Copa del Rey semi-final second leg: FC Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Madrid win 4-2 on aggregate)

barcelona 1-3 real madrid pique 2013Barça’s season took a big blow tonight at Camp Nou as Real Madrid reached the Copa del Rey final with a comprehensive 1-3 win over the holders. Cristiano Ronaldo fired the visitors into a 13th minute lead from the penalty spot after Gerard Piqué had brought down the Portuguese striker. Ronaldo added a second just before the hour before Raphael Varane headed in a third with twenty minutes remaining. Jordi Alba’s late goal was little consolation for the hosts and there will be many questions as to how to turn things around before the Champions League return match with AC Milan in two weeks’ time.

There was no place in Barça’s starting XI for either David Villa or Cristian Tello as Tito Vilanova and Jordi Roura went with the same ten outfield players that started in Milan and with Pinto in goal. Jose Mourinho made a surprise decision to leave out Pepe, starting with Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos in central defence. There was no room for Kaká as Angel Di Maria kept his place, while up front Gonzalo Higuian was preferred over Karim Benzema.

There was little in the first ten minutes to suggest that it would be such a bad night for Barça. Iniesta took just 34 seconds to cut in from the left and send a shot whistling wide, then a minute later Pedro’s cross from the right found Messi at the near post but after a good first control he pulled his shot just past the far post. Puyol couldn’t get enough head on Xavi’s free kick, then in the seventh minute Fabregas had the first shot on target with Diego Lopez gathering at the near post.

In the eleventh minute Barça won a free kick just outside the area on the left after Di Maria shoved Messi in the back. After taking the kick quickly Iniesta’s shot was charged down and Madrid mounted a counter up the right. Ronaldo received the ball and broke into the area, making two quick stepovers before knocking the ball past Piqué who lunged in and the referee Undiano Mallenco was quite correct in pointing to the spot. Despite Pinto’s antics on the line, Thong-boy sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and Madrid were in front.

Barça continued to play their game but Madrid looked more confident now. Fabregas went down in the area after what appeared to be a small push from Di Maria but to be fair it was not a clear shout and not easy to see. Madrid began to look dangerous on the counter attack and after sending a couple of long shots well over, Ronaldo fired low to the near post and Pinto made his first save. Iniesta had another effort wide after coming inside from the left, and soon after a good combination from Alves and Pedro on the right led to a chance for Fabregas who completely missed missed his shot.

There had been a fair bit said about Undiano before the game but so far there had been little to complain about except for him allowing Di Maria to clear when the ball appeared to have gone out for a corner. But in the 34th minute Pedro nipped past Coentrao into the right of the area and Alonso’s shove on the Canarian looked like a clear penalty that Undiano refused to see.

barcelona 1-3 real madrid puyol undiano mallenco 2013To make matters worse a minute later the ref managed to get in the way of Messi as he burst into the left of the area. It would have been a penalty if the ref had been a defender but there was nothing Barça could do. Alba showed his frustration gesturing directly in front of Undiano’s face. These incidents didn’t help Barça as the players began to seem more preoccupied with Undiano than with Madrid. There was only one more chance in the first half with Messi sending a free kick under the jumping wall and just inches past the post.

Having survived to the break with the goal advantage Madrid were looking more and more confident. Early in the second half Coentrao got forward to receive Alonso’s through ball but his shot was weak and easily saved by Pinto at the near post. Barça responded with an excellent combination from Fabregas, Iniesta and Alba on the left, shots were blocked before Alves found Busquets whose shot was saved by the diving Lopez with Arbeloa just getting to the rebound before Fabregas.

