his head to squeeze the ball past Casillas and inside the far post. Only one word for it: GOLAZO!!!

The great thing about football is that after the defeat and disappointment of last week in Valencia, today we can enjoy and celebrate a historic victory. The doubts are all cast aside and we can once again salute the genius of Pep and Messi and the team. Don’t forget we did this without Iniesta though Keita did a good job in midfield. Of course the tie is not over (whatever Mourinho might say to the contrary) but the lead is extremely healthy and the good news is we still have nobody threatened with suspension for the final. We should be extremely happy tonight and we can look forward to finishing the job next Tuesday at Camp Nou.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeola, Ramos, Albiol, Marcelo; Lass, Pepe, Alonso; Ozil (Adebayor h/t), Ronaldo, Di Maria.

Barça: Valdés 7; Alves 6.5, Mascherano 7.5, Piqué 7, Puyol 7; Xavi 6.5, Busquets 6, Keita 6.5; Pedro 6.5 (Afellay m71, 7.5), Messi 9.5, Villa 7 (Sergi Roberto m90).

Goals: m76 Messi 0-1, m87 Messi 0-2

Yellow cards: m40 Arbeloa, m44 Alves, m53 Ramos (misses 2nd leg), m56 Mascherano, m82 Adebayor.

Red cards: m45 Pinto, m61 Pepe, m62 Mourinho.

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33 Responses to Uefa Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg: Real Madrid 0 Barça 2

  1. barcacentralnic says:

    Just in case you haven’t seen Messi’s 2nd goal, or you may just want another look 🙂


  2. apo says:

    An excellent show today from the boys!

    I’ve watched some replays of the Pinto incident from multiple angles and this is what I saw and how I interpreted it. Frankly, I think it was pretty unfair to Pinto:

    -Keita and Arbeloa walk off and exchange a few words. Minor shoving occurs.
    -Ramos runs in, looking as if he wants to get involved in a non-existent fight
    -Pinto approaches Arbeloa and they exchange words. Pinto gives him a little slap on the cheek, Arbeloa retaliates with a giant shove. Someone (a Madrid coach..?) comes up behind Pinto and grabs him by the neck and then everybody plunges in.

    Maybe Pinto deserved some discipline but I think Arbeloa was even more at fault.

    Speaking of red cards, a few of the match summaries I have read so far talk about Pepe being harshly sent off. I don’t think it was an unfair decision, personally. He was right to challenge for the ball but it seems pretty obvious he was flirting with danger by flying in studs up.

    My only regret is that Madrid/Mourinho fans will see this as a stolen victory because of Pepe’s red, when Barca have basically been the dominant team in every clasico so far. For those of you keeping score at home, it’s Barca 8 – 2 Mourinho’s Madrid on agg. this season in all competitions. On paper it seems like that’s pretty damning evidence that Mourinho isn’t the genius everybody makes him out to be. I’d LOVE to see the possession average from all games but I’m too lazy to go back and do all that searching.

    There’s still one more game to go. I hope el Camp is packed full of 100,000 screaming Catalans lucky enough to witness another 5-0 thrashing. Let’s bring this one home and head to Wembley!

  3. Barcafan says:

    Loved it! Fantastic Messi! Disappointed in mourinho turning madrid into a shadow
    of their former selves..

  4. layibiyi says:

    lovely performance from our boys, i would give xavi 7 or 7.5 though
    mourinho can eat sh**

  5. Lee says:

    I don’t think the red was justified, but you play ugly long enough you’ll get a bad call eventually. Luckily Messi stole the headlines from Jose.
    Go back to Italy if you want to play football like that. Real playing for scoreless drawl at home. as Didier might say: a f**king disgrace.

  6. caleb says:

    Dude, it’s part of Pepe’s reputation by this point. I don’t feel bad at all. Look at the rules, a studs up challenge like that is supposed to be red.

    Great job Barca!!

  7. wikd14 says:

    Pep’s angry pre match conference. Press on the CC button next to the resolution button.

