Showing posts with label UEFA Champions League. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UEFA Champions League. Show all posts

Mar 17, 2017

Spanish Champions will face Italian Champions Juventus in the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League 2016-17 Season. It's a repeat of the 2015 Champions League final, which Barca won 3-1 with Iniesta being the man of the match. The two legged tie will see Dani Alves, the ex-Barca right back will face his old club after moving for free last summer. After paired in the toughest duel in Pre-Quarters against PSG, Barca was hoping for a bit of relief. But Champions League draw hasn't given us any relief in last few seasons, and we got the high flying Italian Champions. For Barca one relief is that we will be playing the second leg at home.

Mar 9, 2017

Barca Players Celebrating Sergi Roberto Winner

- Barca Players surrounding Sergi Roberto after scoring Winner -

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell

This was the night of fairy tale stuff at the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona players staged the greatest comeback in European Cup Competition history to overturn a 4-0 first leg deficit to PSG. They had to do it twice in the same night; they almost did it in the first hour of the match and when all hopes were ending they did it all again in the last eight minutes. This night was all of hope and determination. We started with hope; then it turned to expectation just after half time when the scoreline read 3-0; soon it turned to despair when Cavani scored the all important away goal. But the players never stopped believing; they regained hope soon after and with three minutes of normal time left and needing three goals they exactly did that; against all odds!

Mar 31, 2016

Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.Sun Tzu

For FC Barcelona it's a familiar Spanish affair waiting for them in the Quarter Final stages of this season's UEFA Champions League. Without any doubt the clash between the current table topper and second placed side La Liga sides are the most eye-catching and toughest clash of this round of Knockout Stage. Barcelona without any doubt would be full of confidence having already beaten Atletico Madrid twice in their League encounters this season. Even though both of these matches were real tough, Barca will be once again hoping that Lionel Messi, the five time Balon d'Or Winner will continue his excellent form against the second team from Capital and pull them through.

Feb 19, 2016

Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.Sun Tzu

Can't belive that Arsenal and Barcelona last met in the Champions League four seasons back. This clash has been a familiar fixture in those times with both of them meeting a season before also. A lot has changed in both clubs since then. Barca went in a steep diving curve for two seasons; a diving curve by Barca’s standard but a blip by others. In terms of Coaches Arsenal still have Wenger controlling the room whereas Barca changed thrice with Luis Enrique with the help of his players creating a attacking football revolution of sort. Compared to Barca, Arsenal's success were limited but last season they finally broke that curse and secured silverware. Something Arsene Wenger recently admitted as saved his job. As per the latest champions league betting tips, Barcelona is the firm favourite to proceed further from this round but the taste of success in last season makes Arsenal a daring opponent.

Jun 7, 2015

  • FC Barcelona secures fourth title in Last ten Years.
  • Barca won their fifth European Cup beating Juventus in Berlin.
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. George S. Patton

Last December no one would have dreamed about this; we were in complete tatters, the team was disintegrating, trailing heavily in League and Europe wasn't much different. But from the start of 2015 the entire story changed and now we have completed an unprecedented second treble. No European team has ever done that. Now with this team, creating history is not such a big story, it's quite a usual stuff. This was not the vintage Barca performance, they struggled at the hands of Italian Champions at times. But then Luis Enrique has instilled a Warrior mentality in this team, a mentality which allows them to bounce back from whatever pressure that's been exerted upon them. The match started perfectly for Barca going 1-0 up very early in the match. Juventus equalised early on in the second half but as it has been this whole season - when it mattered Messi raised his game which allowed us to restore the lead. From there on there was no doubt about the outcome of the result, and Neymar's goal at the end of the match was just the icing on the cake.

Jun 5, 2015

Don't think that this has happened ever before - Two Teams which will line-up in the UEFA Champions League Final are both in line to win a historic treble. But in the end only one team could emerge with the treble season done, surely hope that team is wearing the famous Blaugrana jersey. Even though Barca has been seeded as the away team, UEFA has given them the permission to line-up in their home jersey. We have a poor record as an away team at the UEFA Champions League finals - losing all three. Luckily neither do Juventus, they have been one of the under-performers when it comes to European cup finals. Interestingly enough, for both the teams this would be their eighth European Cup final appearance. Barca has a better record with four wins and three loses compared to Juventus five loses and two wins. Barca has a better advantage that in the later parts of the UEFA Champions League history, they have been the most successful team. Many pundits have described this function as a clash of the Juventus defense versus the Barcelona offence, which basically is a testimony for Barca's attacking powers as Juventus front line have been in top form in Champions League.

