- FC Barcelona opens a two-point lead in La Liga .
- Adriano wonder strike gave Barca three points against Valencia.
FC Barcelona went back to the top of La Liga with a really hard fought 1-0 victory against Valencia. A wonder strike by Adriano gave Barca the tough victory against a team which neutralized Barca's attack efefctive with little ease. Alex song made his first start in Barca career and showed that the money spend on him was not at all wasted. With this victory, FC Barcelona remains the only team which has won all their games in this season's Liga. Tito Vilanova was suspended for the match. Jordi Roura substituted for him on teh touch line. After his impressive debut at bernebeu, Alez Song was given his first start in a Barca line-up. Alves was declared fit following the mid-week absence and came straight into the line-up. The back four had Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Adriano. The midfield had Song, Xavi and Cesc, which worried everyone especially to see how Cesc cope with brilliant pressing by Valencia. The front line once again remained unchanged with Messi, Alexis and Pedro. The substitutes were Pinto, Alba, Batra, Iniesta, Tello and Villa.
The match had a slow start with Alves and Pedro trying their luck at goal within the first ten minutes, but those were harmless shots. In the 11th minute Soldado showed Barca the first sense of danger with a good effort at goal. In the 16th minute Adriano send in a cross into the box, but Messi headed it high over the bar. In the 19th minute Alves crossed the ball into Messi, this time his header was well saved by the keeper, Diego Alves. In the 23rd minute Adriano curled a great shot from the edge of the box into the far corner to put Barca in lead. The very next minute Diego Alves was forced to make another save from Pedro. In the 26th minute Xavi intercepetd a pass from Valencia near the box, slipped it to Messi in the box, who inturn put Cesc straight on goal; who could only hit the post.
At the begining of the second half, Alves was taken off as a precautionary messure and was replaced by Alba. That meant Alba was playing the left back and Adriano playing the right back. In the 54th minute Alexis danced inside the box and then cut the ball to Fabregas, who skied his effort. In the 59th minute Adriano played a neat one-two with Messi at the edge of box, but his final shot was straight at the keeper. In the 60th minute Valencia put the ball in the net from a free kick but was ruled offside. In the 64th minute Iniesta came in for Fabregas. In the 87th minute Busquets was brought into solidify the defense which was under some serious threat. In the 90th minute we were very lucky to see a Victor Ruiz header from the corner go just high over the bar.
In the end the game was all about a moment of magic from Adriano. Our lack of penetration upfront was very much on display. It has to be questioned whether the continual use of the false-9 has made that particular startegy ineffective. Every team has been able to neutralise the threat of Messi by triple teaming against him. The lack of any other player in the box makes it wasy for opponents to mark Messi out of the game. May be it's time to take off Sanchez(who is making me angry) and put Villa in a pure center forward role. As far as the Man of the Match is concerned, it has to go to adriano. His solitary strike made sure that it wasn't two valuable points lost. Another mention has to be made about Song. Song made his first start of his Barca career and was simply superb. I don't think he made a single mistake throughout the match.