The crowd began to show its frustration, calling for Villa in the 56th minute after Messi failed to get past Khedira. Then from Barça’s corner another shot was charged down and then with one long hooked pass forward from Alonso, Di Maria was one-on-one against Puyol, the Argentinian slipped past Barça’s captain much too easily and despite Pinto getting a foot to Di Maria’s shot the ball flew straight to Ronaldo who swept the ball past Alba on the line.

barcelona 1-3 real madrid varane goalIt got pretty difficult to keep watching at this point, especially when Pinto came dribbling out of his area like in his old mad days. Villa came on for Fabregas but he failed to have the same effect as he caused against Sevilla. When Varane headed in unchallenged from Ozil’s corner it was clear that there was only going to be one winner on the night. Thiago and Tello came on but there was never going to be a great comeback. Pinto prevented Ronaldo from getting his hat-trick and Iniesta sent a half-chance wide. Finally in the 89th minute Iniesta sent an excellent chipped pass for Alba’s run into the area and the full back finished with a volley into the far corner.

The post-mortem will continue for a few days and there are certainly things to talk about. Firstly, it seems that we started to lose this game last week in Milan. Our confidence has taken a knock and we don’t have the great psychologist Guardiola to stimulate the players into greater effort.  We followed the Milan game by fielding Alves, Piqué, Iniesta and Messi against Sevilla. Tonight was their third game in less than a week and it is a lot to ask of them to find an extra spark against such a physically strong team. The lack of fight tonight was worrying and there was definitely more hunger shown by Madrid.

The next big question is about who is making decisions. The unfortunate situation with Tito Vilanova’s illness is beginning to have its effect on results. I have no problem with the decision to put Roura in charge but when Roura says that Vilanova still makes the decisions it is difficult to see how this can work. Watching training sessions on a video connection can not be the same as being present and despite all the wonders of modern communication devices it would surely be better if one man, in this case Roura, took full control of decisions. The idea that Vilanova is on the phone to say when substitutions should be made or when Dani Alves should advance his position in the end just leads to confusion which was noticeable in the second half tonight.

These players have not become bad players overnight – though on tonight’s performance some might question the wisdom of the recent contract extentions for Xavi and Puyol – and there is little to complain about the general philosophy and playing style of the team. This is no time for revolution but a tweak here or there to our plan A would not go amiss. It is all very well to play with two attacking full backs in games when we are clearly superior, but against strong counter-attacking teams like Milan and Madrid it is proving to be very risky. Finally there should be a greater and more intelligent rotation of players to keep everybody sharper and more competitive. We have a twelve-point advantage in the league but four of tonight’s players were made to play against Sevilla after they had played three days before in Milan. If they are going to be asked to play so often they also need to have the proper motivation. With Roura only half-and-half the coach how is he supposed to give these players a bollocking when they need one? I don’t suppose poor Tito via skype can help much in this respect and by the time he is back with us in Barcelona we may well be out of the Champions League too.

Barça: Pinto 6.5; Alves 6.5, Piqué 5.5, Puyol 5, Alba 6; Xavi 5.5 (Thiago m73, 5.5), Busquets 5.5, Fabregas 5.5 (Villa m59, 5.5); Pedro 5.5 (Tello m71, 5.5), Messi 6, Iniesta 7.

Madrid: Diego López; Arbeloa, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao; Alonso (Essien m84), Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil (Pepe m79), Ronaldo; Higuaín (Callejon m71).

Goals: m13 Ronaldo (pen) 0-1, m57 Ronaldo 0-2, m68 Varane 0-3, m89 Alba 1-3.

Yellow cards: m12 Piqué, m37 Arbeloa, m40 Puyol.

Attendance: 95,000

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46 Responses to Copa del Rey semi-final second leg: FC Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 3 (Madrid win 4-2 on aggregate)

  1. Steve Hall says:

    Great result for los blancos.

  2. ace says:

    A tough night for Barca. Definitely agree about the potential disconnect between Roura, Tito, and the players. The season started so well but lately things have seemed very flat and the players haven’t been very inspired. It will be interesting to see how they respond to this defeat against Milan – will it motivate them that much more or will it completely deflate them? Also, since 2009 the squad has had a series of incredibly hectic seasons with all the different competitions they’ve been involved in and I feel like now we are finally starting to see evidence of it. But who knows.