May 15, 2015

Push yourself again and again. Don't give an inch until the final buzzer sounds. Larry Bird

The much awaited Champions League Clasico final is not going to happen; not our mistake, we did our part. It was all upstaged by the Current Italian Champions , Juventus who strolled to Santiago Bernenbeu and got the job done. For Real Madrid, our greatest rival it was more or like that feeling of Déjà vu all again. What Morientes did to Real Madrid in the 2002-03 season, this time Alvaro Morato did, a player who was deemed surplus to Madrid's requirement. After that set-back orchestrated by Fernando Morientes, Real Madrid developed a habit of putting a "no-match against Real Madrid" clause to every one of their loaned players. I am not sure what they will put here in this case. He was sold by the club! So after seeing off our greatest rival, the Italian Champions Juventus will be looking to repeat the same performance against FC Barcelona. FC Barcelona meanwhile looks confident and in top form to steamroll any challenge put forward by their opponents. Their biggest worry till yesterday was whether they would get a chance to win the Copa Del Rey and the League. Anyways that has been settled with the Court ruling the strike to be unlawful.

May 13, 2015

Barcelona Futobol Club secured their spot in this season's UEFA Champions League Final which will be held in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin despite going down 3-2 to Beyrn Munich away from home. The final will be held on the 6th of Junes, Saturday and Barca's opponent will be either Real Madrid or Juventus. Will it be the First Clasico Champions League Final? We have to wait and see; anyways we have done our part! This tie was almost secured in the first leg and hence this tie was more or less an insignificant unless Bayern Munich inspired themselves to a once in a life-time comeback. They almost threatened to start one, but Barca's awe inspiring trio of MSN (Messi, Saurez and Neymar) killed it before it could take shape. One could argue that Barca were a tad complacent throughout the match especially after Neymar's seconds goal gave us a 2-1 lead. But then one could give them that leverage as they clearly knew the match was over at that point. Bayern needed to score 5 unanswered goals from that point to qualify, which basically is an impossible task considering the opposition is "BARCA". They did suffer a bit due to their laxed attitude, especially the defense who were bombarded with attacks after attacks. One huge positive out of this was seeing Ter Stegan getting a decent work out. He clearly showed why we went for him and erased any doubts whether he is the future.

May 7, 2015

  • Lionel Messi scored twice and assisted the other goal in 3-0 victory against Bayern Munich.
  • Victory against Bayern Munich almost put Barca in to the Finals

I ran across the living room, struggling to keep my voice down, kept runinng in circles and circles; just to digest what I witnessed in the second goal Messi scored. To be fair, like Luis Enrique said he don't surprise us much. Whatever he does is pretty ussual for him, he has done the dink over the keeper a hundred time in the past. But this felt different and there is some real good reason behind that too. Will come to that later! So, what happened! In a match which was billed as the clash between the top two sides in Europe - One guy emerged as the king maker scoring two goals and creating another. A 3-0 scoreline in favour of Barca was something of a wish for Cules for sometime; but I am pretty sure that none of us never said that out loud. If you had done that, I am pretty sure questions might have been raised about your mental health by now. The match went goalless till the 77th minute, when all of a sudden Lionel Messi decided to show why on Earth he is "The Best Player in the World".

Mar 19, 2015

Lionel Messi, what can one say!!!! Maniuel Pelligrini summed it up better than anyone - " When Messi gets the ball, he unbalances everything. " Technically that was happening all through the match yesterday. Not only for Manchester City defender also for Barca attackers. Other than that I don't have any explanation for the tons of lost chances apart from the two word "Joe Hart". It's funny Messi ended the two legs the same way - with a feeling of dejection. His opponents also ended the same way. At the Etihad he was destroying the psych of the defending English Premier League players at will but the match ended with a missed penalty and a missed header with an open goal at his mercy. Yesterday also he ended with on his back looking to heaven may be begging the almighty to let him score one past Joe Hart. So we now start with the "Greatest Player Ever" debate especially with the Clasico coming this weekend. Messi has grown lot as a player even mentally in this season as showcased by his post match comments to Canal+ "Not along ago, I was a disaster, Now I’m not going to be a disaster and then suddenly in my best moment."