    Also, we simply trumped the madristas badly. We were the better side. I guess Pep transformed his anger into the players and we were so aggressive tonight. Messi proved again why he is the #1 player in the world with 11 goals in 11 matches and his total tally is 99 goals in 2 seasons. 😀

    Thanks a lot guys for your support and special thanks for Nic and Bboy for keeping this site running.

    Vesca El Barca!

  8. Edward says:

    A few responses:
    – Anyone else LOVE Monster Masch? What a brilliant signing!
    – Villa is starting to regain some form at the right time.
    – At first glimpse I thought the Pepe red was harsh, but it was actually a pretty brutal challenge. All of the hooplah about Mourinho’s teams always getting reds against Barca just makes it seem worse. There is a reason why they keep getting red cards!!!

  9. FCB says:

    I think that from now on, in all dictionaries, right next to the word “man,” they should have a picture of Mascherano.

  10. Laoahpeh says:

    Most of barca play has been positive. But I had to be the devil’s advocate today. The rate of play acting has been increasing in our team w today been the worst I have seen in years. Pedro, alves and esp busquet are all guilty of over reacting to challenges or non existent fouls.

    Not sure if this is a reflection of the changing climate of football (ie everyone is doing it). But old fashion me think my beloved barca shd be above this kind of behavior.

    • Josher says:

      i lost track of how many fouls pedro received OFF the ball. it get’s frustrating so the play acting starts happening to force the ref to pay attention to them. cause and effect, dirty play, play acting; turns into a game of who can manipulate the ref better. football won.

  11. caleb says:

    There was a lot of acting. On the other hand, when you see what sort of things other players get away with (don’t pretend for a second the Marcelo didn’t mean to trod on Pedro with both feet) you can understand why players resort to this.

    I would like to see less acting, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a systemic problem, not just the players.

    • Josher says:

      i am so upset that marcelo glanced down, then looked away as he purposely tried to stomp on pedro. missed with the first, got him with the second stomp. Ramos is punching and kicking people after a tumble? these are all bully tactics used to intimidate. makes me sick and i’m so glad ramos is out of the second leg, i used to be a ramos fan, but now he makes me sick to my stomach.

  12. Con Artist Trickster says:

    I have following this blog since it’s still FCBnews and though I seldom comment, I always and read pre- and post-match discussions here.

    Okay, enough about me, now to last night game (result). Two beautiful goals by Leo Messi. It’s simply fantastic. The first one showed he’s a genius to flick the ball in like that. And the second one is…pure majestic. Something that makes him earn the name “Messiah”. And I’m truly happy with his goals.

    Puyol proved that he is still captain marvelous. Mascherano’s performance erased all his not-so-good play earlier this season. And Xavi showed amazing work rate and proved that he’s the best playmaker.

    BUT…I can’t say that I’m happy with how we act on the field last night. Not how we play, but how the boys presented themselves as football players. I know Real Madrid players played rough and dirty (how Marcello step on Pedro’s foot or how Adebayor tried to push everybody) but seeing most (if not all) of Barca players swarming and yelling at and gesturing card to the ref in almost each foul is…disturbing (even embarrassing?). Except for Xavi and maybe Puyol (because as a captain he has the right to speak) I (vaguely) remember that the other players seemed to not have that tendency back then. This is a trend that worries me so much.

    And…what really disturbed me…wasn’t the theatrical stuff too much last night (or lately)? It might be fine or still normal to see such acts one or twice in a big and prestigious match, but time after time for most of (if not the whole) match? Pedro (the collision between Arbeloa and him looked like a foul, but come on…), Busquets (I lost count, and I think someone really has to tell hem when it is enough to carry on such act), and Alves (yeah Pepe did it harsh but it was Alves “way of reacting” added with our players swarming the ref that made the ref pull the red card).

    I know we should be happy and GRATEFUL that our team chance in CL is brighter. But is winning, especially when it comes to Madird, everything now? Yeah, we always (and so am I am) hate to see Mou park the big buss and played provocative and rough tactics, but should we counter them with such acts?

    I WANT TO SEE BARCA TRIUMPHS, always was and always will. Yet, above all, I want too see Barca as an honorable team, produces great players regeneration, proudly plays beautiful attacking footbal (no matter how big and rough the bus is parked before us by Mou or any other team), and always be brave to carry on that style.

