Sep 29, 2011

Bate player, Filippe described this Barca team as made of outer space creatures and definitely Barcelona produced a display to honour that compliment. FC Barcelona won their first match of this year's Champions League season with a 5-0 result at the Dynamo stadium. This is our first away victory in all official matches till now. Two Goals from Messi, one each from Pedro and villa, and an own goal gave Barca an easy victory in Belarus. Those goals from Messi take him to the second top scorer for Barca in UEFA Champions League. Usually any match will have excitement about what line-up is going to feature. But with Guardiola this season that initial excitement has shifted about the formation that's going to line up. Having chosen 3-4-3 for majority of the matches this season, Guardiola decided to use the trusted 4-3-3 in the Dynamo stadium. We had Valdes in Goal; Puyol, Abidal, Mascherano and Alves in defense. Keita, Xavi and Thiago formed the midfield three. Pedro, Messi and Villas formed the attacking trio.

Sep 25, 2011

FC Barcelona continued their excellent home run in 2011-12 La Liga season with a 5-0 victory against the high flying Atletico Madrid. With this victory FC Barcelona moved to second place in the La Liga standing. David Villa opened the scoring for Barca, followed by an own goal from Miranda and three brilliant goals from Messi gave Barca a comfortable victory, which is Barca's fifth in a row against the same side. As I wrote in the preview, Guardiola went with a three man defense. But how the defense will line up was still a doubt with the line up on present. The line up picked by Guardiola was Valdes, Abidal, Mascherano, Alves, Busquets, Thiago, Xavi, Cesc, Pedro, Messi and Villa. Meanwhile Atletico Madrid had an exciting line up with Courtois, Perea, Miranda, Godin, Antonio, Gabi, Tiago, Mario, Diego, Reyes and Falcao.

Sep 23, 2011

Every Barca fan will be approaching this game in most probability with a very much confused head. The confusion comes from the kind of oscillating results we had since the start of the season. Already there have been two away matches and same number of home matches. FC Barcelona has amazed a mind blowing 13 goals in the home matches. Even though there was no death of goals in the away fixtures, the problem was were were sharing those with the home team - being a nice guest, i would say. That's why following a 2-2 draw at Mestalla, we all will be a little trouble for what to expect from this game. No doubt that this one is going to be an entertaining one. Atletico has been firing in all cylinders in last couple of matches, especially with new signing Falcao on fire. And that's where Barca's greatest threat is to come tomorrow night. Atletico Madrid has scored two 4-0 victory at home in the last two matches, but it could be a complete different story at Cam Nou. Their only away match ended with a 1-0 victory in favour of the home side in Mestalla.

Ibrahim Afellay, who recently returned from an injury suffered a huge set back with him suffering another serious injury. The official Barcelona site says - "Ibrahim Affellay has torn a crucial ligament in his left knee while training. He will require surgery and may miss upto six months of top flight football. That's would really hard for a player who expected this season to be a break out season. This is turning out to be a pretty bad month for Barca in terms of injury. First it was Sanchez, then Iniesta got injured and now it's Afellay. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

Sep 18, 2011

FC Barcelona shaken off their recent poor result with an absolute 8-0 mauling of Osasuna at Camp Nou. After the two rather unfortunate draws, somebody had to pay and unfortunately Osasuna was on the fire line. And they did pretty bad. Messi scored three goal, Villa two goal, Cesc and Xavi scored one each and also there was an unfortunate own goal from Roversio.Have to admit everyone looked a bit nervous approaching the start. Two consecutive draws made this encounter a must win encounter for us. Guardiola went in with the strongest available defense lining up Alves, Puyol, Mascherano and Abidal. The midfield had Busquets back in the holding midfielder role with Xavi and Fabregas to keep him company. Thiago, Messi and Villa made up the attacking trio.

Sep 14, 2011

FC Barcelona for the second time in four days failed to kill off a game which they dominated, and ended sharing points in the first match of Champions League this season. AC Milan took a shock lead within 25 second of start through Pato. Barca over turned it from through goals from Pedro and Villa, but then in the dying moments Thiago Silva equalised from the corner for AC Milan. Despite the last week's stumble. Guardiola went in again Keita as the holding midfielder but this time having Xavi and Iniesta to keep company. The defense had Albves, Mascherano, Busquets and Abidal. The front trio was reinstated to the usual MVP - Messi, Villa and Pedro. It is becoming very clear that Guardiola is going to continue with this experiment of Keita as holding midfielder throughout this season. Milan lined up with Pato, Cassano, Boateng, Noecerino, Seedorf, van Bommel, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta and Abbiati.

Sep 10, 2011

Visiting Anoeta stadium is becoming a head-ache for Guardiola. Last season we ended losing well after we secured the title, this season it was an improvement with a 2-2 draw. By doing this Guardiola has continued the glorified tradition of dropping point of the second league match, last time we lost to Hercules. As Sid Lowe of Guardian said, draws in this League are the new defeat and in the end this result could have some impact how the league ends. Followers of Barca will argue that it's a familiar sight after an international break but this time it all has to come down to complacency. Guardiola started with Fontas and Busquets in centre of defense flanked by Adriano and Alves on both side. The midfield had Cesc, Keita and Xavi. Pedro, Thiago and Sanchez formed the front three. Messi, Abidal, Villa, Puyol, Pinto, Mascherano, Villa and Iniesta found place only on the bench. Once again it showed clearly that playing Keita as the holding midfielder could take us out of some important competition and it's a ridiculous exercise.

Sep 8, 2011

For some time Sevilla President, Jose del Nido has been the fiercest critique of the La Liga TV deal which results in the big two, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid taking home 50% of the share. He has uped the ante by recently calling upon other Club Presidents to go for a French revolution style revolt and force the big two accept an equal sharing deal. Everyone knows that it's not going to happen but still his points deserved to be discussed as it will surely help in La Liga surviving as whole. In a broad statement showing the big two's unwillingness to take a cut in TV money, the former Real Madrid Sporting Director Jorge Valdano warned that Barca and Madrid may split off La Liga for an European League. The supporters of the two big clus hate such a deal as they know that will curtail their resource in acquiring the best talents available. The detractors of the deal always point out at the enormous gulf between the big two and the rest. The recent set of cries comes out after Barca's 5-0 victory against Villareal.

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