Apr 30, 2010
Apr 29, 2010
Barca have themselves to Blame for the Champions League Exit
Now with Barca eliminated, the time has come to do a post-mortem of the tie. Does it serve any purpose? I don't know but still we needed to see what all things went wrong. As I said in my FC Barcelona vs Inter Milan Match Report, the semi-final tie was made difficult by Barca's incompetent performance at the San Siro. The truth was that FC Barcelona with the players and the coach were complacent on the night and that resulted in our semi-final exit. It is not the first time this is happening in this season and Guardiola definitely has to take a huge part of the blame. The Copa Del Rey exit also was due to the above mentioned reason. In that match we failed to recognise the danger a very gritty Sevilla side could pose at home. No realising that danger, Guardiola send in a side with most of the stars missing in the crucial home leg. We never were able to repair the damage done in the home leg. A closer look at the Champions League semi-final defeat also gives you the same picture. Guardiola failed to understand the advantage Barca had in playing at home in second leg. Instead for looking for a 1-0 or a 1-1 draw we went for the kill and got killed.
FC Barcelona knocked out by Inter despite the victory. Aggregate Barca - 2, Inter - 3
FC Barcelona's dream came of defending their Champions League crown at the home of their rivals came to an end after being knocked out byt Italian Champion Inter Milan. Inter Milan, who were reduced to 10 men for almost an hour following the dismissal of Motta, held firm in defense. FC Barcelona's attack struggled to find a way past the dodged defense of Inter for most of the match. The last ten minutes lived to the expectation where we had Pique scoring an absolutely brilliant goal, Bojan missing a sitting header before and also had a disallowed goal from Bojan. The disallowed goal was a bit harsh and if that had stood we would have been heading to Bernabeu now. In the build up to the match I argued about the importance of deploying a 4-2-3-1 formation, FC Barcelona vs Inter Milan Preview. But Guardiola stuck to the 4-3-3 formatuion and against my wish he also started with Ibraahimovic. But there were quite some surprises in the starting eleven. We saw a new central defensive pairing last night, with Toure and Pique playing at the heart of defense. Milito played the left back role while Alves was in his ususal right back role. The midfield had Busquets, Keita and Xavi. Messi and Pedro completed the attacking line up with Ibrahimovic.
Apr 27, 2010
FC Barcelona needs to Produce a Magical Night against Inter Milan
So, the stage is set of this all conquering FC Barcelona side to overcome one of the biggest challenges in last two years. After losing the first leg away 3-1 at San Siro, FC Barcelona have to do it all at Nou Camp now. A failure to do that will see the dream of retaining the Champions league crown at our rivals home ending. Many have pointed out that we need a miracle to go through to the final, but for me that is more of an exaggeration. What we really need is a solid, compact and a determined performance and we could be heading to Bernabeu. The last time Inter Milan visited Camp Nou we ended up winning the match comfortably - FC Barcelona - 2, Inter -0 . A repeat of the same performance will see us comfortably through to the final and that is the reason why I emphasized on a good compact performance rather than a miracle. No way this is going to be easy, but this FC Barcelona side has the talent to achieve that result even with the absence of Iniesta.
Apr 25, 2010
FC Barcelona got back to winning ways with a nervous 3 - 1 win over bottom placed Xerez. It was not all comfortable aw was expected, Xerez did cause some nervous moments for our defense. In the end we took most of our chances, while they didn't and that showed in the scoreline. Real Madrid meanwhile won their match against Zaragoza to cut the lead on top back to one point. In last season Real Madrid were blown apart after the 6-2 drubbing, but this season they are still looking solid and will give us a huge challenge towards the end. This was one those rare night when all of our attacking players (who started the match) ended up in the scoresheet. Guardiola decided to give a number of regular starters some rest. Messi, Pique, Milito, Pedro and Busquets all started on the bench. The defense had Puyol, Marquez, Chygrinskiy and Maxwell. Toure, Xavi and Keita made up the midfield. Ibrahimovic, Henry and Jeffren formed the attacking line-up.
Apr 24, 2010
FC barcelona will be looking for an Inspiring win against Xerez
The coming ten days could be the most vital days in FC Barcelona's success of this season. After the 3-1 loss at San Siro, Barca will be looking to get back on track with an emphatic win against bottom placed Xerez. It is impossible to prepare for this match without focusing on Wednesday's match against Inter Milan and the visit to Villarreal after that. FC Barcelona coach has already warned everyone the danger of taking Xerez lightly. It would be a difficult task for Guardiola to make his players focus on this match, as Inter Milan clash will be dominating most of their minds. Dani Alves is suspended for this match following his red card against Espanyol, Iniesta is out injured and it looks like Abidal also will be missing from the squad after being unable to train. Guardiola has already highlighted this week as the one which will decide it all for Barca in the league and in Europe. We might see some of the regular players getting a day off tonight as for the preparation for the match against Inter Milan.
