01 April 2012

[Liga BBVA; Week31] FC Barcelona 2 - 0 Athletic Club

FC Barcelona keeps the pulse with Real Madrid in La Liga. Barça beat Athletic 2-0 to one of those games that are worth seeing several times. Iniesta and Messi penalty, were the authors of the goals.

La Liga remains as it was. Barça could not reduce the distance of six points on the leader, a Real Madrid thrashed not easy on your visit to Pamplona (1-5). Remaining eight games, 24 points in dispute, and anything can happen. That Barça will not throw in the towel is very clear. It always has been, but if anyone had any doubts, you should see the game against Athletic. Guardiola gave a recital, a monument to football against a team that is all the rage in Europe: the Athletic of Marcelo Bielsa.

Barca gave everything. His extravagance and enthusiasm were absolute, despite the importance of grief that awaits him next Tuesday against Milan in the Champions League. Nothing was left in the house. azulgrana coach reserved for Xavi, Puyol and Cesc leaving them out of eleven, but their replacements, Adriano, Thiago, Tello ... - did not notice his absence at all.

The 'student' Guardiola won the pulse of his 'master' Marcelo Bielsa. The lions arrived at the Camp Nou with credentials that are frightening. Having thrashed on Thursday to Schalke in the Champions League (2-4), a competition where you previously removed to Manchester United. The Argentine coach rested two of their most dangerous men: Muniain and Llorente. And that which fell on him was super-duper.

The evening began with a nice and well deserved tribute to Leo Messi. The fans unfurled a huge banner of 50x50 meters in the stands to thank his idol, with only 24 years, either the top scorer in the history of the entity. The message, as brief as clear: "Ets UNIC.'re Great!". The Argentine smiled and applauded, happy as a child. And, as always, turned to be decisive.

Barça drowned literally to Athletic in a first half of vertigo. Pressing down the field, playing and playing the ball at an amazing speed, unattainable for any rival. With Thiago building at will, with Busquets multiplying everywhere, cutting the bud any hint of attack Bilbao. And with Mascherano and Piqué impeccable back. Precisely the latter gave the first warning in the '5' with a shot that went skimming the top.

The goals came quickly. Barça had them within reach at the stroke of half an hour, with three consecutive times almost did not enter. In the 24 'Gorka Iraizoz a shot cleared for a corner-kick from Messi who sneaked into the top corner. In 25 ', Aurtenetxe took over the line a shot poisoned Pique. And in the 27 ', again the visitors goal as it might a whiplash diverted Iniesta.

The manchego forgave once. But the second, not anymore. In 39 ', Alexis, hyperactive for 90 minutes, recovered the ball in the half, he gave it to Messi. And the '10 'found the hollow just to give it to Iniesta. Don Andrés stood alone before Gorka, and the 'shot' with a very powerful shot.

The goal was Basque, along with the ubiquitous Javi Martinez, the best of your computer. And before the break came back to save his own undoing a shot from Messi (41 ').

The 2-0 was made to wait until the restart. And it was a penalty. Tello was shot down in the area for Javi Martinez after leaving your hand with one of its electric twists. Messi changed the maximum penalty (58 '), sentencing finally grieve.

Athletic resisted to the end. In 79 ', was given the best option. The young and explosive Muniain, who had entered after the break, beat Valdes, but Piqué, sticks, prevented it 2-1.

The pulse, spectacular, between two very similar forms of understanding football, two clubs brave and considerable commitments to the quarry, was decanted from the Blaugrana side. On May 25th we are privileged to see them again in action. It will be in the Cup final as in 2009. A show worth seeing. (via SPORT)

[Match Stats]
FC Barcelona Valdés; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano, Sergio Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta (Xavi, min.77), Alexis (Keita, min.83), Messi and Tello (Pedro, min.62).

Athletic Iraikoz, Iraola, Javi Martínez, Ekiza, Aurtenetxe, Iturraspe, Iñigo Pérez (Ander Herrera, min.46), De Marcos, Susaeta, Ibai (Muniain, min.46) and Toquero (Llorente, min.59).

Goals: 1-0: Iniesta, min.40. 2-0: Messi (penalty), min.58

Referee: Mateu Lahoz (College Valencian). He showed yellow card to Toquero (min.52), Iturraspe (min.56), Javi Martínez (min.57) and Sergio Busquets (min.66).

Subs: Match of the thirty-first day of First Division League match at the Camp Nou before 88,207 spectators.