Feb 25, 2015

Last night at the Etihad Stadium in the City of Manchester, Barca showed once again that when they lift their game there won't be much the opposition could do about; may be apart from just playing the part. Luis Enrique's boys went in to this match with a bit of self-doubt; or may be the self-doubt was in the mind of the fans. Either way one cannot deny that the defeat at the hands of Malaga at home would have definitely increased the pressure. So to come out and play such emphatically at the stadium of the defending English Premier League Champions was nothing short of magnificent. Two goals from Luis Saurez, someone who was criticized a bit for lack of goals considering the transfer amount; gave Barca a crucial 2-1 victory. The two away goal advantage will count big time as Manchester City need to win the return leg at the Camp Nou at least with a two goal advantage. But still they may fancy their chances and that would be something the Barca team could have done without. We gave them too many life line. After Outplaying them completely in first half, we somehow allowed them to return in to the game and that resulted in Manchester City's sole goal of the match and then that missed penalty from Messi. Had that gone in, Manchester City would be virtually out of the competition by now.

Dec 15, 2014

Barcelona Futbol Club has been paired once again with Manchester City at this season's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 knock-out stage. It's a repeat of last season's face-off, in which a Messi inspired Barca energed comfortable winners. Manchester City struggled through the Group stage but that should not be taken on face value, as on their day they could be quite devastating. Many Cules are actually angry at the constant tough luck being presented on Barca. Once again we got the toughest draw whereas the two Spanish teams from Capita got relatively easier opponents, incidently both German. Schalke vs Real Madrid will be once again a repeat of last season's knowck out stage, and barring any miracle Schalke could get murdered again. Meanwhile Atletico got the other German team, Bayern Leverkusen - a macth they should win without much sweat.

Nov 26, 2014

Just days after becoming the Leading scorer in La Liga history, Lionel Messi did the same in UEFA Champions League - becoming the leading scorer in the Competitions History. Prior to the match he was tied with Raul for the top spot.

Aug 28, 2014

The draw for UEFA Champions League 2014-15 has been completed and Barca has been drawn in to Group F along with PSG, Ajax and Apoel Nikosia. Like last season we will be meeting Dutch Champions Ajax again in Group stage. Ajax may possess some trouble but may not be able to harm us. The biggest test in Group stage will come in the clash with French Champions, PSG. The winner of these clashes is expected to top the Group. Apoel would be considered a light-weight in this group but they will be competent at least at home. To be honest every Barca fans would be happy with the draw as we are drawn in to a very much manageable group. That is not the case with Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich team who have been clubbed with Manchester City, Roma and CSKA Moscow. That definitley is the "Group of Death".

Apr 10, 2014

Barca's hope for another Champions League Semi-Final appearance were thrashed by an excellent Atletico side who were as good as in defense as in offense. The 1-0 score line did not portray what happened in the game. Had Atletico had a bit more luck, they would have been 4-5 goals up by half time. After all, they struck the crossbar four times by the time the interval came. FC Barcelona were poor throughout. For the initial the term Barca defense only appeared on paper as it was nowhere to be seen on the pitch. To be honest the offensive side was also in a similar situation with Messi and Iniesta having one of their worst nights in recent memory. Questions will be asked about Martino's selection choice, especially the false-9 experiment with Cesc Fabregas simply was wasted as I have mentioned in the match preview. There wasn't much surprise in Barcelona line-up for this must win game. Alba,Mascherano, Bartra and Alves made the defense. Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta formed the midfield. cesc Fabregas was deployed in a false-9 role with Messi on the righ and Neymar on the left. Atletico meanwhile, had to leave out Diego Costa from the squad. Their line-up had Courtois, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Fillipe, Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Raul Garcia, Adrian and Villa.