Apr 22, 2010
Apr 21, 2010
Inter were far superior to Barca in every department
The disappointment from the thumping that Barca received from Inter has not yet subsided but still this may be the right time to see what went wrong. To list the factors which went wrong may take a bigger post, but still Barca were found completely lagging behind in all department to an ultra organised Inter Milan side. Pedro Rodriguez has acknowledged the difficulty of the challenge Barca is facing but also criticised the way referee conducted the game. Jose Mourinho immediately criticised the statement, calling Barca players as stars who cannot accept defeat. To an extent, Mourinho is right. There was a clear cut penalty chance for a challenge against Alves, but the referee was right in not giving as Alves was not looking to play the ball. Apart from that and some minor calls, the referee had a very good game. FC Barcelona was beaten truly by a good Inter side which was far superior than them on the night. I still don't understand the problem in accepting that. Another Barca player, Busquets pointed out that the scoreline was excessive, but in my opinion it was a clear reflection of the match.I doubt whether the players have lost their self belief after yesterday's thumping.
Inter Destroys Barca with with a spectacular performance
FC Barcelona's dream of defending their Champions League crown at Bernabeu is in great danger after they came a cropper against a very determined Inter side. Pedro gave Barca an undeserving lead in the 19th minute but Wesley Sneigder, Maico and Milito all scored to register a comfortabale victory for Inter. In the Preview to the match, - Barca vs Inter Preview I have pointed that Guardiola has to get his tactics spot on. But it was a night were he came a distant second to "The Special One". His team's attitude throughout the match was poor and once again he had two unused substitute in a crucial match like this. Many may argue that the long bs journey took by Barca as a big factor in this disppointing performance but for me that is a silly excuse. Most of the players were sloppy, losing possession on more occasion. Even the great Xavi, who had a better night compared to his team-mates was sloppy at times in possession. I did argue a case of the 4-2-3-1 formation, as I was sure that Ibrahimovic would start; but Guardiola went with the traditional 4-3-3 formation. Alves, Puyol, Pique and Maxwell formed the defense in front of Valdes. Keita, Xavi and Busquets the midfield and Messi, Ibra and Pedro formed the front trio.
Apr 19, 2010
Inter Looks To Stop FC Barcelona from reaching Bernabeu
FC Barcelona will travel to Milan by road after UEFA insisted that the Semi-Finals should gon on despite the disruption of air traffic. San Siro will play host to the first leg of the high profile clash between Spanish Champions Barca and Italian Champions Inter Milan. FC Barcelona has the definite advantage of playing the second leg at home. But Barca should not forget about what happened to Chelsea last season and in this season also. Inter Milan was the one who booted Chelsea out of the competition eventhough they had to play the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho will be expecting his players show the same spirit as they have displayed against Chelsea. Inter Milan comfrotably saw off Juventus in their weekend fixture whereas FC Barcelona were held to an away draw against Espanyol. Jose Mourinho would have been studying the FC Barcelona vs Espanyol match and would have already come up with some tactics to stop this Barca brigade. The last time these two teams met was in the group stage and FC Barcelona won that one comfortably - FC Barcelona -2, Inter - 0
Apr 16, 2010
Apr 15, 2010
Apr 14, 2010
Apr 13, 2010
FC Barcelona could Make Life miserable for Deportivo
After the exceptional night at Bernabeu, FC Barcelona will be hosting Real Club Deportivo La Coruna at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night. The euphoria surrounding the victory at Bernebeu has not yet settled but we can expect the players not to get carried away by that win. One of the major achievement of Guardiola is the fact that he make sure that his team remains focused regardless of the surrounding hype. The last time these two teams met was at the Riazor where Barca emerged victorious - Deportivo - 1, Barca - 3. Deportivo were lying at the fifth position at that time, but they looks like been in a downhill path after that loss. Deportivo arrives at Camp Nou with a six match winless streak, losing four in a row prior to last week. FC Barcelona on the other hand is brimming with confidence after dispatcing both Arsenal and Real Madrid in pretty dominant fashion. Ibrahimovic, who missed Barca's last two match against Arsenal and Real Madrid is expected to miss this one too. He and Abidal trained seperately yesterday.
Apr 11, 2010
Barca Secures Yet Another Victory over Real Madrid
FC Barcelona returned with a win from Camp Nou for the second time in a row. Last season we saw the 6-2 humilation of Madrid, but this time it was far from a humiliation but still a solid performance. Some quarters of media will potray it still as a humiliation as FC Barcelona never had to play at their best to beat this team in white, who were assembled at a cost of more that 250 million. Lionel Messi fired FC Barcelona into the lead in the 33rd minute and the new kid on the block Pedro Rodriguez scored the second to complete the scoreline. With this win Barca not only broke Real Madrid's cent percent home record but also leaped past them in the League table by three points. With seven more games to be played, there is all still left in the league to play, but no one can deny that Barca has serious momentum on their side. Guardiola employed a 4-1-2-3 formation. But the personals used in the formation surprised many. The defense had Puyol playing the right back role, Milito and Pique playing thye centre back role and Maxwell playing the left back. Busquest remained above the defense in the defensive midfielder role. Xavi and Keita formed the lower midfield behind the trio of Alves, Messi and Pedro. This was the first time we saw Alves being used as a pure attacking option.