    With that said, RM outplayed Barca and they deserve credit for that. Hoping they meet again in the CL with a different result next time!

  3. layibiyi says:

    Good Article! said it all.

    I just feel its an unfortunate situation though with Tito and all.

  4. barcacentralomer says:

    This is getting far too similar to last season when the CL defeat by Chelsea over the two legs and the knockout punch delivered by Real at the Nou Camp meant that all we had left to play for was one trophy – La Liga title replacing last year’s Copa trophy. TBH Barca seem to be playing a dull and listless type of game where we see unlimited passing with no end product. We have some of the best players in the world but they just don’t seem to be functioning as an effective unit.

    I hope I’m wrong but this Barca side doesn’t look like its going to be able to put 3 past Milan next week and even if they do, Milan are going to score at least once and will probably go through.

    @Nic: No disrespect to Tito and I hope he has a swift and complete recovery but this skype coaching method is frankly ridiculous. Its also unfair on Roura who seems to be saddled with a responsibility that carries no authority. I’m with you on this not being a time for revolution but at the end of the season, the Barca think tank REALLY needs to review their mistakes over the entire season and try to come up with solutions.

  5. Flames says:

    I am so much sad at dis bt bcos barcelona nd real madrid are my clubs,i hv to over look it,wether tito is there or not,is it him dat we trust?is it not GOD?so i know dt if he is still a faithful GOD,dt he will save barcelona for his name sake.

  6. bc9jaCule says:

    Hard to admit, but, Madrid deserved their victory except maybe not as much as by a 2-goal margin.

    Generally, our midfield and attack weren’t that bad last night but what we grossly and painfully lacked was DEFENSIVE DISCIPLINE – something I’ve been highlighting for some time now. I just don’t get it. Just what will it cost our CENTERBACKS to stay put in front of the goalie especially against such deadly counter-attacking teams, just what? Besides, the tie was at 1-1 so why entirely emptying out at the back when all we needed was at least 3 of our defenders staying put and inviting Madrid to attack while exploiting the space left behind them when they so do. Any defense would be already weakened enough with two overlapping fullbacks, how much more having the centerbacks overlapping as well. Seriously, it’s not that Madrid are better than us as a team, it’s just that instead of according them their due respect, we, instead, generously preyed ourselves for them with such shambolic defending. For crying out loud, this is a knockout tie and not a league or group stage match. Such ABOMINABLE defensive setup for such a defining match – RIDICULOUS!!!!!

    I very well noticed that the only Madrid players given the license to attack were Ozil, Dimaria, Higuain and Ronaldo while the other 6 outfield players were always in their designated positions and that was how they were able to suffocate our attacking flow with the licensed attacking players also falling back to support (Di maria, anyone?). Sometimes, I feel we’re too proud of ourselves and instead of seldomly setting up a tight defensive line when a result is in our favour, we just play all-out attack regardless of the opponent we’re facing. This same thing happened with Chelsea last season when we were two goals up at the Camp Nou, alas, we got overconfident and our SLOW defenders took up attacking duties at the expense of a stranded Valdez and before you could say ‘JACK!’, Ramirez was in acres of space to non-challantly lob the ball over Valdez to bring Chelsea back into the game. Seriously, won’t we ever learn? No disrespect intended but playing against Chelsea, R.Madrid, Bayern, Milan, Man U and the likes is not the same as playing against the Getafes, Valladolids and Osasunas of this world. There must be a solid defensive awareness just as much as attacking mindedness. Holy Mary!!!

    My father once told me that; “Attaining a target is not as important as knowing how to preserve it and even achieving more”. It’s not like we needed to score at 1-1, all we needed to do was preserve it with a good defensive structure while the midfielders and attackers should attempt to better the advantage by strategically pushing for a goal. So, so gutted but I must say kudos to Madrid because they patiently anticipated like a good hunter knowing we’re overzealously attacking-minded, and then pounced on us and gunned us down where it hurts the most – AT THE CAMP NOU. What a CATASTROPHIC defensive setup – SO PAINFUL.

