Barcelona 8 Osasuna 0

A dazzling display of attacking football from a Barça team led by Leo Messi with a strong supporting role from Cesc Fabregas blew aside Osasuna with eight goals at Camp Nou tonight. Barça’s pride may have been somewhat affected after the recent draws against Real Sociedad and AC Milan led to some criticism, and the team came out with a desire to show the 70,000 crowd that this team is still hungry for more. Messi was virtually unstoppable scoring three and getting two assists as well as hitting the woodwork three times though it has to be said that for the third of these – when he chested, yes chested, the ball onto the bar – he was clearly offside.

Our two first choice full backs in the Guardiola era, Dani Alves and Eric Abidal, both played their 100th league game today for the club though Alves’s role today was that of a traditional wide attacker and the early danger all came from this right side. Alves had already played in a couple of centres when in the 5th minute he got into the area to head a Sergio Busquets pass across the area into the path of Messi who had a simple tap in at the far post.

With a back line of Mascherano-Puyol-Abidal with Busquets just in front of them where he looks much better, we played three creative midfielders with Thiago, Xavi and Fabregas interchanging positions. It was Fabregas again who was making the best-timed runs forward and in the 13th minute this led to our second goal. Thiago played the ball across to Cesc who chested the ball down to Messi while darting into meet Messi neat chip over the top with a cracking left-foot volley past keeper Fernandez.

Messi was causing havoc with his false-nine position, setting up Abidal of all people, to head against the bar but from an offside position and then he was at the far post again to head Alves’s terrific cross against the inside of the post. David villa was stuck out wide on the left; he had had one early effort on goal saved by the keeper but apart from that was not seen too much. However, it was a disciplined performance from Villa and his patience paid off in the 34th minute when Abidal spotted a hole in the Osasuna defence and threaded the ball in for Villa to dink the ball round Fernandez before firing into the empty net.

Five minutes later and Abidal started another goal, this time with a tremendous 60-yard pass forward from deep in Barça’s half which gave Villa another chance to head straight for goal. This time, however, his shot hit the goalkeeper, but the unfortunate Roversio couldn’t get out of the way as the ball rebounded off him and flew into the net. At this point we obviously thought that everything was going to work: a minute after the fourth goal Xavi played the ball into the area to Cesc who turned to set up Messi for what was more like a goal you would see in a five-a-side game. The dominance at half time was not only reflected in the 5-0 scoreline but also in the ridiculous 85% possession that we had.

The second half could never be as good but it wasn’t bad considering how we usually play when leading so comfortably. There was still an urgency to our play going forward and the players to their credit kept it up right to the end, though we did allow Osasuna about five minutes in the middle of the half when we might have conceded a goal but this could also be due to the fact that we were now playing with a back-three of Adriano-Mascherano-Maxwell but generally it continued to be one-way traffic. Messi had scooped the ball onto the bar after Alves again set him up but then Messi turned provider again with a sublime chipped pass over the top to Xavi who controlled well before calmly side-footing a lob over the advanced Fernandez to make it 6-0.

The last two goals came were both made by Cesc Fabregas who must be very glad he wasn’t losing at Blackburn like his ex-teammates at Arsenal. In the 76th minute Cesc got the ball in midfield and started running, he kept running forward as the defence backed off until finally avbout 25 yards out the defence decided to try and intervene, here Cesc got a fortunate rebound, possible on his hand, and suddenly he was clean through on goal. Here Cesc was unselfish as when the goalkeeper came out to meet him he touched the ball square to the waiting Villa who scored easily. Then three minutes after that Messi played a one-two with Cesc before dribbling into the area and completing his hat-trick.

This was truly great football. Yes, it was one-sided but that doesn’t suddenly make Osasuna a bad team. Tactically it seems we are again adapting to stay ahead of the rest and when it pays off it is quite spectacular. The risks off course are that we can be so clever that we end up confusing ourselves, but watching this group of players together, I can only marvel at the movement and understanding between them. If some people complain that this one-sidedness is not good for football I can sympathise with them on the level that, yes, it would be better for football if more teams could challenge for the title. However, if we are just talking aesthetics, this was quite simply beautiful to watch.

Oh yes, and Puyol played for nearly an hour and looked as solid as ever!

Barça: (3-1-3-3) Valdés 6.5; Mascherano 7, Puyol 7 (Maxwell m55, 6.5) , Abidal 7.5 (Adriano m45, 6.5); Busquets 7; Thiago 7, Xavi 8 (Afellay m61, 6.5), Fabregas 9; Alves 8, Messi 9.5, Villa 7.5.

Goals: m5 Messi 1-0, m13 Fabregas 2-0, m34 Villa 3-0, m40 Roversio o.g 4-0, m41 Messi 5-0, m57 Xavi 6-0, m76 Villa 7-0, m79 Messi 8-0.

