22 September 2011

[Youth] The juvenil of Òscar, model in Manchester City

"This is what I want" wine to tell him Roberto Mancini to Patrick Scallop while the 2.000 present fans in Ewen Fields applauded the winner.

Barca juvenil had won at Manchester City in the NextGen Series, a sort of Champions in the category, and first team coach, Mancini, live discovered the source of the genius who enjoys Guardiola at the Nou Camp: A quarry which touch football is religion.

And the Italian, accompanied by the executive director of the City youth system and up to four first team players (Clichy, Kompany, Zabaleta and De Jong), could not but demand that the party, recorded by Skyblue's television, Special attention was viewing with all the technical training of club football.

To the physical and direct game of City those of Òscar responded with their habitual mime for the ball and to the one that the technique was imposed to the force, Mancini and its companions confirmed that the success of the first equips blaugrana it is accompanied by an excellent base work.

Rejuvenated by obligation, Barça juvenil that had already fallen in love the coach of Celtic Neil Lennon, Eastlands conquered until the point that those of Òscar have transformed into model to continue. (via SPORT)

Gabi: "We go to Camp Nou to play him from you to you to Barça"

Gabriel Fernández Arenas 'Gabi', fielder of the Athletic one from Madrid, he has declared in press wheel that the combined mattress maker will leave to Camp Nou without complex, to look for the victory spurred by the great state psychic enque he is the team.

What has changed in the early rounds Atletico?

Not much has changed. They also were confident about our chances in the first game but we failed to realize our chances. Now the goals come but we can keep improving.

How is the locker room after the last ersultados and good game?

The team is comfortable in the field. Dominated from start to finish, we pulled little, but we have to keep working. We have just started and to achieve the objectives must continue.

While many are pointing out, no doubt feeling the season is Falcao.

Has an enormous capacity in the air balls, and the foot also with high quality. Keep up, we will fit all.

But not surprised its inception TEMPRO

Take a high rate. When signed him we knew what kind of player he was, and every day we demonstrated in practice. There when you do not enter and then you have to help, but it clearly has enormous potential.

And now comes the Camp Nou ..

We expect to win at the Nou Camp. Come up with a winning metal, not to give up what we're showing. Barca is an offensive team, but try taking the ball, play him one on one and use our weapons.

At any case comes at the right time?

We know it's a special game for everyone. Will be how to measure ourselves against the team that is making the dynamics of football today. Come in unusual circumstances we would have signed with a moral good, we will fight and stand against the party.

What worries most of Barça?

I think that Barca have players that any time you win the game. We must try not to find passing lanes and make our football up and aggressively stand up to Barcelona, ​​now a day is the best team.

Seeing as the team is, are you beginning to set goals higher than enter the Champions League?

We match to match. The main objective is to be among the top four. I think if we continue at this rate would be achieved. In the Europa League and Cup fight, but talk about league titles and at this point ... It is soon. (via AS)

[Former player] Eto'o lost the game...and the papers

Anzhi fell against Dynamo and Eto'o grabbed for the neck to a rival after an error.

The Cameroon player Samuel Eto'o, the star signing the papers lost Anzhi missing a header in front of goal. The player of Dinamo hindered the top of Cameroon that was lying on the floor, got up and grabbed his opponent's neck. Finally finished a yellow shown.

The Anzhi ended up losing the Russian Cup match 1-0. (via SPORT)

[Youth] The 3-4-3 is also an alternative in the quarry

After 25 minutes of fruitless dominance against Sant Andreu, the Juvenil B went from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 usual. This change of system is an alternative to the youth teams work in practice.

When brought before the Villarreal Guardiola scheme different from the usual game with a man in midfield and went from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 were less surprised the football technical training squad.

Coaches from the youth ranks at Barcelona, ​​from the 2003/04 season, working with the 4-3-3 scheme as drawing with the basic positional tactical teams that structure of the quarry, but have a second scheme to which recourse when you feel the need .. The 4-3-3 consolidation has marginalized the option of a 3-4-3 that was imposed following the arrival of Cruyff in the 88/89 season Club. Currently, the 3-4-3 functions as a plan B or the alternative tactic that coaches can use depending on the party and the rival.