    • bc9jaCule says:

      Moreover, on OVERALL ASSESSMENT, I want to BOLDLY state here today that; THE PURCHASE OF FABEREGAS HAS CAUSED US MUCH MORE HARM THAN GOOD!!!!! Sometimes I wonder whether the obssession with Faberegas is hinged on him being a catalan. He’s so SLOPPY with ball possession and circulation and slow both physically, mentally and even emotionally. For all I care, our purchasing him has hindered the development of Thiago, forced Villa to a predominantly bench role even when fully fit, forced the club to send both Affelay and Cuenca on loan, among others. If you all notice, he’s so often MIA in the BIG GAMES. Subbed off against Valencia, Milan, Sevilla and Madrid and that’s just the ones I can pull off the top of my head from recent memory. Just when will the coaching staff realise that he’s NOT the man for the BIG OCCASSIONS. Summarily, his game has been figured by almost every other team and he’s been the CANCER eating the team because our midfield just doesn’t tick in the BIG GAMES with him in there, so, I’ll strongly recommend we relegate Faberegas to a bench role and revert to our classic midfield of Xavi-Busquets-Iniesta and play Pedro-Messi-Villa/Thiago/Tello/Alexis in attack.
      Again, we’re sorely missing Tito’s expertise. We need him bak ASAP. Of course, his health is paramount and justly takes precedence over a mere football game, but, if only he can be on ground for the AC Milan match in 2 weeks’ time, we’ll be most grateful because Roura just doesn’t cut it, seriously. It was Mourinho that won the match last night, not Madrid in particular because I’m convinced we’re much better than them. Jesus Christ! Messi was at no time marked by less than 3 players while Ronaldo had a full field day with nobody constantly tracking his runs – PATHETIC! We need to do something, FAST!!!!!

      God speed Tito!!!!!
      Visca Barca!!!!!
      Forca Barca!!!!!

      • barcacentralnic says:

        A bit insensitive to use the C word in reference to Fabregas though I can understand your frustration with the player. He was anonymous in Milan and again offered very little last night. It’s strange that in his first season he started so well before running out of gas as the season went on. This season he again started very strongly and thoroughly deserved to win his regular place in the team. I don’t know whether he is 100% physically but this is something that should be assessed in training. Basically we need a coach who can be with the players every day to spot when they are not likely to be at their best and I’m not sure whether Roura has the authority to pick the team.

        • bc9jaCule says:

          To everyone in the house, please accept my sincere apology for the ‘C’ word I used on Faberegas. However, I only meant it FIGURATIVELY, but here’s my consolidated apology, nonetheless.

          And about Fabregas ” thoroughly earning’ his starting spot in the team, well, maybe against the likes of Deportivo and Granada. Against the HARDWOODS in European football, he throws a spanner in our works – a square peg in a perfectly round hole. A MISFIT.

        • bc9jaCule says:

          To everyone in the house, please accept my sincere apology for the ‘C’ word I used on Faberegas. However, I only meant it FIGURATIVELY, but here’s my official apology, nonetheless.

          And about Fabregas ”thoroughly earning” his starting spot in the team, well, maybe against the likes of Deportivo and Granada. Against the HARDWOODS in European football, his inclusion in the starting XI is tantamount to throwing a spanner in the works – a square peg in a perfectly round hole. A MISFIT.

        • bc9jaCule says:

          To everyone in the house, please accept my sincere apology for the ‘C’ word I used on Faberegas. However, I only meant it FIGURATIVELY, but here’s my official apology, nonetheless.

          P.S.
          About Fabregas ”thoroughly earning” his starting spot in the team, well, maybe against the likes of Deportivo and Granada. Against the HARDWOODS in European football though, his inclusion in the starting XI is tantamount to throwing a spanner in the works. A square peg in a perfectly round hole – A MISFIT!!!