    I hope they realize that this protesting and diving trend could cost Barca the honor and reputation as the greatest team.

    Visca Barça!

    • Josher says:

      i don’t think it will bc they protest and dive when they are forced to. they don’t do it against teams that come to play football, they do it when fouls are being ignored bc the spotlight needs to be shined on the fouls. cause and effect, i wish madrid wouldn’t force such an ugly tactic but it was necessary, otherwise evil would have triumphed and the football community would take a step backwards as what they view as effective football. lets say madrid didn’t get any red cards yesterday, and they even go on to win; the world would see an example of where it is better to be physical and intimidate your opponent than it is to be talented and beat your opponent and the game that is being played! victory for football.

  13. Gusto says:

    Hey Folks!

    First off congrats to Pep, Messi, the whole squad, and all of you for maintaining a great English speaking barca-centric community! Its spaces like this that let us relish our team’s terrific performances.

    In terms of the game there isn’t much I can add that hasn’t been said so I will focus on the amount of red cards teams, in particular teams coached by Mourinho, receive when they play El Barca.

    In matches with a lot at stake (i.e. Clasicos, and big CL matches), teams who are more or less used to dominating games have to change their approach to accommodate our superior ball control and possession game. We all know what this means: air tight defensive formations, physical play, and, most crucially, lots of desperate challenges and lunges. Mourinho, however despicable we may find him, is an expert at setting up teams specifically to stifle and thwart our beautiful style. When this approach works out, the opposing coach is lauded in the media as tactically shrewd while Pep and our boys are condemned as “one dimensional” and “predictable”.

    Now, by allowing us to have 65-75% possession increases the overall likeliness of the defending team to make more tackles to win back possession. It is very rare, if it even happens at all, a player receives a red card when his team is in possession. If we keep the ball 70% of the ninety minutes (our usual amount), then that only leaves 30% of the remaining time for one of our players to make a bookable challenge. This is critical. Therefore, by conceding such a large amount of possession, teams unintentionally make it much more likely one of their players will have to make a tackle that will result in a yellow or red card. Catch my drift?

    Lastly, frustration begins to visibly build up from literally chasing shadows for minutes on end and any possession is usually short and ineffectual; something big teams are not used to, to such a degree. Because these kinds of teams are generally used to dominating their opponents, this problem is especially acute when we come up against top tier sides. They have lots of incentives to make hard challenges with the hope they wont receive a card; there is too much on the line to do otherwise.

    The result? Quality teams that have no business parking the bus are set up to allow us our normal amount of possession while hoping to use their skilled attacking players to limited counter-attacks. However, this approach also makes it much more likely, by a 2:1 ratio, for one of their players to make a bookable challenge and the unusual feeling of frustration and impotence only fuels this problem. When teams, especially every team Mourinho has coached against us, intentionally line up to play this way, it has the unintentional effect, in my opinion, of making it much more likely for a player to receive a red card.

    Conclusion: While our boys regrettable play-acting doesn’t make things better, I would argue there is no “grand conspiracy” in favor of Barcelona. When coaches choose to adopt this strategy, they could potentially be creating a much more difficult situation for themselves. It is only natural that a defender with high-stakes on the line and the chances to win the ball back few and far between to make a rough tackle or lunge. I wouldn’t blame the ref, our players, our even our opposing players per se; but rather, the opposing coach who chose to implement such negative tactics in the first place.

  14. Mike M says:

    Great result, Messi was simply amazing. Also we outplayed Madrid with a team missing 4 regulars, astounding. The players really pulled through last night.

    Pepe was rightfully senty off, but Madid for all their complaining that Barca are more favoured by refs had their fair share of call. Diarra not getting booked for all his challenges, Marcelo not being sent off for deliberately stepping onto Pedro’s shin and Adebyor who threw Busquets to the floor with his arms when challenging for the ball (in my books Adebyor should’ve had a red card).

    Madrid should really not complain about thee decision, as they played dirty. They were not there to play football but to prevent Barca from playing football. Football won in the end, so justice was done.