Apr 2, 2014

Atletico Madrid holds a slight advantage going into the second leg after scoring a precious away goal in a 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona has to go for the kill at Vicente Calderon in eight days time. In a very tight match two brilliant piece of individual skill proved decisive. First was Diego's brilliant goal which opened the scoring in the night. Barcelona's equalizer came from a collective brilliance of first Iniesta who played a brilliant pass and then Neymar's whose finish showed his class; at least Martino can justify his selection of Neymar now. But the real change in Barca's tempo came after the introduction of Sanchez, and that is something for Matino to ponder over in the second leg. As I wrote in the preview, Martino went with an eleven I predicted. Cesc and Neymar found their way in to the starting eleven ahead of the in form Pedro and Sanchez. So we had more or less the same eleven apart from Pinto, which started against Real Madrid and Manchester City. Neymar, Messi and Iniesta formed the front trio. Xavi, Busquets and Cesc made up the midfield. Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Alba formed the defense in front of Pinto. Putting rest to all the rumours about a late injury, Diego Costa started for Atletico Madrid along with Villa, Courtois, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Koke, Gabi, Tiago and Arda Turan.

Mar 21, 2014

In an all Spanish affair, FC Barcelona has been drawn up against Atletico Madrid in the Quarter Finals of 2013-14 UEFA Champions League. After the tough tie against Manchester City , Barca fans were hoping for an easier outing this time around, preferrably Manchester United. But instead we are pitted against La Liga rivals from the Capital city. How tough this fixture would be is explained by the fact that the three previous meeting against this two team in the Legaue has ended in draw. FC Barcelona will be playing the first leg at home and that means Atletico has a slight advantage of the seconds leg being a home affair. Barca boys have been peaking slowly in the last couple of matches , so they will be more than ready for the first leg which will be held 2nd/3rd of April.

Mar 13, 2014

Messi scoring against Manchester City

Barca booked their place in the Quarter Finals of the 2013-14 Champions League with a comfortable 2-1 victory at home against Manchester City. The 2-1 victory on the night and 4-1 on aggregate see Barca making yet another Quarter Final appearance, their seventh consecutive ones. Manchester City and Barcelona clash was the pick of many pundits for the marquee clash of this round of Champions League. The more than comfortable victory would do Barca a world of good, especially when they have suffered a number of setbacks recently on domestic front. It may be quite unfair to credit this victory all to Lionel Messi; there's a point in that. We had some seriously memorable performances from some other players too, especially Iniesta and Jordi Alba. But regardless of that it was Lionel Messi who made all the difference; not because he scored the vital goal but because he was involved in all that was good on the night. And it started with that darting run into our box to dispossess Aguero, which set the tone and simply showed a hint of his intensions.

Dec 16, 2013

FC Barcelona has been drawn to face Manchester City in the Round of 16 of UEFA Champions League 2013-14 Season. Of all the possible opponent we got the most difficult one, especially considering that Manchester City has successfully managed to change their fortunes on the road. I would have definitely preferred as Olympiakos, but that went for Manchester United. Our English Premier League Opponent lie currently in fourth but it's their home form which terrifies me. They have scored 35 goals and conceded only 5 goals at The Etihad this season. The away form has been pretty bad compared to their home, even though the recent victory against Bayern shows that they are slowly turning that around too. In that back drop the first leg which will be held at The Etihad on the 18th of February become the vital fixture in deciding the tie.

Aug 29, 2013

Barca has been drawn in to what undoubtedly could be termed as the "Group of Death" in 2013-14 UEFA Champions League Group stage. FC Barcelona has been drawn along with AC Milan, Ajax FC and Celtic in Group H in the draw. The Milan clash has become a regular even in the Europe fixture. For the last two seasons we have been playing them regularly. In the 2011-12 season we were drawn with them, that time also in Group H. Last season one of our best performances came against Milan at the Camp Nou, but then the first leg exposed all our weaknesses also. Quite a tough debut for Tata Martino! There are some interesting draw in other groups also. Another tough group is the Group F with Arsenal, Dortmund, Marseille and Napoli. Our arch-rivals are in a comparatively easy group with Juventus, Galatasaray and Copenhagen keeping them company. The other Spanish team Real Soceidad has a difficult task with Manchester United, Shaktar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen in their group. Atletico Madrid meanwhile is in a better proposition having to face Porto, Zenit and FC Austria Vienna.

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