  7. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    I’m absolutely gutted by the lost!! So, let me ask members of this page again….Do you guys seriously think THIS IS OUR BEST 11??

    bc9jaCule HAS MENTIONED whatever i needed to say about Fabregas. At best Fabregas is our super sub….and could start against lower teams.

    DAVID VILLA SHOULD HAVE BEGAN!

    XAVI looks very off the pace. Is it an age factor? Or is it form? How come Roura didn’t spot this during training?

    Could a midfield of Alex Song(Given permit to attack but more focused in defence) accompanied by Iniesta and Busquets give us more balance between attack and defence?? I need your take on this people? Alex Song was seen as one of the main goal assist makers for RVP at Arsenal during his last season at the Emirates. He has much better physical strengths to the game as compared to Xavi and Fabregas. He is taller, stronger and can defend better. He may not be as good in passing, but he won’t be any much worser than Fabregas as well i.m.o. What do you think, Nic? What do you think people? Song could also be deployed in a similar twin DM role with Busquets – SPANISH NATIONAL TEAM.

    Vs Milan I would go with a Valdes, Pique, Puyol, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, Alex Song, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro, David Villa.

    Potential subs : Tello, Xavi, Thiago, Fabregas

    Ps – I REALLY HOPE PLAYERS LIKE Xavi, Messi, Pedro, David Villa, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba are all given a rest. The next Clasico is better off used as a opportunity to try out the likes of our youth players such as Bartra, Montoya and the gang.

    • layibiyi says:

      Dude, did you watch song’s play in the early games of the season?

      Also, if it is agreed there is a coaching vacuum at the moment, who is going to implement all the suggestions you mentioned? Cesc, Xavi etc are not going to come out and say I’m tired or I have been playing poorly, can you bench me?

      Stay calm bro, I believe they are doing their best with the present situation. Its just difficult to move in any specific direction without a leader.

      • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

        Song sucked when he played CB at the start of the season. Xavi and Fabregas won’t do any better in those positions as well. Song should be given a nod at CM or as twin Deep Lying Playmaker alongside Busquets. Then, we’ll see which Effin team can actually put 3 goals in our net at the Camp Nou.

        I don’t think they are doing the best. Tito and Jordi seems to have this continued fascination of having Messi play 99.9% of games in the season, just so little pantsy can acheive the title of Most prolific goal scorer of all time in a calender year. At times, even when we needed him to be as fresh as possible in encounters like this,,, he could not produce his best. Why is that? Messi himself believes he is superhuman. He mentioned in the press recently that his body reacts better when he gets to start all game. …and that his body is used to it. Even the more physical Cristiano needs a rest every now and than,,,this guy is insane!! This IS WRONG!! THIS IS MADNESS!! Messi should play for Barca,… not the other way around!!!

        • layibiyi says:

          You are one funny dude :)….You’ve stated your opinions though

          • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

            =D i’m just being very very upset here. I took a break. Had a cold beer and a kit kat….ate a whole load of chocolates. Feel better now. I just wish i won’t see a picture of Messi anytime soon for the next 48 hours. I love the guy. Yes, he is possibly the greatest footballer ever, But starting every game, even when clearly in need of rest? comeon!!

            • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

              During some games, we were 3- 4 nil up with 25-40 minutes on the clock. And yes, Messi was there on that pitch waiting to contribute the 5th, 6th and 7th and possibly 8th goals….coz maybe he innocently thought we could have got 6-10 pts if he did so instead of just the usual 3. I don’t know….I just hope Messi won’t suffer the mishap of so many stars of the past. I hope he can remain on top of his game till he reaches 29-30 years old atleast.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      A midfield trio of Busquets, Song and Iniesta might not be such a bad option as long as Song was allowed forward. Unfortunately Song hasn’t yet been tried in this role and I don’t think it would be the right thing to suddenly throw together a new midfield for a big game. If this option were to be considered it should have been tried in earlier games (you remember, when we used to four goals up with half an hour to go) but it wasn’t. This is just part of the problem of not making more rotations at the right time.
      As for whether this was our “best XI” I think it probably was. However, the problem here is that we have lost the surprise element in team selection and tactics.

      • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

        I don’t know, Nic….we must be able to try something new. We have enough time. Afterall, Song is not exactly so new to the team. At current point…this ‘BEST’ lineup is just not gonna bring us 3 goals vs Milan

      • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

        And yes…I completely agree with you THAT OUR ROTATIONS ARE HORRIBLE!! Especially in the case of Leo Messi. I don’t know,,,maybe Barcelona has signed a secret deal with Messi’s endorser that says – 1 minute of Messi on the pitch = 500 k to Barsa…WHO KNOWS.

  8. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    At current point,,,the way we are playing…I have very less hope that we could actually win 3-0 and above against Milan. Very unlikely.

    I call a spade a spade. I never agreed with anybody that tonight was our best line-up. I don’t understand why anybody would think so in the very first place. Tonight’s line-up is the sort of line up that means – If Barca is going to score, its going to be 95% a Messi goal. How many times has Iniesta scored this season? How many goals has Pedro have this season? Fabregas is a half a season man. When the other half comes, at Arsenal he conveniently gets injured,,,,,in Barca,,he just plainly never turns up.

    Our management is absolutely poor. And a resolve to this doesn’t seem to be arriving anytime soon. Our new found obsession with Neymar is another step in the wrong direction. When, we should be obsessed with Mats Hummels or a center back, we choose to be obsessed with a overhyped flamboyant Neymar… What sort of dimension will Neymar add to our current attack that Tello, Iniesta, David Villa , Cuenca, Affellay and Pedro could not?? I would understand if we were obsessed to bring in a Cavani or a Falcao…..but a NEYMAR?? Really?? Last time Neymar played England, i cried! Yes, I cried for Barcelona’s repeated stupidity. We made a mistake with Alexis, now we are gonna make another with Neymar. And guess what??? Neymar NEVER TRACKS BACK! hahahhahha I feel God is deserting us at this moment of greed and need

    • barcacentralnic says:

      I’m afraid to say I agree about Neymar. Here’s hoping we put our money to better use, though it has to be said it’s never easy to find players to fit into Barça’s style.

      • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

        Mats Hummels is like God’s gift to Barca. Mats Hummels is like a twin brother of Pique in playing style…just a little notch better IMO. I fear Pique will leave Shakira for Mats Hummels if the German joins our team. We can successfully defend with 2-3 man at the back if Mats Hummels joins the team. Its crazy how stable, how quick and how technical the guy is. If Barca purchased Mats Hummels for 40M even…i will smile and wait for next season to begin. Because we ARE WINNING THE TREBLE even if Zeus is not in agreement with that!

  9. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Looking at how impressive Yaya Toure is BOMBING FORWARD at Man City. Why couldn’t we use him in that Way at Barca?? Especially vs Physical opponents. Heck, coming to think of it….Busquets and Yaya could have played in the same starting lineup and no…i don’t think we would have lost anything in the form of creativity at all. Messi has crazy creativity, Iniesta has it as well…Owh well….that’s the past now. What a waste…really.

  10. DAYYIB-SM says:

    it was sad to watch last two big games…barca lost both games with two goal difference…i dont think this barca is not good enough..but i told some other funs the coaching staff without pep is mediacore…. they have gone with year of record on la liga but the rest is unacceptable..a possible go out form champion league on last 16…and on sami final on copa delray on last night…

    i agree with any one who make a question about fabregas and even shakiira…

    any way be optimistic on second leg on champion league and see what happens and hope barca to progress on..the next stage..

  11. barcacentralomer says:

    Like Nic said this is not the time for a revolution and a tweaking around of the existing squad is all that we can do at this stage of the season.
    I also agree with Nic about this being probably our strongest XI with perhaps Villa coming in for Cesc and as promising as Alba looks I’d love to see a fit and healthy Abi at LB.

    • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

      Owh boy,,,how i miss Abidal at his very best. Abidal was one player that never looked like he was going to be that good in his first 2 seasons with Barcelona. And then,,,with Pep,,,he suddenly TRANSFORMED into our OPTIMUS PRIME.

      How i wish, he played last night at left back.

  12. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Nic, and all you Barsa die hards….i’m sorry if i came off a little violent…a little too crazy…a little disrespectful. My opinions may not be similar to you guys in here…however, like most die hard fans, I’m having a very low morale day. I’m absolutely gutted by the lost. I really did not mean to cause any form of disharmony in here.

    And yes, i used this super blog as the channel to vent my frustrations. I’m sorry Nic and all you wonderful people. Visca EL Barca!!

  13. Please don’t be frustrated!

    Copa is over!
    UCL?

    Mr. Raura, Please Listen Me…

    Valdes;
    Alvez, Pique, Puyol, Alba;
    Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta;
    Pedro, Messi, Villa;

    a full week rested team, who knows?

    By- Hopeful Man!

    • barcacentralomer says:

      Barca completely outclassed from the above analysis. I know football matches aren’t won on computers but looking at the Real line-up and especially their right flank with Di Maria and Arbeloa, surely someone among the Barca team mgt. ought to have thought about exploiting that area rather than clogging up that space by putting in two CM players in a winger/forward role.

    • bc9jaCule says:

      Grand analysis of the game. Just says it all, really – WORD-PERFECT, FLAWLESS!!!

  14. barcacentralomer says:

    Since the La Liga match last season at the Nou Camp when Real sealed the league title, there was this feeling that Real were no longer in awe of Barca. This was evident in the Spanish Supercup and last night was no different. If Real manage to beat Man Utd at Old Trafford, I think Real might end up winning the CL because they’ve got nothing to play for in the league and Moaninho being Moaninho would want nothing more than getting his 3rd CL with a different club. The fact that Casillas took care of the post-match conference duties tells us that the infighting may have been put on hold till the Man Utd match.

  15. bc9jaCule says:

    To everyone in the house, please accept my sincere apology for the ‘C’ word I used on Faberegas. However, I only meant it FIGURATIVELY, but here’s my consolidated apology, nonetheless.

    And about Fabregas ” thoroughly earning’ his starting spot in the team, well, maybe against the likes of Deportivo and Granada. Against the HARDWOODS in European football, he throws a spanner in our works – a square peg in a perfectly round hole. A MISFIT.

  16. Andrey Nosatîi says:

    Is it a formation problem? is it the end of 4-3-3 possession era? No it’s not, I believe that this playing style is the best ever, but we need someone to manage it correctly, someone like Pep. However, players has no excuses, it’s definitely wrong to justify their bad performance by saying that we don’t have the right coach. I still believe in this team, my dream team. I’m begging you, Barca players, please just remember these incredible moments with Pep, take a leap of faith, you can do it.

  17. bc9jaCule says:

    Neymar? Pffft! Average footballer – all hype and flamboyance. His intended acquisition is only marketing/commercially oriented. I say; BBB – Bring Back Bojan. He definitely has gained sufficient stamina now and we won’t have to worry about him blending in as the La Masia chemistry is in his DNA. He can play on the wings and as a CF and with him, we certainly create more scoring chances. Bojan, in lieu of Neymar, PLEASE!!!!!

  18. FCBarca12 says:

    maybe Neymar does not defend much but I think he will learn that he has to do that when he’s at Barca. I still think that we do need Neymar. We need a player that can dribble past players other than Messi in attack. Pedro, Alexis, and Villa can’t do that. Neymar will be like Ronaldinho but I think faster. Messi won’t have 7 defenders on him each time he touches the ball also. But is Neymar enough? No, I also think we need a tall central attacker to help with headers and all that other stuff.