    I can’t believe Moaninho claims Pep critisises refs, something he has never done, while he gets away with it shamelessly. Barca players also never critisise the refs while Madrid players do. But Madrid play like that, so that’s what they do.

    Well we’ve got one foot in the Final, and Madrid will be without Pepe and Ramos, so i’m quite happy.

    Moaninho had the wrong tactics while Pep’s tactics were great. And Barca certainly showed them whose best.

  15. William Christiansen says:

    Like many fans, i’m ecstatic over the victory of Barsa. Taking a 2-0 away lead is certainly a strong 2 position to be in.

    I personally didn’t like the acting and dives some of Barsa boys projected yesterday, however…it has to be said that in order to win against such a negative Mourinho Madrid side who had Kaka watching the birds from the stands yet again, we almost definitely had to resort in this sort of ‘Special Game Plan’ .

    I have a strong believe that if we hadn’t dived and acted the way we did, we would have been on the receiving end of multiple dives and acting from the usual culprits in Di Maria and Cristiano. They could have possibly got many free kicks …even a penalty or two from their skills in Drama had we played by the book.

    We had the opportunity to exploit our acting and diving skills before them merely because we had the lions share of possession…and it has to be said that i have a strong sense that Mourinho was caught off guard at the volume of dives and acting we displayed last night…this tiny factor psychologically killed him and Madrid way before the sending off.

    I’d also like to acknowledge Messi’s brilliance last night and Villa’s much improved display. The 2nd goal from Messi would certainly bring a wide smile to Maradona’s face.

    Overall, a clinical display by our Barsa boys, however i am here to ask a non answered question of mine in recent times which i still felt yesterday.

    I am not a racist. I am perfectly fine with the fact of any other races playing in our team. I acknowledge that Yaya and Abidal were and are super contributers in our recent successes.

    Certainly, unlike many of you here, i don’t see the significance of KEITA last night. Many reports claim he had great contributions to our deserved victory last night. I certainly may be missing something crucial here perhaps.

    I see the quality in Xavi who CONTROLS and DISTRIBUTES the ball patient and stylishly, i see the SIMPLE yet EFFECTIVE defensive midfielder in Busquets, i see a GREAT TACKLER in Mascherano, I see the not too bad WORKRATE, VERSATILITY and STRIKER INSTINCT in Villa. I see how Pedro can help the front line LINK and aspects of his determination. i see the POTENTIAL in Affellay….i see the BRAVERY and LEADERSHIP in Puyol….i see a STRONG and POWERFUL cb in Pique, i see the best WORKRATE in our team comes from Alves most of the time, i see the CALM and COLLECTIVE and DECISIVENESS in recent times from Abidal, i see DECENT TECHNIQUE and ATTACKING eagerness from fullback/ wingbacks MAXWELL and ADRIANO….the world sees MAGIC in Messi.

    However, i fail too see any contribution significant enough from KEITA. To be frank, i’d like to know in which aspects and what exactly, if possible when exactly did he contribute in this MADRID 2-0 victory. Was he good going upfront? Was he effective defensively? Because all the time i notice he just passes right back to the passer who passes the ball to him, and whenever he tries some ambitious pass, it most often gets misplaced resulting in a lost of ball possession, which sometimes he works a little hard to win win back (sometimes successfull sometimes not)he is pretty weak in terms of physique….went down way easier in 45 minutes than XAVI does in 90 minutes. I never recalled any key moment where he robbed the ball from the opposition frontline whatsoever. To me, he is a player neither good attacking wise nor defensively. Can someone please correct me and share what he does or did last night, in all the other classiccos and at the Emirates against Arsenal. i’d be happy to know any moments of Keita goodness that i’f missed. Pls ….i sincerely have to know this….i’f tried not to single him out as our weakest link i’f really tried …..but its just not working for me. Could someone teach me how to appreciate Keita pls. Could someone also provide reasons besides ‘experience’ behind the choice of Keita instead of the upcoming Thiago last night.

    • Josher says:

      first off the weakest link by far is milito, he is so slow that i think his time is over at barca; having him back there is just a liability.