The Juvenil B match played at the Sant Andreu is a good example of how technicians used the quarry the 3-4-3 as a tactical solution to the problems posed by rivals. García Pimienta's Boys dominated the first 25 minutes of the game, but almost without creating chances. The Sant Andreu had been placed with a 4-5-1 which stifled the Barca midfield, creating many problems in football. As the game looked complicated, in minute 25 of the first period García Pimienta ordered his players a schema change would be beneficial. To switch from the 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 Quinti left the left-back to be the centrehalf, Riera passed of centre-back to full-back, Otero, of pivote to winghalf and Babunski of winghalf to playmaker.

All changed and the team found the clarity and fluidity needed to make a lot of occasions. Babunski, more advanced liaise with the tips not only scored twice but was instrumental in all three goals for Sandro. Ebwelle and Riera established a 7-0 to nearly match the first team 8-0 at Osasuna. At the time of analyzing the game the players agree that the schema change was key. "We needed an extra man in midfield and the schema change has helped us," Garcia said Pepper. Sandro Ramirez could score three goals, in part because "the work of the midfielder, who has opened all the holes." The midfielder, David Babunski, admitted: "In '10' I felt very comfortable and we were able to create the chances that did not arrive early." (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Barça B] Barça B wins L'Hospitalet in a friendly to closed door (3-2)

The filial azulgrana and L'Hospitalet have played a friendly game to door closed in the Ciudad Deportiva Joan Gamper. The team of Eusebio was imposed by 3-2 with goals of Rafinha, Rodri and Sergi Roberto.

Eusebio Sacristan said after the defeat of Barca B in the field of Hercules (2-1) that cost him the details of his team's defeat . A good opportunity to correct some of these mistakes in the Rico Perez has been the friendly match that the subsidiary Barca played on Wednesday at the Ciudad Deportiva against Hospitalet, a team that plays in the 2nd Division B. The Barça B has imposed by the coastal 3-2 thanks to goals from Rafinha, Rodri and Sergi Roberto.

In the game not involving the three players who are still low by injury: Ilie , Muniesa and Jonathan Soriano . The forward faces the latter part of his recovery and has made ​​continuous running today while his teammates were facing Hospitalet.

Eusebio Sacristan team receives on Saturday at 18.00 h to Recreativo de Huelva , a team that will arrive in a good time, as it has chained two consecutive victories. On the final day won 1-0 at Elche and won in the field of Hercules 0-1 in Week 4. The subsidiary Barca want their first win in the Miniestadi in the league, which has conceded two defeats against Villarreal B (0-2) and Deportivo La Coruña (2-3). (via FCBarcelona.cat)

The worst day in the defender of three

Valencia found a freeway in the right and made vulnerable to Barça.

Something will Mestalla historically invites coaches to experiment tactically Barca. Maybe, for the entity of a rival like Valencia and the pressure of the liking levantina, be the best bank of tests for the future, the possible best scenario where to develop or to perfect some revolutionary system to coast of taking a risk the points and the heart of some fan.

Be what is, the case it is that Pep Guardiola emulated partly yesterday to Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that in 1993 it aligned a rear of three without markers, with Goiko and Eusebio flanking Nadal. 18 years later, Santpedor coach also opted for a back three made up Mascherano, Puyol and Abidal, at least with more defensive characteristics of their 'ancestors'. With the Dutch coach, at that time, Valencia took advantage of the gaps to achieve three goals, but Barça scored four.

Last night, Unai Emery's team also saw a highway on the right back position his to come over and over again with a dagger called Mathieu, which produced two goals from Abidal, an own goal, and Pablo. He even gave another to Soldado that didn't enter of miracle. Guardiola whole suffered in the rear, but also responded with two goals to tie.