Barça yellow card: m35 Villa

Attendance: 70,549

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16 Responses to Barcelona 8 Osasuna 0

  1. Lee says:

    Real have a tough act to follow this week. Makes you wonder how Barca ever lose. Before long, Cesc might be competing with Messi for the best player in futbol honors. Hell, it should have been 11-0. Just scary good. As always, thanks for the report.

  2. layibiyi says:

    i just love this team

    P.S, dont pay the one-sided-theory campaigners any mind… team in the world can stay with us.

  3. William Christiansen says:

    Superb display of attacking football. We dominated every sector of the match. If there was something that i’m abit concerned about is the fact that i feel David Villa has not been at his passing best. I remember he was really 3 good at his one two combo’s with Messi and co, and could even set up many goals for Messi…I just feel he is less involved in that manner this days. Is this due to tactics or form? Does anyone share the same sentiment??

  4. blaugranaboy says:

    levante 1 – real madrid 0

  5. Noureddine says:

    Madrid lost!!, sweet but it would be sweeter to see the beast CAVANI in a barcelona jersey this summer, since Madrid snatched out the overrated Naymar

  6. William Christiansen says:

    @ Noureddine, Cavani or Falcao =D

    • Noureddine says:

      Falcao is great no doubt about that, but I’ll take the great CAVANI over any striker in the world “Except MESSI” in a heart beat, the guy is phenomenal, got a presence up front which we lack deeply, great in the air, great with both feet he’s young, I don’t see how he’s not making headlines already!!!!!

  7. FC Barcelona Rocks!! says:

    Villa has been scoring decently of late, but i kindda hope he gets involved a little more then he is at the moment. Sigh, i’m not sure anybody in here is of the same opinion. IMO at the moment he is not at his best, and is pretty easy to guard against on that left flank that he occupies. I fondly recall Villa was having just about the same understanding and teamwork with Messi early last season just the same as Fabregas is having with Messi at the moment. If Villa gets in that sort of form, Barcelona will be really crazy upfront !!

    • Noureddine says:

      I honestly don’t think Villa is getting any better, what u see is what get, I know he’s trying so hard but that just doesn’t do, besides his tricks are so easy for defenders to read and expect, but I’ll take him over Ibra at any given moment.

      • FC Barcelona Rocks!! says:

        The thing is, Villa was never known for his trickery on the ball, he is a striker who often looks to break the offside trap to score at most occasions. I just feel David Villa is not passing the ball as well as he could.

        During his first few months at Barcelona many noticed his ability to turn provider even for Messi. At current moment he seemed to get stuck more on our left flank on a permanent basis.

        It will be nice to see him interchange LM to AM and CF /striker roles in every game. We have a squad that is very capable in interchanging / switching / swapping offensive positions in games.

        A David Villa that is often switching roles is gonna be very difficult to mark. Passing and scoring are his main capabilities. While we are getting abit of ‘scoring’ out of Villa, we are not getting that ‘passing’ abilities of his out. David Villa is playing pretty well, but our system is not getting the best out of him so far this season.

  8. Jfan101 says:

    2 defenders on cese with another 2 on messi is going to be a pattern w/teams this season it’s just to bad that we are w/out Sanchez and iniesta cause they could have exploited the holes and use their dribbling to get past the last defender if used as wingers on the left instead of villa. It was nice to see him grab 2 and for once not get called offsides. Another thing I have noticed from villa is he is so predictable on the left side cause his only move that seems to work to some degree is to cut inside and pass to the center of the pitch non of witch lately seem to be very threatening.

  9. Jfan101 says:

    One more thing… I would love to see Madrid admit a defeat instead they trashing the refs and the opposing teams. They point the finger at barca players for diving but Di maria is the worst diver in la liga and it plus the dirty tactics went against them this Sunday. They are lucky that Pepe and Di maria were not sent off as well. To top it all off Mou goes and says this: “Levante know how to provoke, to simulate, to waste time and not give the ball back. No-one does it better than Levante in this league.” …

    Until they learn to respect opponents then Madrid will lack the true characteristics of champions and this just goes to say how lucky we are to have Pep.

    • Noureddine says:

      Good point mate, the only defeat Mourinho admitted was the 5-0 mauling by our boys, but wait I think he said his team is not a finished product yet, so I think that was an excuse as well !!!!

    • FCB-Parbo says:

      You are so right. Does Mou ever look in the mirror? A very stupid crazy Mou. He is so Barca-obsessed that he can’t think decent anymore lol. The Barca ghost is lingering through his mind. His own mindgames have come to bite him in his own ass, haha.

      The Levante fans were singing on his comments about trying to stay in the 1st division (so disgraceful I must say). It was supposed to be a comment on Pep’s statement, but it had backfired him. That was so sweet huh.

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