      Keita was never a full form strongest side we have available starter. I can’t really think of him doing anything spectacular in any of the recent classicos. He is constantly filling in for people in the midfield, he’s played pretty much every midfield position at some point in time. his job, from what i can tell, is not to mess things up. keep the game flowing, make solid decisions, and try and make forward passes when you can. you’re right, he’s no toure yaya or abidal; they have a much stronger physical game. but when you compare his frame to xavi or iniesta or thiago, he is bigger, he is stronger, and the technique needed is not that far off. he’s a solid player that comes off the bench with the idea to “not mess things up”. for a while that was mascherano’s job at defensive midfield as he was getting used to the team. Not everyone can be a superstar (e.g. madrid), there must be balance on the team and that’s what he does, he’s a facilitator that helps balance the team (allowing them to probe and search for a weak spot in the defense). I’m sure if you youtube “keita highlights barcelona” you’ll find some specific positive things he does (i remember recently one pass he lifted over everyone for a messi through run where keita was filling in for xavi and messi let it bounce over the keeper and scored with his head), but really, he’s a facilitator and we’re lucky to have someone as good as him happy filling that role. for the record you don’t come off as a racist at all and the fact that you brought race up at all draws a little attention to the possibility of racism being a factor, but i hope this helped shine the light on keita a little.

  16. Fredegar says:

    I will try to contain my joy in a few points, so…

    – Amid all the bickering and bitching, something has still not been told: Pep Guardiola owned the night and outthought Mourinho. This victory is his own and a fantastic triumph for him. He had an answer to everything fate and Mou could throw at him. As an aside, the incredible genius Mourinho had shown us all his cards in the two first games, was it really so smart?

    -Many of our players deserve a mention tonight, I would call Puyol, as we are never as solid without him, and Keita, who has been heavily criticised here, for special praise.

    -Messi: best player ever status achieved

    – Mourinho: fantastic comment from Gusto! I would add though that maybe, just maybe, the famous “mind games” that Mou is so much hailed for by the English press began to cost him something. When you constantly insult referees, wether they are right or not, even when your team has been clearly advantaged, is it impossible that, subconsciously of course, they will have less patience with your team?
    Mou definitely proved to be the most despicable public man in football, that he had the guts to mention Frisk in his complaints was unbelievable, that he belittled Guardiola’s achievements was the saddest thing I’ve ever heard in a press conference.

    – We played an excellent game, defence was very solid, we conceded two half chances to Ronaldo and that was all that Madrid could show for 400 ME worth of attacking talent in the team. So sad most of it was left on the bench…

    – I agree it would be nice if our players playacted a bit less (particularly when two of the main culprits have the worst games of the team), but if we didn’t do it and lost, we would be called soft pussies, it’s not always easy to find a balance…

  17. FCB-Parbo says:

    Congrats, congrats to all. A fantastic win. Yeah, take that Mou. I’m so very happy for the whole Barca team. We may not like the play-acting, but we had to do it I guess. We can’t take all that crap again and again from Mou and his RM. I’ve noticed that Messi was also a little bit agressive at some points and it made me smile. Loved that. Also, the presence of Puyol our captain gave the team a great confidence boost. You could saw it and hell even felt that.

    So, up to Wembley!!!

    Visca el Barca!!
    Forca el Barca!!

  18. Jfan101 says:

    Let’s go out play defensivly chase the ball around all game then start to get angry cause of less then 30% of possesion and no threats on goal witch then translates to cheap fowls and aggression witch in the end results in yellows and reds…. Let’s not forget about Jose psychologically preparing his players to play w/10amd bad mouthing the refs….. Great display of professionalism from the Madrid boss….. Return leg 2-0 Visca Barca!!!!

  19. barcacentralroger says:

    Much has been said and no real debate: we deserved to win; it wasn’t pretty (barring Messi’s final goal); we are being slightly dragged into the mire by Mou Mou’s tactics; Mou is himself to blame for the red cards by using tactics that encourage fouling AND creating a heightened atmosphere in which refereeing decisions are made; Busquets in particular must reduce his play acting; very pleased for Pep’s sake that we got the win.