Against Villarreal and Osasuna, Barca and played with three defenders, but in the Camp Nou, where it is most comfortable, and to rival those taken by surprise. Valencia, warned that something might happen, he created a short circuit in the building if Barca and stole the ball over the game on the left of his attack, knowing that Dani Alves was not there because he played wing.

Guardiola, who in contrast to last year drew a cautious 5-3-2 Mestalla, rectified after the break, a little late to put Alves on the full-back. The bleeding cut defense, the team was not vulnerable, if it is true that Barca perdiólíneas pass in the half and took carbide. In the last minutes, after the entrance of Thiago for Puyol, he returned to the defense of three (Alves-Mascherano-Abidal), but already with a more worn away and hidden Valencia. Interestingly, the 2-2 Cesc did well, with only three behind. Pep already has an argument to be repeated. (via MD)

"Didn't take two penaltis"

Leo received two whites lacks in the area and it discussed with from madrileño V.

n a great night of football, the referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, madrileño to be exact, wanted to be sad protagonist and sparked anger from Leo Messi. The Argentine striker, who is often characterized by their protests to the referee, blew the end of the meeting and, without losing the forms without recourse to insult, addressed the braid. "Two penalties not to charge," he scolded Messi to the impassive gaze of Velasco Carballo, whom the '10' of Barca did not give reasons or to caution.

The maximum penalties were very clear.In the minute 17 and with 1-1, Rami demolished Leo in the area two minutes after having seen a yellow one. It would have been the second 1-2 and the hypothetical absence of nearly 70 minutes with one player less than Valencia had the party on track for Barca. The second penalty came in 92 and a half, when Messi was literally hit Michael in the right moment was about to connect with his left foot shot from a tight angle. Leo angrily raised two fingers to remind his two errors Velasco.

To top it off, cut a whistle against FC Barcelona at the break and ended the match in 93 minutes and 20 seconds when he had given four of overtime. Moreover, Jordi Alba expelled for insulting the linesman. (via MD)

[Barça B] Deulofeu matures at full speed in Segunda A

The attacker is assuming with integrity the jump of category. The lessons of Òscar Garcia and the trust of Eusebio are modeling their career.

The nerve and the strong personality are two of the big virtues, besides technical privileged considerations that the experts point as factors that can lead to Gerard Deulofeu to reach the summit of the first team of Barça. These assumptions, taken to extreme, can be counterproductive, but officials of youth football for years have focused blaugrana polish his strong character to a positive side and are seeing the fruits of the season in which he has had to make the leap to Second Division A with only 17.

Despite having juvenile form, has the status of Deulofeu Barca player B since the preseason. He has participated in the four games with the reserves. In the first three came off the bench and started in the fourth before the Hercules Alicante. His answer came in the form of scoring, but not enough to avoid defeat in the Rico Pérez. Despite the hold and dial, the player left disappointed and wanting to pull out the thorn on Saturday against Recreativo.

Gerard is fully focused on his football career. It is a way to stop great promise to become an elite player and wants to exploit. His family has taken a step forward Riudarenes leaving and moving to Sant Feliu to clothe more. The attacker sleeps at home, but continues his training in the new Masia. Each school then receives lessons by teachers who move from this season daily at Barca facilities. The initiative has taken effect and other youth from Rafinha and Gustavo subsidiary and have been re-engage in the studies.

Oscar Garcia last season was key to remove the head vices of a player who is poised to crack and Eusebio is giving you confidence. They must unite the efforts of other partners, such as Sergi Gomez or Muniesa, which are always aware of it. His advice and his attitude in training is a reference to Girona. (via SPORT)

Cesc puts endpoint to eight years of contract with Nike

For lack of official confirmation, everything makes indicate that the Catalan midfielder will follow the steps of Eto'o and Agüero and will sign for Puma.

Elite athletes, and obviously they are included among the players, they have different sources of income. In addition to the emoluments from their respective clubs, receive significant amounts of advertising and also a clothing and footwear brand.

Since he was sixteen years old, that is to say, in age cadete, Cesc Fàbregas dressed and he put on shoes Nike, the American multinational that has used him in numerous image campaigns, so much at Spanish level as, mainly, international. A huge photograph of Catalan, for example, has been seen for a long time in the Nike store in London.