    Also people say that Neymar isn’t what Barca needs, well what Barca needs, they don’t want. Villa and Ibrahimovic were both central attackers and when they came to Barca they began to play on the wing. The same can be said about Eto’o after Guardiola came to Barca. I think some games like the ones against Madrid and Milan, Barca needs a tall central player.

    Finally, I think we just need one other center back. We have Bartra and I think he will be great. But if he is never given a chance to play a game, he can’t do anything.

  19. This Real Madrid deservs to beat FCB. Jose Mourinho have made his team to beat Barça. Last year RM played against Bayern and eliminated from UCL. Look at the two leags against Man City and Burshia Dortmund. I know they will win Coapa del ray but not UCL.

    It’s an open secret, how to beat Barça. Fast & Strong defenders, deffensive mid-fielders and fast counter attacking forwards who can defend when need. But barca is still over passing, all attacking, counter attacking less, too much Messi relying team. When a team all defense- you need hitting power and hight advantage. But Barca has not that advantage. Messi’s Argentina can beat this barca 2-0 easily.

  20. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Neymar tends to over elaborate things….and NO HE IS NOT FASTER than Ronaldinho in his prime….Neymar cannot be compared to Ronaldinho at all. I would rather wait on Tello and Deulafeu rather than make the Neymar purchase. To purchase Neymar, we will have to fork out 35M and above. That’s crazy Money. We should not spend on a player we don’t need. Honestly, I would rather go for Di Maria or Aguero instead. Fabregas and Iniesta has to learn how to get things right on that left. Fabregas has to learn from his mistakes. I’m very disappointed by his performances vs Big teams in the 2nd half of the season in particular. I aspect much much more from him. At current point, I would rather give his position to Iniesta and move David Vila back to the Left Channel.

    Also, I feel that we need to fix Tello Villa and Messi upfront against Milan. We need them pinned deep…If we dare to partner Song and Iniesta in central midfield. Iniesta doing the creative and Song supplying aggression and help in attack whenever needed, we will have an extra man that is capable to help Busquets steady the boat in defence. Song needs to operate outside the box..In mind Song could be utilized as a box to box midfielder except for the fact that he picks his moments when getting into opponents box, most of the time lurking outside…breaking up play,,,and keeping it simple. if Messi comes deep, Song could supply an extra physical power in the opponents penalty box. When Pique goes up on his crazy runs, Song and Busquets could wait with Puyol on standby in case a counter attack comes….

    I understand that Song has not been tried out in this role in a real match,,,but i have seen him do this in Arsenal. He did it very very well…and considering that he has been training with the team for quite sometime now,,,,this tryout might really not be a huge deal at all.

    I’m very worried about the form of Xavi Hernandez of late. He seems off the pace….sometimes a little uncertain…and taking a little longer than usual to supply through balls. I’m not sure if its the ‘age factor’ creeping in….Xavi needs to be at his best in this week at training. Jordi and the technical team needs to sort out the midfield, take some risk,,,draw out a masterplan,,,makle some adjustments and take the game to Milan.

    It is very unlikely for us to turn the deficit considering how poorly we are in terms of scoring goals lately…I hope for the unexpected. I pray for a miracle. Good luck, Barcelona! May the Gods be with you!!

  21. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    To some fans who questions the lack of an offensive left winger. Has anybody wondered if Jordi Alba could fill in a left striker/ left winger with Martin Montoya or Adriano or Abidal at left back? He has played there before.

    Iniesta and he combines well. Iniesta in midfield Jordi on the left, Messi on the right and Villa in the middle. Messi and Villa can Interchange positions whenever they like. Jordi has better defensive ability than both Villa and Tello…Jordi will be able to help out Montoya, Abidal or Adriano more effectively during counter attack situations. so defence issues on that left flank will look a tiny notch better than the usual.

    Share your thoughts on your preferred line-up against Milan, my fellow FC Barcelona diehards. How would you pick the starting team given the chance? In what ways can we defend better against counter attacks with our current team?

    Should Marc Bartra be given a run out vs Madrid in the upcoming league fixture??

    Your thoughts people!!

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