    But to share something – David Villa takes keeping Marcelo ‘in his pocket’ a little too far:


    • apo says:

      When I think about some of the clasicos from years past I don’t ever remember the tension, frustration, fighting, etc. of the most recent ones under Mourinho. I feel like Madrid is on edge almost craving a fight, and I feel like Mourinho has to be the one to blame for that because I feel like he’s the common denominator here. His style of play is ruthless and yet he always seems surprised when his players get red cards. Look at some of their personalities…they wear their emotions on their sleeves, anybody can see that such an aggressive style coupled with their inherent irritability is going to cause problems. But whatever. He just feeds the fire and is not a gracious winner and is an even worse loser. Why he’s been such a media darling I’ll never know.

  20. Edward says:

    Tactically, I actually think that Mourinho had an interesting game-plan. He’s smart enough to know that he can’t simply go out to play against Barca. He mentioned that he would have 3 phases in the game, 1) kick, defend, and keep the game at 0-0, 2) bring on a forward to (Ade at halftime), and 3) to bring on an attacking midfielder (Kaka) later in the match when it was still 0-0. I think this actually might have worked because we have been guilty of defensive complacency and overconfidence late in these Clasicos. To purposely stifle, frustrate, and keep the game at 0-0 and then bring on some power is fairly clever.

    That said, if you plan to play extremely physically you have a higher risk of someone being red carded. This ruined his game-plan, luckily for us. But, he must understand WHY he continues to get red cards against Barca (about 2/3 are absolutely valid).

    Lastly, Keita was definitely not stunning last night. He did a job though. He’s not on form and I also agree that we are lucky to have someone like him to rely on in times like this. To highlight his significance, Pep once said “Keita eats up the pitch” and “Keita plays like hes from La Masia. He does a lot: covers ground defensively, gets behind the ball and doesn’t get beaten easily, doesn’t lose the ball often, offers physicality to compliment some of our other players, and is always moving well off the ball to provide an option for the others. He wasn’t brilliant, but he helps others do their job more effectively.

    • apo says:

      GREAT find! Finally an article that exposes Mourinho for who he is.

      I also have to admit I felt kind of bad for Ronaldo (which is something rare). I could tell he wanted to play and compete and it’s easy to see why he got so frustrated when he was trying to attack and had no support. I’m glad people are finally calling out Mourinho for these tactics!

  21. MikeM says:

    Pep otclassed Jose, i think the pre-match outburdt from Pep, wasn’t due to pressure i think he just wante to put Jose in his place without blatantly doing so. And this just made the players more determined to go out for the win.

    If I was a Madrid fan (thank the lord i’m not), i’d honestly be ashamed and disgusted by the performance of Madrid…

    Barca have now proven that defensive football will only take you that far, but the pure mastery of Barca will win it in the end.

    I’m so happy for Pep and the boys and that Mourinho finally got shut up, how is he gonna come back from this humiliation? I like the aggresiveness that Pep showed in the pre match press conference, showing a side of himself not many would have known about.

    Now lets finish the job on Tuesday.

  22. Jfan101 says:

    Does anyone see that in the past years Barca and Madird played without any major problem, even with 2-6 and 5-0 results when barca smashed them. Then all of a sudden Mr. Mourinho comes along and all this tension starts. The crap started as early as the Barca-Gijon match and then after he lost 5-0 at Camp Nou the humiliation set in and he decided to go for these dirty mind tricks and we saw the result on wednesday. He is not a man/professional, he is a boy who hates too much to lose. He is the main culprit of what happened yesterday and what is continuing on. Also I remember us playing with 10 against a Chelsea side he coached and we won (I’ll have to double check but I believe so)

  23. FCB-Parbo says:

    It makes me angry with all that crap. look who’s talking about integrity and sportsmanship. Where is the pride of RM, guess they lost it now. Mou is dragging down RM and those clowns don’t even realise it. They are so disgraceful.

    Well, Lio make us happy and make us smile.


  24. barcacentralnic says:

    In case you needed any more arguments against Mourinho –

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