But everything in life has a beginning and an end and Cesc has decided not to continue further his marriage with Nike and switch brands. Once the commitment that united them, has seen fit not to renew.

Yesterday, at Mestalla, Barca played one of his last games for Nike shoes, waiting to be made official its commitment to the new brand that will supply footwear and sportswear. A succulent contract procured by his agent Darren Dein from England and that in the absence of official confirmation, it seems to be the multinational Puma, which has recently Eto'o and Agüero has signed. (via SPORT)

[Player Ratings; Liga BBVA; week05] Valencia CF - FC Barcelona (2-2)

Global rating 6.4


Sergio Canales: "It is anecdotic to be leaders"

"The truth is that how there is trascurrido the party, it is bad mouth flavor a little for not being possible to take us the victory. But well for the draw", he commented.

The Valencia player Sergio Canales called "anecdotal" the leadership of the group after drawing with che Barcelona (2-2) and said that maintaining a "positive dynamic" not to lose after the first four days of the season.

"The truth is that how the game has passed, it is a little bad taste podernos not bring victory. But good for the draw. It is clear that we have a good dynamic and we get good results," he commented in declarations to it Surrounds it.

"Right now is anecdotal to be leaders, we must think about Sevilla and that's it. Continue to work the same. The costumes are very close and there is much enthusiasm for doing good season. I'm very happy with Emery" he concluded. (via AS)

Valdés: "I never believed la Liga is thing of two"

It is "very to the margin that the League is of two. I never believed in the League of two because all the fields are very complicated", Valdés said that didn't want to speak of Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdés rejected that the Spanish League is "of two" after the draw (2-2) of the culés in Mestalla and that of Real Madrid in Santander, and he/she explained that it is "important" to have added in Valencia because it is "always a difficult" field.

"It is largely outside the League is two. Never believed in the League Two because all fields are very complicated," said Valdes, who declined to talk about Real Madrid. "We have the mind set for Atletico and until we deal with the Madrid, do not think about them," he added.

In relation to the party, the Catalan keeper value what happened. "It was a first half in which they have been more intense. The first goal was lucky, and the second had more of the ball and we got higher," he said. "It's important because a tie is a complicated field and regret not having scored the third, we had near the end of the meeting. We're going with that taste odd, but we knew of the problem because the coach already had warned us" he said. (via AS)

Emery: "Pep contributes a lot of football from the humility"

We have gotten that Barça doesn't dominate the possession a lot. We are satisfied fifty-fifty because we have not been able to win to the best team in the world", the coach added.

The Valencia coach Unai Emery, after further commented Liga leader after two tie against Barcelona, ​​that all-white "has been in good line with the best team in the world."

The coach admitted that has been "a big game for the fans and for those inside have been suffering." "The first time we have upper and tie after two, they were able to win," he said. "Barcelona has won the draw and the Valencia half satisfied because I wanted to win and could not be," he lamented.

The coach believes that "it was a great opportunity to continue the lead before the fans and has done." "We wanted to provide a win and could not be against a great team with many virtues. They can surprise a while, but 90 Minutes", took over.

Emery said the Frenchman Mathieu has done "a great game until it was tired and wanted to give momentum to the band with Piatti". "Today we have taken advantage of that side, especially the first time," he said.

Valencia went ahead twice, but saw the Barcelona tie. "In the last 15 minutes but he wanted the ball was closer to our goal," he said. About Guardiola said he felt "admiration for what he does for football." "It does from the same humility that as a player," he added.

Albelda went to rest injured. "He has a stroke that can be more and to be seen how much time is low. Now is the time to other players, as a couple, mature, Topal and Tino Costa. Albelda in pressure is the number one," he said.

On the expulsion of Jordi Alba said that "the result has been expelled from the heater of the game." "The Auxiliary has been decided that spoke to him and he has expelled, but everything is learned and that must be avoided," he concluded. (via AS)

Alves: "We’re going home with bitter-sweet feelings"

The Brazilian admitted after the match in Valencia that the team went from "less to more", and so they go back to Barcelona with the feeling that the result "could have been better".