Apr 9, 2010
Barca vs Real Madrid is the biggest Event in Footballing Calendar
It's again that time of the year when the entire footballing world's attention moves to Spain. Yup, it's the time for the second edition of "El Clasico" of this season's La Liga campaign. The last time when FC Barcelona met Real Madrid, the host emerged victorious at Camp Nou thanks to a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Ibra Scores In Clasico Debut . Ibrahimovic is set to miss tomorrow night's encounter. Last time Barca's visit to Santiago Bernabeu ended with a huge thrashing of Real Madrid, something every Blaugrana fan savour till date. Find the report of that match here - FC Barcelona Thrashes Real Madrid. Even though Ibrahimovic is missing from the squad, Barca has every one of their goal scorers from last season's visit to Bernabeu available for selection. The squad announced by Guardiola is - Valdés, Pinto, Piqué, Puyol, Alves, Milito, Márquez, Maxwell, Chygrynskiy, Touré, Keita, Sergio, Xavi, Iniesta, Jeffren, Messi, Henry, Pedro, Bojan. This match is billed as a clash between the most beautiful attack versus the most costly attacks in the world. This match could be a turning point in deciding this season's winner. Even though a defeat will not cut down any teams chances as there are seven more matches to be played, but it cannot be denied that the winning team will have serious momentum on their side.
Apr 7, 2010
Fans Across the World is awed at the brilliance of Lionel Messi
The World is slowly coming to terms to what they saw last night at the Camp Nou. The appreciations are pouring on Barca's No.10 from all directions. After the hat-trick against Zaragoza, media houses based on Barcelona were struggling to find adjectives to describe what they saw. But last night that feeling spread to all over the planet, especially to England. Following the Zaragoza match I wrote an article about the hottest topic of Maradona vs Messi Debate, in that I pointed that after the successive hat-tricks even Madrid based Media houses were forced to feature Messi's heroics on front page, eventhough they could only figure him on a small corner. After yesterday's destruction of Arsenal FC, Marca featured "The Little Messiah" on the front cover asking the million dollar question - "How Are We Going To Stop Him?". The English based media always has a reluctance to recognize the superiority of Lionel Messi. But such was the effect of yesterday's demolition that all of the English press is still continuing singing praises to Messi. I am not going to write anything special here but just going to post some pics which I found around the internet. The best article I found on the net is this beautiful article written by Sid Lowe on Guardian - Spain Hails The Messiah. Do not miss that. If that article was all about the World's reaction to Messi's brilliance, find the best match reporting here by Dominic Fifield on the Guardian Messi Destroys Arsenal.
FC Barcelona booked their place in this season's UEFA Champions League Semi-Final against Inter Milan with a convincing 4-1 defeat of Arsenal at Camp Nou. Once again it was the night of the "Little Magician" from Rosario - Lionel Messi, who scored all the four goals for Barca. Arsenal took the lead with a goal from Bendtner, but was unprepared for what Messi had in hand for them. In the end it was yet another beautiful match between two of the most attractive sides in World football at this moment. Guardiola employed a 4-1-2-3 formation. I have to admit that I was quite worried about our full-backs getting exposed. As predicted by myself in the FC Barcelona vs Arsenal Preview, Marquez and Milito started in the centre of defense. Abidal was back doing his duty as a full back along with Alves. In front of the defense Busquets held the role of defensive midfielder. The midfield had Xavi and Keita in a narrow formation. And the attacking line-up had Bojan on the left, Messi on centre and Pedro on the right. Actually Messi sat a bit behind Pedro and Bojan.
Apr 5, 2010
FC Barcelona vs Arsenal Preview - Let the Footballing Extravaganza Resume
Update : Iniesta named in the Squad to Face Arsenal
A week has passed since the Barca - Arsenal clash at the Emirates; meanwhile both teams won their corresponding League fixtures but still everyone is talking only about the match at Emirates. With the first leg ending at 2-2, the tie is still widely open. FC Barcelona slightly hold the upper hand with two away goals, but against a team like Arsenal, away goals may not matter. Both teams have a huge number of players out for this tie. For FC Barcelona, captain Puyol is suspended along with Pique, Ibrahimovic is out of the second leg clash with an injury and Toure will be a doubtful starter. Meanwhile Iniesta is still recovering from his injury. Arsenal has a pretty bigger line of absentees - Gallas, Arshavin and Cesc Fabregas both are injured, the latter is anyway suspended for this leg. Song is the latest one to be ruled out for the match at Barcelona. Arsene Wenger has announced the squad which will travel to Barelona - Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Nicklas Bendtner, Eduardo, Abou Diaby, Samir Nasri, Denilson, Fran Merida, Theo Walcott, Craig Eastmond, Tomas Rosicky, Armand Traore, Emmanuel Eboue, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Sol Campbell, Mikael Silvestre