Tonight in Valencia, Dani Alves played as a winger, a full back, and in the final minutes of the game as a central defender. He has no problem playing in the different positions that Pep Guardiola wants him to play in. "We try to adapt to what the manager wants. I give my all in every position I play in", he said.

Alves said that Valencia started the game stronger than Barça and this meant that "the movement of the ball was difficult for us". But when analysing the match, the Barça player believes that "we went from less to more" and thus didn’t hesitate to acknowledge that "in the second half there was only one team in the game, Barcelona".

In the end the 2-2 draw, as far as the game went, means that "we’re going home with a bittersweet taste". Having said all that Alves is aware that it’s not easy to win in Valencia, and so he believes that the team "has the feeling of having done a great job. We put in a lot of effort and the result could have been better".

Cesc Fabregas

"We controlled the second half from beginning to end, and I think we’re going home with a bit of a bad taste in the mouth because we deserved to win".

"The starts of the seasons are difficult but I think we put in a lot of effort, especially in the second half. I think in the end we deserved to win".

"This team has some well practiced moves, and we try to use them as best we can".

"I try to profit from the qualities of my teammates, who all have great vision".

Thiago Alcantara:

"We’re leaving with the feeling of not winning the game. What hurts us is not having drawn the match, it’s not having won the game".

Pedro Rodriguez:

"I’m pleased with the goal but the result is a shame, looking at how the game went".

"In the first half they started better, but in the second half we deserved to win. We created more chances".

"Seeing how the game went it could be a good result".

"I’m happy that we got back into the match, and created those chances".

"Cesc is amazing. He’s in such good form for us".

Carles Puyol

"Every day I feel better. The knee is responding well. I don’t have any pain. Now it’s time to help the team however I can".

"The result is fair. I prefer to remember the attitude of the team".

"What we do is play. What we all have to do is to help the referees more. They whistle what they see and we shouldn’t argue with them".

"At no time have I said that it would be a league of two. Every week is difficult. Our opponents prepare a lot for our games, and it gets tougher every time”. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

Borghi, complains: "We don't have another Alexis Sánchez"

The Chilean coach misses Alexis Sánchez to which a player insustituible considers.

The coach of Chile, Argentinean Claudio Borghi, recognized that it lacks another player with the characteristics of Alexis Sánchez that will get lost for lesion the first two parties of the South American preliminary rounds of the World cup of Brazil 2014.

"We have no Alexis Sanchez. Let's see how to solve the problem," said the coach in a press conference.

Alexis, Barcelona striker tore his hamstring in his right leg in the third round of the Spanish league and need a period of approximately eight weeks of recovery, so that you can not play against Argentina, on 7 October in Buenos Aires, or to Peru, three days later in Santiago,

The Chilean coach said that "Alexis has been tremendous," because the striker had few games with his new team and hoped he recovers quickly.

"We saw very happy (...) was proud to be the best team in the world. He is injury that will long out, a bad injury and we hope you recover quickly for the sake of it," he said.

Borghi, for tomorrow will deliver the list to the 23-man squad for the matches against Argentina and Peru, said he will summon five forwards to fill two positions in the starting attack, although "there is no resemblance" between Alexis applicants.

The coach announced that one of those summoned will Humberto Suazo, who missed the recent friendly matches by physical discomfort, but did not make clear if the Monterrey Mexican striker will be ready to play.

"From tomorrow, it will clarify whether coming or not. We knew we needed a break from sports and personal. Thank you for the America's Cup made an effort to be" he said.

Borghi predicted that the South American qualifying for the World Cup will be difficult because "there is no selection in South America that is superior to others" and that the first games will be "fundamental." (via SPORT)

Casillas: "The hegemony of Barça has finished"

Iker Casillas dreams of winning everything with Real Madrid to which considers "the best team in the world" again.

Iker Casillas is confident that this is definitely the season when Real Madrid put an end once and for all Barca rule and affirm without any doubts.

"The important thing is that for two years there was a hegemonic and that team is over. I do not care how play how to play one or another", explains in an exclusive interview with 'GQ'. And took the opportunity to add: "It hurts to whom it hurts, is today the best team in the world, and when a season ago and seems not to have achieved anything."

Real Madrid goalkeeper was satisfied with the results last season given that the target project has just begun. "If I say that with this young team again with a new coach, too, were going to stay second in the league, winning the Copa del Rey and reach the semifinals of Champions without knowing the outcome I would have signed "he says.

Casillas expressed his desire to keep winning titles keeps saying that the hunger for wins after getting a full track record of success. "I want to win something important, I want the Champions League I want another, I want another Copa del Rey, I want another tournament. I think that right now, 30 years, having obtained all this, I see things differently, but I wanting to win. In a different way, but I want to start another personal challenge, to win more major titles, "he said.

Casillas also settled the controversy about his alleged bad relationship with Mourinho and was full of praise for his current coach. "Mourinho is a coach who has an enviable track record. In all he has coached teams have won titles, sets objectives and goes for them. has a different way to train and understand football. I live and feel in a special way. Mourinho is a winner in every way, always wants to be on top and that's a good thing instilled in all players, "he explains. (via SPORT)

[Ex-player] Stoichkov: "Messi will grow even more"

Hristo Stoichkov full of praise for Barcelona star Lionel Messi and said the crack has not reached its ceiling and win a World Cup with Argentina.

"Lionel is a humble person who does everything with love. He knows better than anyone else can. Incredible game and over, enjoy it. I know it is also a very good companion. Look, has it all ... It is a guy who does things for the world's children, which helps. And what Lionel is going to grow further, "said the former Barcelona striker in an interview published in sports daily " Olé ".

Stoichkov, who scored one time in the Johan Cruyff's Barcelona, ​​Messi said "I need to win this World Cup everyone wants. But will win for sure." Bulgarian footballing believes that the "Flea" was born and grew up in Barcelona.

"Today, football in the street no longer exists. Leo has made it through the ranks at Barcelona and is humble," he said.

Former striker Messi said he is "a phenomenon" and said that the key to Barcelona passes philosophy that working in the grassroots.

"It works for 20 years. From Cruyff in 1988, the grassroots is a specific producer for Barcelona," he said.

"That's the secret: Barcelona spends a lot of money to develop football in the lower. But eventually, the money turns out to be very little. How much are players today who came from the quarries of the club? Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol , etc. ... No figure! And no team that can copy, go "he said. (via SPORT)

For Guardiola, "a wonderful spectacle"

The Barça manager defined the match between Barcelona and Valencia as "a fantastic exhibition of this game". He also praised Valencia, and considered it a fair result.

After another Valencia-Barça match that will be remembered for the football played, the emotion, and the goals, Pep Guardiola described the game thus: "It was a wonderful spectacle, a great exhibition of the beautiful game". The Boss wished to congratulate Valencia, "a very good team, with a very good manager". Summarising what he’d seen on the pitch, he said: "They caused us problems in the first half, not as many in the second, and we got better in the last 20 or 25 minutes".

Barça started with a 3-4-3 line-up, which was changed after the break to the usual 4-3-3, but finished the game with the initial formation. Guardiola explained: "We knew that in the last few games we’ve been attacked down the left side, and at the start we planned that Mascherano would cover that area", and continued: "At half time we went back to 4 defenders to give more stability to the team, so they wouldn’t feel under so much pressure. Towards the end we went back to 3 in defence, and it’s when we played our best football”.
Once again, Guardiola stressed the difficulty of winning every game, and denied that is was the hypothetical ‘2 team League’: "We may agree or not with the words of the Directors, but the players always put things in their place. They are the players who compete. There’s not a single team that goes onto the field thinking they can’t win”.

At the end of it all Guardiola left Valencia feeling "very satisfied with the match". He considers that, in general, it was a "fair result". According to him, "it’s the way forward". However, the Barça Manager will encourage his players to "learn from what they didn’t do so well, and move on". (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Liga BBVA; Week05] Valencia CF 2 - 2 FC Barcelona

Valencia and Barcelona shared the points in a great match at the Mestalla stadium. Valencia were on top in the first half, and led 2-1 at the break, but Guardiola’s team responded in style after half-time, and ended up picking up a vital point.

The top match of the day didn’t disappoint. Valencia and Barcelona fought out a brilliant tactical battle, directed from the bench by Emery and Guardiola, respectively, and finally resolved by the enormous talent of their players. They shared the points, and created a host of chances in both areas. The first half belonged to Valencia, lethal due to Mathieu’s runs and crosses on the left wing, if a bit lucky with the first goal, turned into his own net by Abidal. At half-time it was 2-1, Pedro and Pablo the other scorers.

As ever, no-one could criticise the Barça players. They came back from 1-0 down, and again with the score at 2-1, this time via the Messi / Cesc divine connection. Barça very nearly won the game at the death, but this time, as opposed to the games against Real Sociedad and Milan, they ended the match pretty satisfied.

The game between League leaders and Champions started at full throttle. After only a quarter of an hour, Mestalla had seen two goals, both of them scored by a Barça player. The first came from an unlucky Éric Abidal, who turned a Mathieu centre from the left into his own goal, deceiving Valdes, who was coming out to cut out the cross. Own Goal and 1-0 to Valencia. Barça’s reaction was immediate. A very short time after kicking off again, Messi threaded a fabulous pass inside the full-back for Pedro, who slid a low shot past Guaita at the near post.

Soon after Pedro’s equaliser, the referee chose not to give a penalty to Messi, after a crude challenge from Rami, who already had a yellow card. That might have changed the course of the match, because soon after Valencia went in front again after a move very similar to the 1-0. Mathieu, again from the left, put in a low cross that came right through to Pablo who, totally unmarked, deceived Valdés to make it 2-1 to the home side. The runs down the left by the French full-back were punishing Barca’s 3-man defence, which suffered by not having their usual ball possession.

Despite going back to a 4-man defence, with Alves dropping to right-back, in the second half, Barça were still not comfortable. With half an hour to go, Guardiola chose to bring on Villa, Adriano, and Thiago, and gambled again on a 3-man defence, now made up of Mascherano, Busquets, and Abidal. Barça’s best minutes were to come, and a long-range missile from Mascherano smacked the crossbar.

Valencia, increasingly attentive to the clock, were playing very deep, and Barça took advantage, and blockaded them in their own area. A fabulous combination, and we’ve seen several already, between Messi and Cesc, levelled the score at 2-2. Cesc took the pass from Messi, and coolly slotted it past Guaita. Not satisfied with a draw, Barça continued t o push forward. The win got away from them in the end, but only just, as Guardiola’s team had a triple opportunity in the 89th minute, that neither Villa, nor Adriano, nor Messi, were able to finish. Bearing in mind how the match went, the point at Valencia is a very good one. (via FCBarcelona.cat)

[Technicla Data]
Valencia CF: Guaita; Miguel, Rami, Víctor Ruiz, Mathieu (Piatti, min. 73); Albelda (Tino Costa, min. 46), Banega; Pablo, Canales (Jonas, min. 68), Jordi Alba and Soldado.

FC Barcelona: Valdés; Puyol (Thiago, min. 63), Mascherano, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Keita (Adriano, min. 58), Alves; Cesc, Messi and Pedro (Villa, min. 58).

Goals : 1-0, min. 12. Abidal, an own goal, 1-1, min. 14. Pedro, 2-1, min. 23, Paul. 2-2, min. 77, Cesc.

Referee: Velasco Carballo (Madrid). He showed yellow cards to the Valencian Rami, Soldado, Chanales and Jonas and Barcelona Mascherano. He drove with a direct red Jordi Alba (min. 91).

Incidents : 50,000 spectators at Mestalla.